Osteopathic physician's letter dodged the big issues

To the editor:

In his Wednesday letter to the editor, Mitchell Forman, D.O., didn't answer the question posed by the unbiased, extremely relevant March 29 column by Jane Ann Morrison: Why doesn't Nevada join 37 other states in creating a single licensing board for physicians?

Ms. Morrison's questions to Larry Tarno, D.O., made it very clear that the Nevada Board of Osteopathic Medicine has virtually no oversight; Dr. Tarno runs a one man show to oversee approximately 500 D.O.'s; he has no staff, no funds, and a fuzzy record of accountability. I challenge Dr. Forman to a public debate on the issue.

Dr. Forman mentions himself and two other physicians as being well-trained and equal to any M.D. in their designated field of medicine. By his own statements, he and the other two had allopathic (M.D.) postgraduate residencies. All D.O.'s don't take allopathic residencies, and not all M.D. residencies will take those of D.O.'s; for example, neurosurgical residencies.

While the first two years at Touro University Nevada's School of Osteopathic Medicine may look like the University of Nevada School of Medicine's curricula, I would challenge his medical students to take the first part of the national board exams (which M.D. students are required to take by most allopathic schools -- osteopathic students don't need to take national or state board exams in Nevada). Dr. Forman knows darn well that the second two years (usually referred to as clinical teaching years) are very thin for D.O. students.

Let me repeat a quote from a very astute educator: "The quality of individual graduates depends on how bright they are, how hard they work and what training they get after graduation. Those who diligently apply themselves can emerge as competent." I applaud those D.O.'s who opt for allopathic (M.D.) postgraduate specialty training.

We have some very well-trained D.O.s in the Las Vegas Valley, and I'm sure they would have no problem functioning under a single board. It's time all those wishing to be licensed as a medical physician in the state of Nevada answer to a single set of rules and regulations.

Incidentally, one independent D.O. anesthesiologist has admitted to unsafe practices involving the multiple use of single-dose vials amid the recent hepatitis revelations. What is Dr. Tarno (as the Nevada Board of Osteopathic Medicine's judge and jury) doing about that?

Leonard Kreisler, M.D.