The next step in DO and MD getting along?

Umm, this seems like it’s going to suffer from split-focus when they go recruiting, but maybe someone out there knows of an instance where this has been tried before?

Star-Telegram.comThe University of North Texas Health Science Center is considering a plan to offer M.D. degrees, in addition to the osteopathic program that it historically has provided to physicians-in-training.

University President Scott Ransom this week notified students and faculty that the Fort Worth medical school will do a "complete evaluation of various proposals" to create the MD program.

The science center’s Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine now offers a D.O. degree, with most graduates going on to practice primary care such as general internal medicine and pediatrics.

In his message to students, Ransom said the university is contemplating the addition of the MD degree in order to expand training opportunities and recruit a total class of 250 medical students.

I don’t get it.  Be a proud DO school, be a new allopathic school, but make a choice.  (I think this is a start on a change from DO to MD school, but that’s just a guess and based on nothing whatsoever).


  1. Concerned TCOM Student,

    You are Right.

    “The osteopathic profession appears dead-set on killing TCOM.”
    The actions of the AOA and TOMA are different when claiming they hope to secure and support the TCOM.

    You are right that these AOA and TOMA personnel are provincial,stubborn,lacking ingenuity, and dogmatic in “blocking state support for the Rural Osteopathic Medical Education Program that would have helped support students interested in practicing in rural parts of Texas.” You are right that you would have benefited from scholarship money if it weren’t for the obstinence of these cheap suits at the TOMA and AOA.
    You are right that “TOMA and the AOA are attempting to kill the accreditation of TCOM.” You are right that this “AOA is looking to block accreditation due to the talk of the MD degree on campus.” You are right that this osteopathic profession will never try to “stop trying to commit suicide.” TCOM leaders do not want to protect and improve TCOM.

    Yes, it is a perfect storm. TCOM leaders do “want a MD school” and should have one. TCOM will not be closed if the UNT and the AMA step in helping grant the MD school and degree. Then the AMA and government funding will come in for research and all the medical students’ rotations. It’s fine if the AOA and TOMA destroy the osteopathic school in Texas, the MD school will thrive.

    You are Right “Concerned TCOM student” and you should continue to be very concerned….. Pray for the initiation of an MD school at UNT, “Concerned TCOM Student”, and pray for possible degree change from “DO” to “MD” or “MD,DO” at UNT (TCOM) and the degree change to be followed suit around the Nation.

  2. Concerned TCOM Student says:

    I recently completed a surgical rotation with a group of MD General Surgeons in Fort Worth that were recently made faculty at TCOM. This was the highest quality group of physicians that I have had the opportunity to work with during my third year. They were passionate, caring, great teachers, and amazing surgeons. Why shouldn’t TCOM students have the opportunity to work with these great doctors? One of my classmates was required to rotate with a TCOM DO surgeon and the experience was horrid and non-beneficial. The surgeon had poor volume, more concerned with getting home than caring for patients, and not a quality person. While I am sure that there are some excellent DO surgeons, I was so impressed by my experience with this Harvard trained surgeon that it turned my head to fully support the MD degree on campus. It appears that an MD degree on campus will expand the clincial opportunities for both DO and MD students which will have a dramatic and positive impact on my education. I have also heard that the surgery rotation at JPS is excellent and exclusively with MD surgeons.

    I did enjoy working with my rural family practice DO for a month; however, TCOM must work with these excellent MDs to create outstanding opportunities for TCOM students. Why are these older DOs scared of letting MDs train on our campus?

    I only applied to TCOM and am happy with my choice. My doctor was a DO and convinced me only to apply to TCOM. I had a 29 on my MCAT and probably could have gotten accepted to a MD school. Now that I have worked with a few MDs, I just don’t get the paranoid attitude of TOMA and the AOA.

    It is clear to me that these osteopathic leaders only care about their own jobs, and osteopathic pride (whatever that is), and certainly do not care about my education. Why would TOMA and the AOA challenge accreditation at the nation’s top osteopathic school with the best COMLEX scores? They should start focusing on quality and close a few schools that are diplomat mills. TCOM is great and getting better as MDs become TCOM teachers.

    Sorry for the rant. TOMA leaders have been misleading my classmates over the past few months on this MD issue. Frankly, TOMA should just disappear and leave us alone. I know that the majority of my classmates are tired of hearing of the paranoid presentations of Dr. Troutman and his TOMA gang. TOMA has proven to me and most of my classmates that they are simple-minded and unprofessional. I plan to stay in Texas and will not ever become a TOMA member, but plan to become a member of TMA. TMA seems interested in improving the quality of care and actually help physicians with real issues like tort reform.

    Concerned Student

  3. GruntDoc,
    What’s your thoughts on DOs converting their degrees to MDs? Don’t you think this should happen? Why? Because of the increasing encroachment and rise of the NP to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and PA to Doctor of Physician Assistant. To stay ahead against these rising mid-levels, shouldn’t DOs and MDs unite as 1 group – MDs – to stay ahead of these mid-levels?

  4. What’s the status on TCOM? Has there been any updates on adding the MD medical school alongside the DO medical school?

  5. MD’s employed at the university out number the DO’s employed in the clinical practice. The clinical practice has an MD as it’s president. There are clinical departments that have MD’s as chairs even though the accreditation body requires DOs be heads of departments. There is at least one department head that doesn’t practice medicine at the university at all.

    It looks like the switch to an MD school has already started.

  6. Fact Lady says:

    Updates regarding the consideration of adding an MD school to the academic programs at the UNT Health Science Center is found on the Study Group website. If the MD College is added, it will be the fifth college and tenth degree program on campus. The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicinee just received full accreditation with no issues or problems outlined in the report. TCOM does have both MD and DO chairs to support the education, clinical and research goals of the institution. The TCOM accreditation body only requires that Departments of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine are led by DOs.

  7. Fact Lady,Drone, and GruntDoc,

    Here are the results:


    Update – Nov. 20, 2009

    UNT Board of Regents approves next step in conferring MD degree

    The University of North Texas System Board of Regents today voted to move forward in its intent to offer an MD degree at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. This second medical degree would be separate from and in addition to the DO degree which currently is conferred through the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) at the UNT Health Science Center.

    The decision follows a year of research into pursuing the option of conferring a second degree. The next steps in the process include securing preliminary funding, establishing a business plan for the new school, ensuring commitments to TCOM and confirming relationships with area hospitals for student rotations and instruction.

    Great decision. I hope though in the future the “DO” degree will be amended to “MD,DO.”

  8. Domd… PLEASE quit referencing a DO,MD degree. The only way you can obtain a dual degree is to go through both programs. PERIOD. You are wrong. There is at least one physician that has earned both medical degrees, and many more that hold dual doctorates.

    I can see both sides of the argument, and really don’t have a strong opinion about which side of the fence this falls on. The way this has all come about is what is interesting.

    Poor management and lack of foresight is responsible for TCOM being in the rotation bind they are in today. TCOM leaders should have reached out to other hospitals BEFORE OMCT closed, instead of isolating themselves on the west side of town. Most other areas of the country do not have as divided medical community as we do here. I would hope that each major hospital in our area could look beyond the degree type, and do what is best for the physicians that will be providing care for our community, or someone else’s community. A physician license, is a physician license.

    There is little reason to pick a side now, the UNTHSC President is going to make this a reality at any cost. This is just another accomplishment to add to his CV. His interests are his own and not those of the citizens of Fort Worth or future medical students. What will be interesting is to see how many students will enroll in a MD program at a historically DO school after he’s taken a job elsewhere.

  9. Drone,
    I am sure most premed students applying, if given the choice, will choose to matriculate into the MD program, rather then the DO program. Why Drone? Both medical degrees will be equal, ofcourse,but the MD degree is far more known to the public and appreciated, so ergo, the MD preference choice matriculation.
    Drone, in the future, I differ with you concerning the degree. With more then over 1/2 the DOs matriculating and graduating from MD residencies and thus less forthcoming AOA financial support, you may see more DOs trying to have the DO degree changed to MD,DO. I hope we both live long enough to see this happen and then, Drone, I will have proved you wrong.

  10. But until that happens, you’re wrong. LOL We will most likely see the end of the DO program before a combined degree. Similar to the MPH and PA programs, the MD program will be a separate school. It’s own faculty, infrastructure and most likely a brand new building. If a MD program does outshine the DO, the current administration wouldn’t bat an eye at dumping the program that doesn’t produce. After all it isn’t about healthcare, it’s about the egos of self important men.

    I can’t say if the university actually receives funds from the AOA, but they are AOA accredited. If they pull accreditation, that’s a whole different story. Whatever osteopathic based financial support the university might lose, I’m sure the Amon Carter foundation and other fat cats would match it if it means bringing MD to FW.

  11. Touché, Drone, Touché.

  12. Drone and GruntDoc,
    It appears that UMHS (University of Medicine and Health Sciences) , a St. Kitts Carribean medical school, and KCUMB (Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences), a U.S. osteopathic medical school, may both try to offer a duo MD,DO degree. Change is occurring, unexpectedly and awkwardly, but it is inevitable. Your thoughts: the eminent Drone and the prestigious GruntDoc?

  13. The GruntDoc and Drone,
    You no longer contribute to this blog or the other blogs concerning this issue. I have been patiently waiting. How dissappointing.

  14. The Theatre of the Absurd in the Realm of Existentialism.

    Not much to report on the MD/DO debate, nothing has been said in months.

  15. Drone,
    Again, touché, Drone, touché. Drone, when will the archaic DO degree be changed to MD or MD,DO? Will it ever f–king happen?? I fear I will die before it happens and no one will know I was ever a true medical doctor (except for the patients I treated, but they also sometimes said “what’s a DO?” and “can I see a real medical doctor now?” Sad, Drone, sad. :-(
    Thanks for your input Drone.

  16. Fact Lady says:

    UNT Health Science Center is moving forward with the MD degree program. They have signed contracts with hospitals for clinical rotations that will create the MD program but will also improve TCOM. I heard UNT has already raised $30 million for the new school. The new degree program will help TCOM and will help Fort Worth. The debate is over. The few DOs left that are opposed should see the light of day and get on board and stop their insecurity.

  17. I personally would rather see the millions spent to start the process of the MD school go towards helping the homeless, children’s cancer research, or some other worthy cause.

    UNTHSC is in bed with the Amon Carter Foundation for the MD school, so getting the money is probably not an issue.

    Changing state law to be able to issue an MD degree, and gaining accreditation are still issues that will drag this issue out even longer.

    And no, fact lady, UNTHSC is not accredited to grant MD degrees.

  18. Fact Lady says:

    UNT Health Science Center was just ranked 19th for primary care, 11th for family medicine, 15th for geriatric medicine, and 22nd for rural medicine by US News. It appears that UNT will be moving forward with the MD degree program as it has now raised over 40 million dollars for the new program. University officials have not highlighted this funding success because they hope to raise over 60 million before it goes public. There are very powerful supporters for the new MD school at UNT and the Fort worth elite are ready to act. Opponents should look for a new cause and avoid the public embarrassment. Fort Worth wants to keep a strong TCOM and also needs this medical school and all know it. This is a win win for everyone concerned especially Texas taxpayers and general public.

  19. GruntDoc, Fact Lady, and Drone,
    UNTHSC is now accredited to grant MD degrees alongside the DO brethren. UNTHSC is now matriculating allopathic medical students alongside osteopathic medical students. Wouldn’t it just be easier to grant all an MD degree? Time to change the archaic DO degree to modern times with the MD degree, correct?