medicine is a distinct form of medical practice in the United States, providing
all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery,
and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also
offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system
of therapy known as Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, which emphasizes on
helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health
promotion and disease prevention.
medicine was founded in the late 1800s in Kirksville, Missouri, by a medical
doctor who recognized that the medical practices of the day often caused more
harm than good. He focused on developing a system of medical care that would
promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself and called this system of
medicine osteopathy, now known as osteopathic medicine.
physicians, also known as DOs, work in partnership with their patients. They
consider the impact that lifestyle and community have on the health of each
individual, and they work to break down barriers to good health. DOs are
licensed to practice the full scope of medicine in all 50 states. They practice
in all types of environments, and in all types of specialties
DOs are trained to look at the
whole person from their first days of medical school, which means they see each
person as more than just a collection of organ systems and body parts that may
become injured or diseased. This holistic approach to patient care means that
osteopathic medical students learn how to integrate the patient into the health
care process as a partner. They are trained to communicate with people from
diverse backgrounds, and they get the opportunity to practice these skills in
their classrooms and learning laboratories, frequently with standardized and
osteopathic medical profession has a proud heritage of producing primary care
practitioners. In fact, the mission statements of the majority of osteopathic
medical schools state plainly that their purpose is the production of primary
care physicians. Osteopathic medical tradition preaches that a strong
foundation in primary care makes one a better physician, regardless of what
specialty they may eventually practice.
addition to studying all of the typical subjects you would expect student
physicians to master, osteopathic medical students take approximately 200
additional hours of training in the art of osteopathic manipulative medicine.
This system of hands-on techniques helps alleviate pain, restores motion,
supports the body’s natural functions and influences the body’s structure to
help it function more efficiently.
One key concept osteopathic
medical students learn is that structure influences function. Thus, if there is
a problem in one part of the body’s structure, function in that area, and
possibly in other areas, may be affected.
Another integral tenet of osteopathic medicine is the body’s innate ability to
heal itself. Many of osteopathic medicine’s manipulative techniques are aimed
at reducing or eliminating the impediments to proper structure and function so
the self-healing mechanism can assume its role in restoring a person to health.