October 12, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy
California Medical Association (CMA) President Peter N. Bretan, Jr., M.D., and Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California (OSPC) President Wadsworth H. Murad, D.O., issued the following joint statement today:
"As facts and science come under increasing attack, it is important for Californians to be able to distinguish science from pseudoscience.
While many Californians may not know the difference between an M.D. degree and a D.O. degree, allopathic (M.D.) and osteopathic (D.O) physicians are similarly educated, trained and regulated by state medical licensing boards. It is becoming increasingly common for Californians to be treated by osteopathic physicians. Roughly 25% of U.S. medical students train at osteopathic medical schools.
More than 150,000 D.O.s in the United States practice in all medical specialties. D.O.s are important providers of primary care, in particular. According to the American Medical Association, more than half of those with D.O. degrees practice in primary care specialties – family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics.
Given the current state of American politics, we run the risk of inherently apolitical matters becoming markers of division. Some things must transcend our political differences. In this charged political environment, we should not make the mistake of undermining or belittling the credentials of physicians with D.O. degrees. Both President Trump and Vice President Biden are treated by primary care physicians with D.O. degrees.
While people are free to form their own opinions about President Trump’s medical choices, doing so on the basis of his physician’s credentials is not only inaccurate, but undermines the public’s confidence in organized medicine and can have negative impacts on public health."