dcsimg Osteopathic Medicine

Osteopathic Medicine

According to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, osteopathic medicine is a distinct form of medical practice in the United States. Osteopathic medicine provides 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. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention.

Osteopathic medicine was founded by Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO, in the late 1800s in Kirksville, Missouri. He 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.

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 simulated patients.

Osteopathic 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, including the military, and in all types of specialties, from family medicine to obstetrics, surgery, and aerospace medicine.

The 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.

Osteopathic Medicine Facts

  • 2013 Graduates: 4,726
  • 2013 Enrolled Students: 6,449
    An 11.1 percent increase over 2012 enrollment.
  • 2012 Licensed DOs in US: 82,500
  • Approximately 60 percent of practicing osteopathic physicians practice in the primary care specialties of family medicine, general internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology.
  • Many DOs fill a critical need for physicians by practicing in rural and other medically underserved communities.

DOs combine today's medical technology with their ears to listen caringly to their patients, with their eyes to see their patients as whole persons, and with their hands to diagnose and treat patients for injury and illness.

In addition, these physicians practice on the cutting edge of medicine. DOs are complete physicians, fully trained and licensed to prescribe medications and to perform surgery. Many DOs incorporate osteopathic manipulative medicine into the care they provide. With OMM, osteopathic physicians use their hands to diagnose illness and injury and encourage your body to heal itself. By combining all other appropriate medical options with OMM, DOs offer their patients the most comprehensive care available in medicine today.

Helpful links

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) was founded in 1898 to lend support and assistance to the nation's osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. The organization today represents the administration, faculty, and students of all of the osteopathic medical colleges in the United States, and is actively involved in all areas of osteopathic medical education.

American Osteopathic Association
Representing more than 70,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) around the world, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) serves as the professional family for all DOs and osteopathic medical students. In addition to serving as the primary certifying body for DOs, the AOA is the accrediting agency for all osteopathic medical colleges and healthcare facilities.

Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation
The American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) as the only accreditation agency for predoctoral osteopathic medical education in the United States.

Indiana Osteopathic Association
The Indiana Osteopathic Association (IOA) is the only organization dedicated to improving the health of all Hoosiers and to making Indiana the best possible place to practice osteopathic medicine.

 

* Information provided by AACOM and AOA

 

© 2012 Marian University
Notice of Nondiscrimination
Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the recruiting and selection of students for admission.