What is Osteopathic Medicine?

Osteopathic physicians believe there’s more to good health than the absence of pain or disease. Learn more about the DO difference, A whole-person approach to hands-on care.

What is osteopathic medicine?

A distinct branch of medicine in the U.S., osteopathic medicine emphasizes the interrelated unity of all systems in the body, each working with the other to heal in times of illness.

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, are fully licensed physicians who practice their unique whole-person approach in every medical specialty. DOs look beyond your symptoms to understand how lifestyle and environmental factors impact your wellbeing and complete extensive postgraduate and clinical training before becoming fully licensed physicians. Compare physician training requirements to those required for other types of clinicians.

DOs practice medicine according to the latest science and technology, but also consider options to complement pharmaceuticals and surgery. Osteopathic medicine is one of the fastest-growing health care professions in the country, with one out of every four medical students enrolled in an osteopathic medical school. Over the past decade, the profession has experienced a 68% increase in the total number of DOs.

The profession has a long history of providing care where patients lack doctors. Following this trend, more than 50% of active DOs practice in the primary care specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics.

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine use a unique whole-person approach to help prevent illness and injury.

What is Doctor steopathic Medicine?

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, are fully licensed physicians who practice in all areas of medicine. Emphasizing a whole-person approach to treatment and care, DOs are trained to listen and partner with their patients to help them get healthy and stay well.

While primary care remains a strong focus for the osteopathic profession, DOs practice in all medical specialties. During medical school, they receive special training in the musculoskeletal system, your body’s interconnected system of nerves, muscles, and bones. By combining this knowledge with the latest advances in medical technology, they offer patients the most comprehensive care available in medicine.

More than 121,000 DOs are practicing their distinct philosophy of medicine throughout the U.S. today. With approximately 25% of medical students enrolled in colleges of osteopathic medicine, the profession is one of the fastest-growing segments of health care.

Osteopathic physicians focus on prevention, tuning into how a patient’s lifestyle and environment can impact their wellbeing. DOs strive to help you be truly healthy in mind, body, and spirit—not just free of symptoms.

What is Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment?

Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, or OMT, is a set of hands-on techniques used by osteopathic physicians (DOs) to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury. Using OMT, a DO moves a patient’s muscles and joints using techniques that include stretching, gentle pressure, and resistance.

As part of their education, DOs receive special training in the musculoskeletal system, the body’s intricate system of muscles, nerves, and bones. This advanced training provides DOs with a keen understanding of how the body’s systems are interconnected and how each one affects the others.

When appropriate, OMT can complement, and even replace, drugs or surgery. In this way, DOs bring an important dimension to standard medical care.

Benefits of OMT

OMT can help people of all ages and backgrounds. The treatment can be used to ease pain, promote healing and increase overall mobility. Although often used to treat muscle pain, the treatment can also help patients with several other health problems such as:

  • Asthma
  • Sinus disorders
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Migraines
  • Menstrual pain

Through OMT, physicians manually apply a specific amount of pressure to different regions in the body. These techniques can help:

  • Treat structural and tissue abnormalities
  • Relieve joint restriction and misalignment
  • Restore muscle and tissue balance
  • Promote the overall movement of blood flow throughout the body

OMT for pain relief

Just as there are multiple types of chronic pain, there are a wide variety of treatment options, from medication to hands-on techniques like OMT, which has been clinically proven to provide pain relief for low back pain.

“One of the unique differentiators of osteopathic is OMT, which is proven to be effective in treating low back pain,” says Jennifer Caudle, DO, an assistant professor of family medicine at the Rowan University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, New Jersey. “Clinical studies have shown OMT to be an effective alternative or complement to medication and other therapies.”

u003cstrongu003eWhat is osteopathic medicine?u003c/strongu003e

Osteopathic medicine is a distinct branch of medical practice in the United States. The osteopathic philosophy of medicine sees an interrelated unity in all systems of the body, with each working with the other to heal in times of illness.u003cbru003eDoctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, are fully licensed physicians who practice in every medical specialty. DOs practice a whole-person approach to medicine, focused on looking beyond your symptoms to understand how lifestyle and environmental factors impact your wellbeing.u003cbru003eThe profession is one of the fastest-growing segments in health care today, with one out of every four medical students enrolled in an osteopathic medical school.

u003cstrongu003eHow are DOs educated and trained?u003c/strongu003e

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, complete four years of osteopathic medical school, with an emphasis on preventive medicine and comprehensive patient care.u003cbru003eThey are trained to recognize the interrelated unity among all systems of the body, each working with the other to promote overall health and wellness.u003cbru003eUpon graduating from medical school, DOs complete internships, residencies, and fellowships. This training lasts three to eight years and prepares them to become licensed and board-certified.

u003cstrongu003eHow are DOs licensed and certified?u003c/strongu003e

Like all physicians in the U.S., Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, are licensed to practice medicine by licensing boards in each state. Requirements vary by state.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eTypically, u003cstrongu003elicensureu003c/strongu003e requires successful completion of a medical licensing exam administered by the state licensing board or acceptance of a certificate issued by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners upon completion of a rigorous series of exams.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThe u003ca href=u0022http://www.fsmb.org/u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003eFederation of State Medical Boardsu003c/au003e provides a directory of state licensing boards that can be contacted for information regarding physician licensure.u003cbru003eDOs earn u003cstrongu003eboard certificationu003c/strongu003e when they achieve expertise in a medical specialty or subspecialty by meeting the requirements of a specialty certifying board. Physicians in the U.S. can become board certified through the American Osteopathic Association or the American Board of Medical Specialties. The board certification process involves a combination of written, practical and simulator-based tests.

**Question: What is‍ Osteopathic Medicine?**


Osteopathic medicine is a distinctive holistic approach to patient care that emphasizes the interconnectedness of the body’s systems. Osteopathic physicians (DOs)‌ are fully licensed and board-certified physicians who have received additional training in osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT).

**Key Elements of Osteopathic Medicine:**

* **Emphasizes‌ the ⁤Body’s​ Ability to Heal Itself:** DOs believe ‌that the body has an​ innate ability to self-regulate and heal when given the proper support.

* **Focuses on Prevention:** Osteopathy emphasizes proactive health maintenance by promoting healthy lifestyle choices and addressing minor health issues before they become major problems.

* **Treats the Whole Person:** DOs consider the patient’s physical, emotional, and social well-being to develop comprehensive treatment plans.

**Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT):**

OMT is a distinctive aspect of osteopathic medicine that uses hands-on techniques to manipulate the body’s musculoskeletal system. DOs use OMT to:

* Relieve pain

* Improve range​ of motion

* Enhance circulation

* Address functional disorders

* ⁤Promote overall well-being

**Benefits of Osteopathic Medicine:**

* **Improved Musculoskeletal ⁢Health:** OMT can ⁤help alleviate pain, improve flexibility, and reduce the risk of ⁢musculoskeletal injuries and disorders.

* **Enhanced Physical and Emotional Health:** By addressing the body’s interconnectedness, osteopathy can promote overall‍ well-being, reduce‌ stress, and improve⁢ sleep‍ quality.

* **Personalized Care:** DOs take a holistic ‍approach to treatment, considering‌ each patient’s individual needs and circumstances.

**Is⁢ Osteopathic Medicine ​Right for You?**

Osteopathic medicine can ⁤benefit individuals of all⁣ ages and health conditions. If⁣ you’re seeking‍ a comprehensive and holistic approach to ⁤health care, a DO may be a good choice for you.

**Additional Keywords:**

*‍ Holistic health

* Patient-centered ​care

* Preventative medicine

* Musculoskeletal system

* Osteopathic physicians

One comment

  1. Osteopathic medicine is a holistic approach to patient care that emphasizes the importance of the musculoskeletal system in overall health

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