In addition, yes, it wasn't just lip service we paid as a early profession to undeserved communities. Even now, just looking at where the DO schools are and where our residencies are shows a significant concentration outside of the big cities... where most MD schools are expected to show up.
While I support MD/DO as being entirely equal, and you are preaching to the choir, I am not so sure I buy the argument that DOs primarily serve underserved populations based on residency location.
Several of the DO residencies I am familiar with are actually suburbs. Wealthy ones at that. While not specifically in the "big city" were it not for the signs telling you that you were in a different city, you would never know.
I will concede I have seen more DO practices in rural America, but not on a very massive scale. Probably only 1.5-2.0 : 1
I would say I have seen the lagest DO concentraions in the suburbs. With the largest MD concentrations in major cities. I would argue that inner city populations are just as underserved as rural communities, and certainly suburbs are not in danger of underservice.
So while at one time DOs may have put their money where there mouth is, I don't find that compelling today.
But it doesn't mean I think any less of them.
But if you were to base your entire value on that and justify lesser qualifications for the same level of practice and billing as a physician on altruisitc reasons when the sole motivation was education cost/time:income ratio, then we would have a quarrel.