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
“”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
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
“”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.