Editor's Note .

Alternative medicine

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Osteopaths and their outrage.

Johnny Sampson

The osteopathic community is pissed. We haven't outraged an entire profession this much since a theater critic writing about a stage version of The Little Mermaid discussed how hard it is "to float around looking like you're swimming when you're just attached by cords to the ceiling and some guy in the wings is yanking your cords up and down while he's eating a bagel or whatever." That prompted an outcry from stagehands across the country enraged by the insinuation that they eat bagels while working. This time, the outrage arises from our piece on serial killer Linda Hazzard, aka "the Starvation Killer," who "didn't have a medical degree, but she was an osteopath," Lester Black wrote. Someone wrote in about Lester "denigrating osteopaths" and vaguely threatened "possible legal issues" on behalf of all osteopaths everywhere. To clarify: Osteopaths combine alternative medicine with traditional science, and while they are not MDs (doctors of medicine), they are DOs (doctors of osteopathic medicine). We will concede the point that it is a kind of medical degree. They are not not doctors. The important point was that Hazzard was a quack, and terrifying, okay? No need to get out of joint over this.