Doctors of Osteopathic medicine are frontline physicians just as family practice or internal medicine physicians. 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.
DOs 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 today.
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.
There are over 125,000 Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine practicing medicine in the United States today. One in four students in medical school today attends a osteopathic medical school.
Osteopathy is a system of philosophy of health care hat separated from traditional (allopathic) medical practice about a century ago. It places emphasis on the musculosketetal system. Osteo refers to bone and path refers to disease (pathology). Osteopaths believe strongly in the power of the body to regenerate or return to homeostasis. Osteopathy shares many of the same goals as traditional medicine, but places greater emphasis of the relationship between the organs and the musculosketetal system. They believe in treating the whole person, body, mind and spirit, rather than treating the disease.
Dr. Viola Fryman, a pioneer in the medical field of osteopathy who passed away in 2016 states to the first graduating class of osteopaths in 1982, “Osteopathy is the law of the mind, matter and motion. It is the scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology in the hands of a person of intelligence and skill who can apply the knowledge to the use of man when sick or wounded by strains, shocks, falls or mechanical derangement or injury of any kind.”
Osteopathy is a total system of health care. But the definition means more today than it did in 1982 because the knowledge of the human body, its functions and its behavior have also grown.