While watching the deposition footage of Dr. Charles Sophy, a celebrity doctor who makes TV appearances, it was astonishing to the author of this column that it took two whole minutes of footage just for the lawyer to establish that a DO is a medical doctor.
During the deposition, Dr. Sophy said he went to medical school, and the degree he obtained was a Doctor of Osteopathy. The lawyer deposing him seemed to think that a DO is some kind of witch doctor. He actually told Dr. Sophy that he thought osteopathy was “massages and acupuncture, and stuff like that, and it’s hocus pocus.” Because the author of this column assumed it’s common knowledge that a DO is a medical doctor, that led her to search the internet to see if there were more people who have no clue that Dr. Sophy is a medical doctor. The results were astonishing.
Over on Vitals.com, there is a page for Dr. Sophy containing comments that complain about the fact that he is a DO (like he is not really a medical doctor). One comment is from March 2010, and it calls into question his qualifications. The comment states in part:
“Dr Charles Sophy is not an MD but a DO, Doctor of OSteopathy. His Board Certifications are that of Osteopathic Boards, Not Medical Boards. While he is seeing private patients he is administrating Medical Care?”
Another comment from Sept. 2014 states similar concerns. Part of the comment reads:
“…How does a Doctor of Osteopathy get hired to deal with the mental health issues of our most vulnerable children…His Board Certifications are that of Osteopathic Boards, Not Medical Boards. This man is a fraud and DCFS continues to keep him employed.”
It isn’t difficult to find other website that have brought up mistrust of Dr. Sophy’s credentials because he has a DO instead of an MD. One blog called “Psych Watch” created a post called Paris Hilton’s Psychiatrist Doctor is not an MD, and it mentions a long ago Radar Online article criticizing that “a D.O. is considered by many M.D.s to be the fake Rolex of the medical profession.”
However, on the American Osteopathic Association’s website, a clear explanation of what a DO is can be found in there “What is a DO?” section. In an attempt to alleviate fears about DOs practicing medicine, the following is the explanation given on the website:
“If you’re like most people, you’ve been going to physicians ever since you were born, but you’re unaware that some or all of them could have been osteopathic physicians, also known as DOs. You may not even be aware that there are two types of complete physicians in the United States—DOs and MDs.
The fact is that both DOs and MDs are fully qualified physicians licensed to prescribe medication and perform surgery.”