American Osteopathic Association

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Say No to Unnecessary Antibiotics: Watchful Waiting is Often the Best Medicine for Common Cool-Weather Illnesses

As the cold and flu season gets underway, the American Osteopathic Association advises families that a visit to the doctor may not be necessary for many common illnesses, even if the patient is too sick for school or work.

The majority of cool weather upper respiratory illnesses—like colds, flu, bronchitis and sinusitis—are caused by viral infections. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections and do not speed recovery from a virus. Many patients aren’t aware of the distinction and are frustrated when physicians refuse to prescribe antibiotics for viruses.

Jennifer Caudle, DO, assistant professor of family medicine at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in New Jersey, is available as a media spokesperson to discuss when to see a physician, when an antibiotic is appropriate to prescribe and how to avoid getting sick during the winter.

Read the full news release online and learn more about DOs and the osteopathic approach to medicine by visiting




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 About Osteopathic Physicians


​DOs are licensed physicians who can prescribe medication and practice in all specialty areas, including surgery, in the United States. They complete approximately four years of medical school followed by graduate medical education through internship and residency programs typically lasting three to eight years. In addition, DOs receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system, providing them with an in-depth knowledge of the ways that illness or injury in one part of the body can affect another. As one of the fastest-growing segments of health care professionals in the nation, the number of DOs has grown more than 200% during the past 25 years.