Feb. 25, 2010
Letters to the Editor
San Antonio Magazine
121 Interpark Blvd., Suite 407
San Antonio, TX 78216
San Antonio Magazine’s annual “Best Doctors” feature provides a great service to area residents by ranking the best physicians in San Antonio by specialty. However, as President of the American Osteopathic Association, which represents more than 4,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) in Texas and more than 67,000 DOs nationwide, it concerns me that the list does not differentiate between DOs and MDs.
Your readers deserve to know that MDs and DOs are the only two groups of fully licensed physicians in the U.S. Both groups attend four years of medical school, complete residency training and can practice in any of the medical specialties highlighted in the “Best Doctors” issue.
While there are many similarities between MDs and DOs, there are also notable differences. Instead of teaching students to only treat specific symptoms, osteopathic medical schools emphasize prevention and a “whole person” approach to health care. DOs receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system, which provides them with a better understanding of the ways that an illness or injury in one part of the body can affect another. In addition, osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is incorporated into the training and practice of osteopathic physicians, thus allowing DOs to use their hands to diagnose illness and injury and encourage healing.
To provide your readers a truly useful guide that they can use when selecting a doctor, I strongly encourage you to identify each physician as either a DO or an MD in future listings. Thank you for your consideration of this request.
Larry A. Wickless, DO
American Osteopathic Association