Trump’s osteopathic doctor Sean Conley’s willingness to withhold national security related information about president’s infection resurrects stigmas about DOs

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[A]s Dr. Sean Conley, [D.O.] issued public updates on his treatment of Trump’s COVID-19, the questions and the insults about his qualifications rolled in.

“How many times will Trump’s doctor, who is actually not an MD, have to change his statements?” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell tweeted.

The osteopathic medical field has had high-profile doctors before, good and bad. Dr. Murray Goldstein was the first D.O. to serve as a director of an institute at the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Ronald R. Blanck was the surgeon general of the U.S. Army.

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Still, with this latest example, Dr. Kevin Klauer, CEO of the American Osteopathic Association, said he’s heard from many fellow osteopathic physicians outraged that Conley — and by extension, they, too — are not considered real doctors.

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“You may or may not like that physician, but you don’t have the right to completely disqualify an entire profession,” Klauer said.

For years, doctors of osteopathic medicine have been growing in number alongside the better-known doctors of medicine, who are sometimes called allopathic doctors and use the M.D. after their names.

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Both types of physicians can prescribe medicine and treat patients in similar ways.

Although osteopathic doctors take a different licensing exam, the curriculum for their medical training — four years of osteopathic medical school — is converging with M.D. training as holistic and preventive medicine becomes more mainstream.

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