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The premise of osteopathic medicine is that people are more than just the sum of their body parts. That’s why doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O.s) practice a holistic approach to medicine.Instead of just treating specific symptoms, osteopathic physicians concentrate on understanding how all body systems are interconnected and how each one affects the others. They focus special attention on the musculoskeletal system, which reflects and influences the condition of all other body systems.This system of bones and muscles makes up about two-thirds of the body’s mass, and a routine part of the osteopathic patient examination is a careful evaluation of these important structures. D.O.s know that the body’s structure plays a critical role in its ability to function. They use their eyes and hands to identify structural problems and to support the body’s natural tendency toward health and self-healing.Doctors of osteopathic medicine help patients develop attitudes and lifestyles that don’t just fight illness, but help prevent it. Millions of Americans prefer this concerned and compassionate care and have made D.O.s their doctors for life.
Osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) and allopathic physicians (M.D.s) are the only two medical practitioners considered “complete physicians,” with full training and licensure to prescribe medications and perform surgery.
Osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) have treated U.S. presidents and Olympic athletes, contributed to the fight against AIDS and the civil rights movement, and often serve on national health-care panels.
The osteopathic philosophy embraces the idea of the unity of structure (anatomy) and function (physiology). Discover the principles of osteopathic medicine, read the osteopathic oath, the KCUMB osteopathic medical student oath and the AOA Code of Ethics.
Learn more about the founder of osteopathic medicine, Andrew Taylor Still, M.D., D.O.
More than 20 percent of all medical students currently studying in the United States are earning their degrees from a college of osteopathic medicine.
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