The Osteopathic Oath

Check this out. What you will see is a riff by an osteopathic PCP on the difference between the osteopathic oath that she took and the Hippocratic oath taken by allopathic physicians. Got me to thinking. In the early days of my involvement with studying the psychology of physicians, I thought about Osteopaths as oddballs. Sort of a cross between an MD and a Chiropractor. As this doctor indicates in the “elevator speech” that begins her post, the 200 hours of training that DO’s receive in “manipulation” sort of threw me off in that direction. BUT. Over the years, I have seen the distinction between MD’s and DO’s break down. I started to see DO’s popping up in various medical specialties, like surgery, that are about as far from Chiropractic as you could possibly get.

BUT. When you look at this doctor’s elevator speech, compare the two oaths and look at the big picture, there are still differences. Osteopathy seems some how more holistic. More community oriented. More prone to believe in the human body’s ability to heal itself with some help, rather than to see the human body as an organism to be treated by an all-powerful physician.

A humorous aside. Decades ago, I was out in the field conducting depth interviews in support of one of my client’s upcoming launches of an NSAID. I had 10 members of the product team with me in Chicago that day, and we all showed up at the one-way mirror research facility at 7AM for the first interview. In came the first doctor, who was listed on the schedule as an Orthopedist. As the doctor began his introductory comments, he announced that he was in fact an Osteopath specializing in urology. Whoops.  End of interview. My clients and I were royally ticked, especially at that hour of the morning. When I approached the manager of the facility to discuss the faux pas, her response was a classic. “Orthopedist, Osteopath, same difference.” Wow!

Bottom Line. All kidding aside, I am wondering what pharmaceutical companies know about the Osteopath in 2018, and how she differs from the allopathic physician. I’m thinking a little Mindset Marketing ResearchSM might be called for here!

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