There’s been some commotion over the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) offering a medical doctor (M.D.) degree option for its students.
There are some fundamental differences between allopathic (M.D.) and osteopathic (D.O) doctors, namely the latter’s emphasis on a “holistic” (mind-body-spirit) approach to treating physical ailments, but for the most part both degrees encompass the same education and training. Residency programs are increasing the number of D.O. matches every year, and overall, people are beginning to view both medical degrees as equals.
It would be a pointless move for the school if you ask me. A lot of students choose TCOM because of its osteopathic foundation. If they wanted to study the allopathic medicine, they would’ve enrolled at an allopathic school. Only makes sense, doesn’t it?
While the two are very similar in practice, from a philosophical standpoint, the disciplines are rather different. To maintain that separation and preserve TCOM’s reputation for quality osteopathic training, it would be counter-productive to offer an M.D. degree. This isn’t like offering a new joint-degree program (M.D./Ph.D., M.D./J.D., etc.). It’s offering a replacement degree for what students have been earning for years.
Finally, does anyone else think there would be a ridiculous amount of “conflict” amidst the student body? Imagine having a class where some students are pursuing an M.D. and others a D.O. Sure, these are intelligent, professional students, but sometimes we can’t help but put down our rivals. Just a thought. 🙂