Osteopathic medicine is a distinctive 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 education, injury prevention and disease prevention.

Osteopathic physicians, also known as D.O.s, 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 erase barriers to good health. D.O.s 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.

D.O.s 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 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.

Because of this whole-person approach to medicine, approximately 60 percent of all D.O.s choose to practice in the primary care disciplines of family practice, general internal medicine and pediatrics. Approximately 40 percent of all D.O.s go on to specialize in a wide range of practice areas.

In 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 influence the body’s structure to help it function more efficiently.

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 the person to health.

Related Sites

Osteopathic Association

Sections include information of interest to the general public;
information of interest to professionals in the field; has database of
practitioners in U.S. and Canada, etc.

School of Osteopathy

Details on the school registry, clinic and library services, etc.
The site has explanation of what Osteopathy is, related sites, etc.

OsteoMed II

A clinic that combines the utilization of all three medical disciplines,
i.e. complementary, traditional and preventative medicine. Has numerous links,

last update: February 2009

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