You recently responded to an objection from a representative of the American Osteopathic Association to your previous policy of not acknowledging osteopathic physicians with the title of "Dr." on second reference (Dec. 6, 1993, p. 36).
In explaining why you are changing your policy to include the title, you widen your misunderstanding of the osteopathic practice of medicine. Specifically, you explain, "because osteopathic physicians are providing primary care and their role as such providers may increase under healthcare reform, MODERN HEALTHCARE will routinely refer to them as `Dr.' on second reference in the future."
Certainly, the title to be given a physician has nothing to do with national healthcare reform, primary care or anything but the individual's training and licensure. In this state and all others with which I'm familiar, osteopathic and allopathic (M.D.) physicians are considered equivalent medical professionals and are always referred to as doctors or physicians.
Here at Crittenton Hospital, osteopathic and allopathic physicians practice in harmony in all departments of the medical staff. Members of either branch of medicine wouldn't agree with the distinction MODERN HEALTHCARE appears to make between them.
GORDON T. RIDLEY
President and chief executive officer