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Undefinabl3 posted 3/4/2014 09:33 AM

I am looking for a new family doctor after my last one epically FAILED to diagnose my thyroid issue - instead, telling me I need to tell my husband to take care of the kids so that I can go to bed earlier at night for the forseeable future /eyeroll.

Anyway, I have run in to quite a few DO's and looked up osteopathic medicine. I am not a pill taker (other then the stupid thyroid) and I like that they are hands on to try to find the solution and just treat the symptoms.

All of the reviews I found are great - but reviews don't talk back. So, if you see a D.O. family doctor - what are the pros? cons?

Also, I have a bit of a hidden agenda as well. DH has ALWAYS had back and hip issues, but each and every doctor basically says that he will either need surgery or its in his head. He saw a chiropractor for a little while and it helped, but now he's not wanting to go back. I wonder that since this is a doctor (not extra like a chiropractor) he would be more willing to return to them. I hate hate hate seeing him in pain all the time.

Dreamboat posted 3/4/2014 10:49 AM

My family doc is a DO. He is not anti-pill, he just makes use you need the meds before administering them. For example, several years ago DD cut her foot on a rusty can. I knew it did not need stitches but I also knew that she should probably get a tetanus shot. When I took her to the DO, he contacted her previous pediatrician (who we had not seen in years) and discovered that her previous tetanus shot was still good, so no shot for DD. On the other hand, when DD developed "tennis elbow", the DO gave her prescription strength naproxen.

DD does not like him because she says he asks too many questions and pokes and bends wherever she has an injury. I told him that is why I liked him

ETA: my point with the tetanus shot is that most other docs will just give you one, even if you tell them you just got one last year. This guy did not.

[This message edited by Dreamboat at 10:50 AM, March 4th (Tuesday)]

mainlyinpain posted 3/4/2014 11:04 AM

I have doctors in my family, both MD and DO, and I can tell you that the DO's are DO's because they could not get into an MD school. That being said, I still think they are fine doctors, whether or not they have a special skill or outlook that would heal you.....don't really think so. It's just always a good idea to go for second or third opinion if you have not gotten relief.

I have back issues also and some docs were ready to shoot me the juice but the better one advised to wait and see. He prescribed meloxicam, which I liked better than naproxen and physical therapy. Slowly but surely, learning new ways to do things and strengthening the muscles, tendon, and ligaments or whatever they are that support the spine is actually what helped I believe.

sad12008 posted 3/4/2014 11:10 AM

Our family doctor for the past 9 years was/is a D.O....and we LOVED him. Unfortunately for us, he closed his practice at the beginning of the new year, so we had to find a new doctor.

I've had very good experiences w/D.O.'s. Granted, anecdotal evidence, but I suffered with upper back pain for years and years, all through when I was in the military and a good 5 years thereafter. I saw a lot of doctors, and I was given a lot of prescriptions for Motrin 800s, Tramadol/Ultram, etc. as well as sundry exercises. It wasn't until my H's friend, a D.O., offered to see me on his lunch hour after hearing I'd had this history that I FINALLY got an empathetic ear and a diagnosis that made sense. I seriously teared UP because I had gotten so weary of various doctors giving me a dismissive vibe. Anyway, it was chronic myofascial pain, and I had the trigger points and so forth.

As I say, my experiences with D.O.s are anecdotal and statements I make are therefore vast generalizations; however, I have found them to be more empathic, a little more connected to the people inside the patient.

Did the chiro help your H? I started seeing a chiro in July for really bad chronic neck pain for which I'd seen a rheumatologist. It had gotten so bad it was interfering with my sleep and I was waking up about every 5th day with a full-blown stiff neck feeling. I felt like I needed to try something ELSE, because the doctor just kept wanting me to take more and more medication (neurontin, for example) and I didn't feel comfortable doing that w/o first exhausting all other options.

I am amazed at how much better my neck is!! I do wonder if I'll ever "graduate"; the skeptic side of me starts to feel like the Golden Goose, but the objective data remains that my neck is indeed better. My rheumatologist had told me that chiropractic adjustment on my neck might make me have a stroke. There is a little in the literature about this, but the meds come with their own risks. I decided I couldn't live in chronic pain forever without a fight.

Good luck to your H, chronic pain is miserable.

musiclovingmom posted 3/4/2014 11:21 AM

My ex SIL is a DO and it is NOT because she couldn't get into MD school. She chose to be a DO because it matched more closely her philosophy of medicine. The limited experiences I have had with her in a professional aspect have all been wonderful. She lives cross-country, so she isn't our family doctor. But, she is caring, listens and is definitely more concerned with finding root issues and overall health than she is with treating symptoms and sending you on your way.

Undefinabl3 posted 3/4/2014 11:54 AM

I have doctors in my family, both MD and DO, and I can tell you that the DO's are DO's because they could not get into an MD school

My ex SIL is a DO and it is NOT because she couldn't get into MD school. She chose to be a DO because it matched more closely her philosophy of medicine.

I was worried about the first, glad to hear that not all are MD left outs.

Did the chiro help your H?

It was amazing how much the Chiro helped, he also did acupuncture and that just added to the relief. I have begged, begged for DH to go back to get out of pain, but he feels we don't have the money for it. Last year, we did not, but this year we have our HSA and we can afford it now. I just wish that he would go.

Personally I want a doctor that is more in it to find WHY there is pain, rather then say 'ok look, pain, there's a pill for that"...which is really all we got from our last doctor.

tushnurse posted 3/4/2014 12:56 PM

I have doctors in my family, both MD and DO, and I can tell you that the DO's are DO's because they could not get into an MD school

Note this a gross generalization and untrue for the general population. The Med school associated with the University I went to was a DO program.

They take the exact same test as MD's do for licensure. They also have to do the same routine for training, med school, residency, internship, and fellowships.

The philosophy of DO is much more a holistic approach, and allows the DO to do more than just shove meds at an issue. I have worked with, and seen many DO's in my life. I have seen a Therapeutic Lymph draining for the Flu that essentially cured the kid overnight, I have seen ED manipulations to correct joint/spine issues that would have otherwise caused an overnight stay and possibly surgeries.

I Think DO's are pretty dang neat, and highly underrated, and if you have any orthopedic issues find an Orthopod that is a DO. AMAZING.

So Yah, I would go to a DO.

Lionne posted 3/4/2014 13:06 PM

The DO program in our area is also by choice not default, although many MDs in the area still look down on DOs as though they are inferior. I see both and much prefer the holistic treatment I get from my DO docs. I also get osteopathic manipulation from one for chronic pain and trigger point injections of a relatively benign substance, lidocaine and serapin. This has helped me far more than chiropractic did.

Dreamboat posted 3/4/2014 13:30 PM

Undefinabl3, One final note. I see an endocrinologist for my thyroid. My previous family doc (not the DO, my endo actually referred me to the DO) was not able to stabilize my meds and my TSH was all over the place. It turns out that she did not know that I should not take a multivitamin at the same time as synthroid because it interferes with the absorption and so she never told me not to do that. Not wonder my TSH was all over the place! Anyway, I would advise you to see an endo for your thyroid. They stay on top of the research and do dot diagnose based upon TSH alone. The range of "normal" changed about 10 years ago, but many family docs still go by the old range.

Undefinabl3 posted 3/4/2014 14:14 PM

Dream - you must be reading my Throid issues from somewheres....

I have another test in a few weeks. If it is still off, then my next step is an Endo. I am done with the roller coster.

Thank you everyone for your imput. It was most helpful!

tushnurse posted 3/4/2014 17:55 PM

Always see an Endo if you can't get your thyroid regulated easily. Some folks are much more difficult to regulate and thyroid too high or too low causes all kinds of issues.

Take care of yourself and don't hesitate to see an Endo.

Dreamboat posted 3/4/2014 19:30 PM

Even with my endo, it took a couple of years to stabilize my meds but I felt like I was finally making progress. Then the-thing-that-brought-us-all-here happened and my thyroid was all over the place again. Stress can really affect the thyroid (as well as many other conditions, especially autoimmune disorders). I have been stabilized again for several years.

If your Dr is trying to diagnose you based upon TSH only, then don't bother seeing him/her again. You need your your T3 and T4 tested on a fairly regular basis until you stabilize. Even though I am have been stabilized for quite a while, my TSH still varies greatly, but still within normal range. For some people that can be expected. My endo asks about how I feel before telling my TSH level. He also checks my T3 and T4 about once a year (he checked that much more often before I was stabilized though)

purplejacket4 posted 3/4/2014 21:05 PM

The students in DO (osteopathic) school follow the EXACT same curriculum as MD (allopathic) school except they also spend up to a THOUSAND extra hours learning all the musculoskeletal manipulations.

The average MCAT is lower for DO schools but that is only because of people's misplaced prejudices. DOs have a more holistic approach to medicine and treat the patient as a person including their cultural and spiritual needs. If I sound like a fan i am. I personally think i would have made a better DO as that is how I'm wired.

In out Family Medicine residency program (for MD or DO) we more heavily recruit DOs. They are gold.

tushnurse posted 3/5/2014 07:55 AM

HIgh Five PJ.

I thought you were a DO Yup you are wired like that.....

mainlyinpain posted 3/5/2014 18:42 PM

Sorry sorry if I insulted any OD's!
The OD (who was my son's doc), that I know did choose OD as a second choice over MD.

I did let my opinion be clouded by the fact that I have been bitter that this OD did not diagnose a spinal condition my son had as an adolescent until I basically had to diagnose it myself. Time was lost. He was just clueless and kept thinking I was saying he had scoliosis. Said all have some degree of curvature.....I WAS prejudiced and felt guilty that I had not been more proactive in finding another DR. When I finally did it was immediately diagnosed as Scheurmanns. In my guilt I felt that the DO thing played a factor. It did not. This particular doctor did, whether a DO or MD.
mea culpa

tushnurse posted 3/6/2014 08:09 AM

Mainly, don't feel bad. If your personal experience wasn't great then it wasn't great.

It's like the old joke:
You know what they call a Dr or Lawyer, or a Nurse, that graduates at the bottom of their class don't ya? Yup Dr, Lawyer, Nurse....Meaning there are good in bad in all these fields, and the bad ones are the ones that carry the rep more than not.

jjct posted 3/6/2014 09:52 AM

Both Andrew Taylor Still (Osteopathy) & D.D. Palmer (Chiropractic) knew about "Bonesetting", which has been around since 500 years before Christ...(basically, forever)
Genghis Khan had bonesetters in the back wagons to treat his injured troops.

In America, at the turn of the 1900's, John D. Reese (from Wales) practiced bonesetting in Youngstown, Ohio.
His client list?
Theodore Roosevelt
Will Rogers
Babe Ruth
Honus Wagner
Cy Young
Ty Cobb
Gene Tunney
Grover Cleveland Alexander
Christy Matthewson
George Halas (did you know he was a 2-sport athlete?).....
as well as the regular ironworkers & the families.
He would treat them all the same. He was well loved throughout the country.

The Medical doctors called him to task, in Columbus, where they set up a "test" for him. In limped a lady with a cane (whom they had tried to fix, and pronounced incurable). He fixed her.
He was given the title of "Doctor" by the Ohio State legislature - the only person in history to receive the title by legislative fiat.

At the end of his life, Bonesetter Reese blessed his 'enemies', saying that he had no resentment toward the MD's, as they were performing a useful "gatekeeping" function (given the plethora of snake oil salesmen of the time), and expressed that his greatest frustration lay with those who thought he was a 'miracle worker' - since he insisted; "There's a perfectly logical, anatomical reason for what I do and why it works."

Another famous bonesetter(s), was the Sweet family (also from Wales!).
Sir Herbert Barker was another.

It's a tragedy that many of the old techniques are lost...

There's a lady down here (D.OM.) who connects Thyroid issues to adrenal insufficiency caused by blood sugar problems...and has patients getting off of Tmeds when she gets the blood sugar managed.

Sorry I rambled. I like history...

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