Explore the “awesome” world of osteopathic medicine

January 28, 2014 —

We know you have to take many things posted on the Internet with a grain (or a large bag) of salt, but a recent post on the BuzzFeed Community by a user self-titled “Ninjacowboy” was spot-on in describing the facts and benefits of osteopathic medicine. It’s a simplified, straightforward list of key aspects, including the following, of what Ninjacowboy calls “this unique (and totally awesome) world”:

DMU's osteopathic medical students learn to apply osteopathic manual treatments to help patients heal and feel and perform better.

DMU’s osteopathic medical students learn to apply osteopathic manual treatment to help patients heal and feel and perform better.

  • Osteopathic medicine was founded in the late 19th century by A.T. Still, D.O., who “integrated healthy eating and proper body alignment with surgery and medications” to achieve holistic health.
  • Osteopathic physicians earn the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree rather than the M.D. degree of their allopathic brethren. D.O.s practice in all specialties of medicine and surgery.
  • D.O.s are a rapidly growing subset of physicians who have the same unlimited practice rights as M.D.s in all 50 states and 44 countries.
  • In addition to completing the same classes and training requirements as M.D.s, osteopathic physicians learn osteopathic principles and ways to use their hands to align the musculoskeletal system of the body. This osteopathic manual training enables D.O.s to use a well-developed sense of touch to help diagnose and treat patients.

Not sure you want to take the word of a BuzzFeed user? Then take it from us: The DMU website describes the differences and similarities between D.O.s and M.D.s and defines osteopathic manual medicine (OMM). The American Osteopathic Association website is another good source of information on this beneficial, unique and patient-focused approach in effective health care.


Endlessly curious and easily entertained, Barb Dietrich Boose loves being a member of the friendly, fascinating DMU community and its creative communications team. The University's publications director and DMU Magazine editor, Barb is always on the hunt for story ideas, good books and new recipes to try out on her family, such as her surprisingly tasty pork-and-bean bars.

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