It all started with an American Osteopathic Association book listing

the status of DOs in other countries.

Scanning the list, then-COMP student Amine Zein noticed that under

Lebanon, there was no information.Upon further investigation and some

phone calls, Zein discovered the Lebanese Health Ministry simply didn’t

know about osteopathic medicine.

That was all the motivation Zein needed.

Now a DO and chief resident in internal medicine at Garden City

Hospital in Garden City, Mich., Dr. Zein, DO ’01, has the honor of being

the first osteopathic physician to gain certification as a physician in

Lebanon.

“”It was a personal challenge,”” said Zein, who was born in Lebanon

and immigrated to the United States in 1988. “”It frustrated me that in

England, for example, DOs are basically chiropractors and can’t practice

as physicians. We go through rigorous training and to not be acknowledged

in certain countries is tough.””

Zein took a month off between his internship and residency in July

2002 to travel to Lebanon in order to take the certification boards,

known as the Colloquium. The Colloquium, which includes both written and

oral examinations, is administered twice a year. According to Zein, it

has a passing rate of approximately 25 to 30 percent. Zein passed on his

first attempt.

Zein, who speaks Arabic, said he was required to explain the

philosophy and basic tenets of osteopathic medicine to Lebanese medical

professionals. He admits he was not optimistic initially but was later

happily surprised.

“”The panel didn’t have any knowledge about DOs,”” he said. “”They

wanted transcripts, the catalog, and full documentation so they could

make a comparison. They didn’t see a difference, ultimately. They were

reasonable enough to realize that it’s the same. That was exciting.””

Since becoming certified, Zein said two other DOs have followed and

also obtained certification.

“”I hope it will make it easier to practice in the region,”” Zein

said. “”If other people want to go, they can point to me. Who knows, maybe

we’ll open a DO school there. Why not?””

Zein said he would do it again — and may seek out certifications in

other countries. His wife is of Moroccan background and to the best of

his knowledge, they don’t have DOs.