Posts Tagged ‘Osteopathic Medicine’

Basic Facts About Osteopathic Medicine

December 27, 2012

In the United States today, approximately 63,000 osteopathic physicians practice medicine alongside allopathic physicians, or those who hold a Doctor of Medicine (MD). Although we comprise less than 10 percent of the nation’s doctors, fully licensed osteopathic physicians have completed the required medical training for licensure in addition to extensive instruction in musculoskeletal manipulation. Here, I provide some basic facts about osteopathic medicine that I hope will offer further insight into my profession.

Osteopathic medicine approaches diagnosis and treatment from a holistic perspective, which emphasizes the importance of prevention and the benefits of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). While osteopathic physicians use OMT as appropriate, these techniques augment traditional medical therapies such as surgery, rehabilitation, and pharmacotherapy.

– Currently, 26 osteopathic medical schools in the United States award the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). Osteopathic physicians complete the same general medical training as their allopathic counterparts. Typically four years in length, osteopathic programs qualify graduates for advanced medical education and require applicants to complete the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), as well as certain undergraduate prerequisites.

– Osteopathic medical school graduates often complete a yearlong rotating internship after earning their degrees. Then, like MDs, they enter residency programs for postgraduate medical training. To become licensed physicians, DOs must pass the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam, the osteopathic equivalent of the United State Medical Licensing Examination for MDs.

– Although the majority of DOs become primary care physicians, osteopathic doctors can enter any medical specialty. In order to become certified in 1 of the 18 specialties approved by the American Osteopathic Association, physicians usually complete additional advanced training before passing a final examination to achieve Board certification.

About the author: A graduate of Albion College and the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Richard Reut completed his medical training at Chicago Osteopathic Medical Centers, Cook County Hospital, and Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center. He lives and works in Minnesota.