Last fall, NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine Assistant Professor Brookshield Laurent, D.O., a family medicine physician, was among the physicians featured in the American Osteopathic Association's (AOA) new advertising campaign, Doctors that DO.
An advertisement with Laurent's image has run in national media outlets, including Essence, O! Magazine, People, Parents, and Women's Health. She is also currently featured on a billboard in Indianapolis. Laurent spoke with The Box about the experience.
How were you selected for the campaign?
The American Osteopathic Association launched a branding campaign to bring national awareness to the great work and distinction of the osteopathic medical profession. I have been involved with the AOA through my engagements in our national conferences, including the Osteopathic Medical Conference and Exposition.
How does it feel to (literally) be a poster child for the D.O. profession?
To be selected as one of the representatives of the profession is humbling and an honor. The campaign features a diverse group representing various ages, specialties, and regions. I have a hard time identifying myself as being a poster child for the D.O. profession because I stand on the shoulders of hundreds of thousands of D.O.s who have forged the way for osteopathic physicians like me. Those who have gone before me have educated physicians in training, delivered great care, and tirelessly advocated for the profession so that I may practice medicine.
What do you hope people take away from the campaign?
The osteopathic profession was established centuries ago, yet many people remain unaware of osteopathic medicine. A D.O. is one of two types of fully licensed physicians in the United States; the other type is an allopathic physician or M.D. The education and training for both are rigorous and similar, but the D.O. distinction is in our philosophy of care. D.O.s go beyond the symptoms, taking a whole-person approach and helping our patients get healthy and stay well. We are trained to perform osteopathic manipulative techniques by which we use our hands to diagnose and treat many illnesses. D.O.s practice and are certified in every medical specialty, and use the latest science and technology.
What are your top three tips for people seeking to improve their health?
1. Make it a priority! As we go through different life stages, we may be challenged to care for our well-being. People generally have an idea about how to make healthier decisions; they just may need a few guided steps. I've found the biggest barrier is failing to understand the importance of making wellness a priority. We may have plans for the future, but our plans matter little if we are not well.
2. Prevention is greater than a cure. By the time you have symptoms, we may have missed out on opportunities to maximize your health but it's not too late. Talk to your doctor about the preventive exams and screening tests that are specifically recommended based on your age, sex, and personal and family histories.
3. Collaboration is key. We live in an age where we are overwhelmed and inundated with information that's easily misapplied. Have a discussion with your doctor about concerns and knowledge you have acquired about medical topics before making any decisions about your health. Your doctor can guide you toward credible resources in your path for health and wellness.