Letters to the Editor  |   January 2007
Osteopathic Degrees Overseas
Author Affiliations
  • Nirmalendu K. Pandeya, DO
    Des Moines (Iowa) University, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kirksville (Mo) College of Osteopathic Medicine of A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, BG (Retired), Iowa Air National Guard
    Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery (Retired)
Article Information
Medical Education / Neuromusculoskeletal Disorders / Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology / Graduate Medical Education / COMLEX-USA
Letters to the Editor   |   January 2007
Osteopathic Degrees Overseas
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, January 2007, Vol. 107, 6-7. doi:
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, January 2007, Vol. 107, 6-7. doi:
To the Editor:  
I have noticed the openness of expression in the letters published in the JAOA. It is very healthy and healing for all of us to ventilate and keep our minds open. 
I read with great interest the article titled “Recording the Rate of the Cranial Rhythmic Impulse” by Kenneth E. Nelson, DO, and colleagues,1 and I noticed that one of the authors has a DO degree from France. A few weeks later, I read a review of “A Manual of Systematic Eyelid Surgery,” by John Richard Olaf Collin, MA, MB, Bchir, FRCS, FRCOphth, DO, in a different publication.2 I am also a DO. Are all DOs created equal? 
Mr Collin is not in the osteopathic medical profession. His DO degree stands for “diploma in ophthalmology.” Incidentally, the title “Mister” for a member of the Royal College of Surgeons reflects the humble origins of the royal barbers who were called on to lance growths on royal bodies.3,4 
In the United Kingdom, DO also stands for “diploma in osteopathy.” 
Does the DO certificate from France also mean “diploma in osteopathy,” or does it mean “doctor of osteopathy”? Are the osteopaths in the United Kingdom and France required to complete the same premedical, medical, and graduate medical education as is required of osteopathic physicians in the United States? Are they licensed as physicians and surgeons in their respective countries? Are they given unrestricted medical and surgical privileges in their countries by hospitals and by the governmental agencies that register allopathic physicians? Has the American Osteopathic Assocoation (AOA) found the qualifications of these practitioners to be equal to those of DOs in the United States? Are they eligible to take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination USA and the United States Medical Licensing Examination? 
Incidentally, in the fall of 2006, I spent 2 weeks in Australia, where I talked with two individuals at the office of the Australian Osteopathic Association (Chatswood, New South Wales). Graduates of Australian programs in osteopathy are not recognized as physicians. They do not have medical or surgical practice rights. They can just do manual manipulation. I have heard AOA leaders state that US-trained osteopathic physicians are recognized in Australia. This perhaps should be restated as “recognized to do only manipulation.” When speaking of recognition by a foreign country, it should be clearly indicated whether the recognition is for full medical and surgical rights or limited to manual manipulation. 
Nelson KE, Sergueef N, Glonek T. Recording the rate of the cranial rhythmic impulse. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2006;106:337-341. Available at: Accessed January 11, 2006.
James H. Carraway, reviewer. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2006;118:553-554. Review of: Collin JRO. A Manual of Systematic Eyelid Surgery.
Ramsay MAE. John Snow, MD: anaesthetist to the Queen of England and pioneer epidemiologist. Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2006;19:24-28. Available at: Accessed January 11, 2006.
Dobson R. English surgeons may at last be about to become doctors. BMJ. 2005;330:1103. Available at: Accessed January 11, 2006.