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Day 5: Fighting the good fight

April 27, 2007


Ok, so normally, I don’t get involved with DO vs MD arguments anymore. My stance is that educationally we’re all equal except DO’s learn some OMM (or they don’t, depending on the person) and that in the end its up to the individual clinician as to whether or not they end up a great doc, not the letters behind their name. As for whether OMM is effective, MDs are not educated in OMM so I don’t consider them to be up to the task to debate on it anyway (oh snap!)… so that generally leaves us with those good at OMM saying its worthwhile fighting against those who are bad at OMM saying its stupid. In any of these cases, arguing is rather pointless.

Still, I couldn’t help myself today. While doing blog research for TypeBmedicine (shameless plug!), I came upon this article at Panda Bear MD called Other Medical Careers Part One: The Most Controversial Article Ever Which Will Cause A Flood of Irate Comments and In Which I Tread Carefully But Obviously Not Carefully Enough. He deemed it scathing but it was actually pretty fair, even benign, except on this one point-

“Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) has grown out of his theories into a treatment modality which is still taught at Osteopathic medical schools…
I say “still taught” because there is little or no good evidence that manipulation does anything other than make the patient feel subjectively better. Hell, you can get a topless massage in most cities and even a “happy ending” that probably would make you feel as subjectively better without all of the fanfare and the embarrassing questions about your diet and bad habits.”

Ugh. Here is my response-

WOW. The ignorance here is astonishing. (Hey, we really haven’t gotten very controversial in our debate, so here I go, I suppose) Ok, look, we’ve only had evidence-based medicine for maybe 50 years. In that time we’ve been a bit consumed by drugs, antibiotics, surgery, and cancer. Thats where the money goes for research. When it comes to treating muscle aches, chronic lower back pain, edema, hiatal hernias, etc by means not related to the above…the time and money just isn’t there. It has only been last maybe 10 years that some dedicated DOs have really dedicated to getting some research behind this, which is hard to do anyway seeing has how you pointed out, alot of it is based on “how the patient feels.” What also makes it hard is the operator. OMM in the wrong hands can be ineffective if not very painful.

BUT, just b/c the improvement tends to be subjective, that doesn’t mean the principles aren’t sound and purely objective. We KNOW our anatomy. So when a bone is out of place, we precisely put it back in. When a muscle is in a knot, we release it. When their blood pressure is up, we balance the sympathetics and it goes down. We are not just guessing here. We don’t do general massage, we are precise.

Its easy to say its rubbish when you are not educated on the subject, but I challenge you to have it done. I guarantee I can change your mind. As for the happy ending…I don’t know about that, but many have said my treatments are pretty orgasmic 🙂

Oh well, I haven’t gotten any really good MD hate mail in awhile.

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