Osteopathic Medicine – What You Should Know
If you’re considering a career in osteopathic medicine, there are several things you should know. Osteopathic physicians are trained in the same fields as all other medical practitioners, but they also have additional 200 hours of osteopathic medical training. These additional hours of training include osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM), which is a hands-on approach to treating illness and disease. Choosing the right practitioner is important to your health.
In addition to manipulative techniques, osteopathic doctors view the body as an interrelated system rather than focusing on individual parts. One osteopathic obstetrician, Dr. Rebecca Levy-Gantt, uses her hands to evaluate patients’ lower-back muscle spasms during pregnancy. Osteopathic medicine often emphasizes preventative measures, including coaching patients to perform exercises. In addition to manual therapy, osteopathic doctors use holistic approaches to diagnosis and treat disease.
Osteopathic physicians (DOs) are licensed physicians who practice in all 50 states. They treat the entire body, including the mind, and focus on preventative health care and lifestyle changes. They are also trained to use advanced medical technologies and medications. Ultimately, osteopathic physicians are devoted to helping patients achieve optimal health. The DO philosophy is unique to the field and is practiced in every state. If you’re considering a career in osteopathic medicine, read on to find out more about what you should know about this growing field.
The American Osteopathic Association’s chief public policy officer, Dr. Atul Grover, credits the osteopathic boom to a need for additional medical training. From 1983 to 2000, no new M.D. schools opened in the U.S.; since 2006, fifteen have opened. In addition, osteopathic schools were overwhelmingly founded to produce primary care physicians. This synergy has helped osteopathic medical schools achieve legitimacy.
Osteopathic physicians fill an important need in underserved and rural areas. As a result, the profession is on the rise in the U.S. With an expected six percent growth in the next decade, the DO profession is poised for significant expansion in the near future. Approximately 135,000 DOs will practice in the U.S. by 2021, with about half of those physicians being women. Osteopathic physicians are licensed to practice in all 50 states and 65 countries abroad.
Osteopathic doctors use the hands to diagnose and treat patients. Osteopathic manipulative therapy is one of the primary forms of treatment and involves a combination of all other medical procedures. Ultimately, the goal of osteopathic manipulation is to restore your body’s natural tendency toward health. A doctor of osteopathy can treat a variety of health conditions, from bowel and breathing disorders to musculoskeletal injuries. The osteopathic method improves circulation of the blood and nerves throughout your body.
In order to become an osteopath, you must earn a bachelor’s degree, followed by four years of medical school. After graduation, you must complete an internship, where you will gain practical experience in primary care. DOs are typically trained as primary care physicians, though many pursue residency programs in specialty areas that require two to six additional years. It is important to note that you must be licensed as a DO if you wish to practice in the U.S.