Yes, when you see DO after a doctor's name, rest assured he or she has received a bona fide medical education and is fully licensed to prescribe drugs and practice medicine in any number of specialties, including hyperbaric medicine. Wednesday we noticed that UHMS president-elect John Feldmeier is an osteopathic physician, one quite warmly accepted and honored by his allopathic colleagues. (You hardly ever hear the word "allopath," but that's a proper term for a doctor awarded the MD degree.)
Perhaps because of their additional musculoskeletal training and hands-on manipulation, DOs often get lumped in with chiropractors. And because of their whole-person approach to medicine, they're often confused for other (let's say lesser) holistic practitioners.
As Dr Thomas Bozzuto, DO, of Phoebe Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center (Albany GA) recently told the Albany Herald, “I like to say my education in osteopathic medicine taught me to take care of the patient as a whole, rather than take care of the hole in the patient." What a great line.
Having worked with many DOs and directly with the American Osteopathic Association, we also know that osteopaths have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to preventive care and to reaching underserved populations in America's inner cities and rural communities. Bravo!
Allopathic, osteopathic, chiropractic, holistic—you'll find fine providers in all these categories. We won't defend them all here. But we can report with confidence that, when it comes to choosing a hyperbaric physician, DOs are not Don'ts.
Visit the AOA website for more information and news about osteopathic medicine today.
O2.o is the news blog of HyperbaricLink, the independent web guide to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, at www.hyperbariclink.com