The DO

Osteopathic profession unites in response to media attacks, misinformation

By The DO Staff

10.30.20

In recent weeks, the AOA has deployed an aggressive communications response aimed at correcting inaccuracies in the media and combatting the spread of misinformation on social media following the spotlight on White House Physician and Navy Commander Sean Conley, DO.

Among other efforts, the AOA has coordinated interviews with top-tier media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times and Kaiser Health News and encouraged members of the osteopathic medical profession to author op-eds about osteopathic medicine. At the same time, many members of the osteopathic medical profession mobilized their own efforts to educate the public about DOs on social media and blogs.

Get Involved

There are several ways you can help amplify the AOA’s efforts to call out misrepresentation and demand accurate descriptions of DOs in the media. Here are a few suggestions for getting involved:

Promote the #DOProud campaign: Show your pride by downloading an overlay for your social medial profile picture and/or by posting about your own experience as an osteopathic physician or students.

See overlays for DO parents, spouses, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, supporters, and patients at the bottom of this page.

Tweet the media: The AOA Advocacy Action Center has created a form that members of the osteopathic medical community can fill out to quickly tweet at specific media outlets to implore them to set the record straight about osteopathic medicine.

Post on your own: Share the following sample post on your channels and tag media outlets that share false statements.
Doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) are not “osteopaths.” DOs are fully licensed physicians equivalent to MDs, and can practice in ANY specialty including infectious disease. Many are treating COVID-19. You as the media are gatekeepers. STOP spreading misinformation.

Write an op-ed: Submit an op-ed to your local newspapers with the goal of reducing misinformation and raising awareness about osteopathic medicine. Sample messaging is available here.

Positive coverage of osteopathic medicine

Efforts by the AOA and osteopathic physicians in response to misrepresentation of the profession have led to significant and accurate coverage in a number of widely read publications. Following is a list of recent articles:

  • The Los Angeles Times published an explainer about osteopathic medicine featuring a quote and information provided by AOA CEO Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, that also ran on Yahoo! News. Notable line: “In osteopathic medical schools, future DOs are taught to take a holistic approach to their patient’s care rather than just treating an ailment.”
  • Kaiser Health News’ in-depth article examines the historic stigma against DOs and includes a detailed overview of osteopathic medicine and quotes from three DO sources, including Dr. Klauer.
  • The American Medical Association published an article that unpacked and castigated the offensive FIGS ad. It noted that the AMA stands with all MD and DO women in medicine and provided clarifying information about the DO degree.
  • This USA Today article explains the key differences between DOs and MDs via a Q&A with Bill Pieratt, DO, dean and chief academic officer at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
  • Washington Post: Following a request from the AOA, this article about Dr. Conley was corrected to clarify that osteopathic physicians can practice in every specialty area. It provides the following information: “Conley is a doctor of osteopathic medicine, with similar training to medical doctors and the same authority to prescribe medicines. One key difference is osteopathic training also focuses on the relationship of the bones and the body and on treatment of the musculoskeletal system.”
  • The National Interest: Andrea Amalfitano, DO, dean of the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, explains the guiding principles and foundations of osteopathic medicine in an op-ed.
  • KevinMD: Amelia Bueche, DO, wrote an op-ed that discusses what expanded awareness of and access to osteopathic medicine might do for patients and for society.

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