O.D.s, RCP, T-groins And Casinos

Bob Jones
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Wednesday - October 03, 2007
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An osteopathic doctor manipulating a patient's spine
An osteopathic doctor manipulating a patient’s spine

My wife broke her kneecap in half. She went to the hospital. Her regular physician was on vacation so she was sent to another.

It turned out he had O.D. attached after his name, doctor of osteopathy, rather than M.D., doctor of medicine. He (inappropriately, as the hospital came to admit) prescribed a knee immobilizer instead of the hard cast that an orthopedic surgeon decided was needed.

I wondered how it was that an osteopathic physician might be occupying the office in which I think most of us expect to find an M.D.

It’s been an education for me - leery of alternative forms of medical practice. There are 126 medical schools in the U.S. teaching allopathic (treatment by conventional means) medicine and awarding an M.D. degree; 20 teaching osteopathic (manipulation of the bones, joints and muscles) medicine, and awarding an O.D.

The AMA says “a doctor of osteopathic medicine is a physician licensed to perform surgery and prescribe medication. Like an M.D., an osteopathic physician completes four years of medical school and can choose to practice in any specialty of medicine. However, osteopathic physicians receive an additional 300 to 500 hours in the study of hands-on manual [my emphasis] medicine and the body’s musculoskeletal system.”

The osteopaths organization defines the O.D.‘s job as “to set the body to heal itself. To do so, the osteopathic physician gently applies a precise amount of force to promote healthy movement of tissues, eliminate abnormal movements, and release compressed bones and joints.”

My main concern is that O.D.s subscribe to some medical theories I find to be without medical foundation. One is cranial therapy, or putting hand pressure on the skull to influence brain tolerance of pain or alignment of forces in your body. The other is called “visceral manipulation” - pressing on the intestines and other body organs to put your bodily house in order.

But, hey, what works for you is OK with me. Therein lies the crux of this column.

When I go to my health-care provider I expect to be seen and treated by an M.D. That’s my need, and I think more people than not expect that when they go to a hospital. True, the state of Hawaii does not differentiate between an M.D. and an O.D.

But I do, and I bet many of you do, too.

So if I ran a hospital, I’d ask the patient up front if he wants an M.D. or an O.D. or has no preference.

I don’t mean to disrespect O.D.s practicing what appears to be perfectly OK medicine (that cranial and visceral stuff excluded), but we patients should give informed consent.

If your hospital shuffles you off to an O.D. without telling you, you haven’t had a choice.


three star

Surprisingly, to me, the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) is still active here, and still as clueless as it was in the ‘70s when it was most visible in the Waiahole Valley land dispute and supported the communism of East Germany, the Soviet Union and China.

Every Saturday morning a couple of young women distribute the party paper, Revolution, for $1 at the KCC Farmers Market. The local headquarters is at 2626 S. King St.

The current cause is to “Free The Jena 6.” Those are six black youths charged in the intent-to-kill beating of a white youth in Jena, La. Blacks were upset because somebody hung a noose from a schoolyard tree that’s a gathering place mostly - but not exclusively - for white students. They were right to be upset. Lynching carries deep memories in Louisiana.

But justice is supposed to be color blind. So what would be the justice in doing what the RCP demands - dropping all charges against the six blacks just because blacks were mistreated in the past or these were responding to the noose incident?

The RCP remains alive but clueless and irrelevant.


three star

We should hope the Corps of Engineers says a loud no to the Kyo-Ya Hotel and Resorts application to put three T-groins out into the water off the Sheraton Waikiki to save the beach sand.

Wave action and sand movement cannot be channeled without affecting adjacent beach areas. Making sand stay one place means making sand leave another. Adjusting wave action just moves the stress down the beach.

So when this one comes to a hearing, yell your lungs out.


three star

The governor of Massachusetts has proposed three resort casinos for his state. He says they’d help pay for road and bridge repair and lower property taxes.

Gov. Deval Patrick says “casino gambling is neither a cure-all nor the end of civilization.”

Kansas has decided to OK four resort casinos. Connecticut now has two of the most successful casinos in America.

As I wrote when Singapore decided last month to give casino gambling a try, is anybody in Hawaii listening?

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