The Value of Osteopathic Medicine
Why Osteopathic Medicine?
Americans are taking control of their own health care, and increasingly searching out
professionals who practice a whole person approach to medicine. Hence, Osteopathic medicine is one
of fastest growing health professions in the U.S.
D.O.s emphasize prevention as a
means of achieving overall good health. They understand the importance of maintaining a healthy
D.O.s use the "whole patient" approach in treating patients.
Rather than just treating a specific illness, D.O.s learn to consider the patient's diet,
exercise habits, physical and emotional stresses, genetics, life history, environment and
occupation and its possible affects to overall well-being.
In addition to the typical
scientific and clinical training given at M.D. schools, D.O. students are also trained in the area
of manipulative medicine, a hands-on technique for the diagnosis and treatment of patients. D.O.s
are able to manipulate the musculoskeletal system (structure and/or tissue) to allow the body's own
healing elements to work against the ailment(s). Such techniques have been used in treating
allergies, sprains and strains, to labor pain for expectant mothers.
There are over
40,000 D.O.s in practice in the United States today, managing 100 million patient visits per year,
with 10,000 students pursuing a degree in osteopathic medicine. The American Osteopathic Association expects
the number of D.O.s will double in next two decades.
Training for D.Os. is rigorous,
with four years of science and clinical training. A majority of D.O.s currently receive their
training through M.D. residency programs. D.O.s must pass a state medical board licensing
examination in order to practice in that state.
Osteopaths practice within every field
of medicine, including family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology,
surgery, emergency medicine, anesthesiology, orthopedics, aerospace medicine and geriatrics. Over
half of D.O.s are family doctors.