Interview with Dr. Joseph Mercola
If you enjoy what you read here at the Kitchen Table, feel free to stop by and subscribe to Mercola.com as we both are fighting the same cause: disease prevention through a whole food diet and lifestyle. It is one of my greatest honors to bring to the Kitchen Table Osteopathic Physician, Dr. Joseph Mercola:
What is an Osteopathic Physician?
A D.O., or an osteopathic physician, is in many ways similar to an M.D. A D.O. completes four years of medical school after college, and completes three to eight year residency programs in the specialty they choose. D.O.’s are fully trained and qualified physicians who are licensed to prescribe medication and perform surgery in every state in the U.S.
Philosophically, D.O.’s differ from M.D.’s in that they have more of an emphasis on holistic approaches, and recognize the importance of musculoskeletal alignment and balance to health. In addition to identical two years of basic medical science, they also learn skeletal adjustments, similar to chiropractors.
On a practical level, the drug companies have effectively penetrated the profession, just as they have the M.D.’s, so in reality there are not many differences between the two.
The only practical difference I have observed is that there is typically a difference in the selection process of students that are accepted into the school, as they tend to focus on qualities other than academic credentials that would result in caring and compassionate physicians.
So while the treatment recommendation from D.O.’s and M.D.’s will be very similar, it has been my experience that a higher percentage of people will enjoy their interaction with an osteopathic physician.
How do Osteopaths address and treat symptoms?
Since I really don’t perceive a practical difference on the therapies that are recommended by an M.D. or D.O., I typically advise patients seeking a natural medicine physician to go several health food stores in their area, and ask for the best medical doctor they know, as the people that work in the stores typically have a fairly good sense of who the best local physicians are.
There are too many variables to give a broad recommendation. In my experience most of the important ones are related to personality characteristics rather than actually knowledge.
In your opinion How do Osteopaths differ from Naturopaths?
Firstly, there are two types of naturopaths:
- Those that receive training in an accredited four year medical college and, like D.O.’s, have full license to practice medicine in a few states (unfortunately there are not many states that provide them these practicing privileges.)
- Those who attend a correspondence school.
Unfortunately they are both given the same degree, even though there is typically a vast difference in the level of expertise between the two.
ND’s from either training can be outstanding, but if you were looking at it from a probability perspective there is a far higher percentage that an ND trained at a four year college would be superior.
However, even with the four year trained NDs, they are very weak on post graduate training and most of them tend to begin practice immediately after their four years of training. There are very few that complete residency training programs.
Most D.O.’s have an additional 3 to 8 years of post graduate residency training. This does not necessarily make them better physicians, but D.O.’s do have more formal clinical training.
What are your favorite tips for disease prevention?
1. Optimize your vitamin D levels, ideally from appropriate sun exposure.
2. Address your emotional traumas.
3. Eat the right fats.
4. Eat plenty of raw food.
5. Control your insulin and leptin levels.
For more information about Dr. Mercola or to set up an appointment, visit www.Mercola.com
Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table, and many thanks to Dr. Mercola for taking the time to continue to inspire me.
Dr. Nicole Sundene