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BEST schools for osteopathic principles & OMT?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by Stillfocused, Mar 4, 2002.

  1. Stillfocused

    Stillfocused Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 25, 2001
    As I have learned more about osteopathic philosophy, principles and practice, I have grown increasingly interested in applying exclusively to D.O. schools.

    I know that all the schools are required to teach the same minimum hours of OPP and OMT. However, it seems to me that schools vary in how well they integrate OPP throughout their curriculums. This includes both basic science and clinical rotations.

    Moreover, the quality of OMM departments also varies.

    So far, I have concluded that the schools that are best at integrating OPP and teaching OMT are:


    Followed by:


    It seems that these schools are OK at integrating OPP and teaching OMT:


    OPP and OMT seem more removed for the rest of the curriculum at these schools despite strong rotations:


    These schools rotations are so bad that they cannot effectively integrate OPP, despite having some good OMT teachers:


    I do not know enough about OPP/OMT at these schools to have an opinion:


    What do you think??????????????????????????????
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  3. migraineboy

    migraineboy Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 22, 2001
    Although I feel that my school (DMU) has many shortcomings elsewhere, I can honestly say that I would put the OMM knowledge and skills that I gained at DMU up against any student from any other school in the country. As far as using OMM on rotations, I used many techniques daily during 4 months of FP rotations and some during IM rotations. Often you will find that time, not willingness of your attendings or your school, limits how often you can utilize OMM in the real world.
  4. attie

    attie Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 29, 2001
    i am a second year student at UNECOM. i would have to agree that our school is very good at integrating osteopathic principles and OMT into the rest of the curriculum. for each system we have lectures on OMT and they were always linking back in the basic sciences. almost all of our lecturers including the MD types understand what the osteopathic principles are and can answer questions along those lines.

    there is also a hearty debate going on with some basic science faculty and the OMT department about research and evidence based medicine as it relates to osteopathic medicine. interesting stuff.
  5. vietcongs

    vietcongs Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 10, 2000
    kansas city, mo, usa
    I agree with migraineboy, DMU does have great OMM teachers and an awesome OMM program. DMU students are strongly encouraged to use OMM in their practice and on rotations. I believe that DMU has one of the best if not the best OMM dept in the nation (KCOM is up there too).
  6. Test Boy

    Test Boy Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 1999
    KCOM, by far.
  7. aecuenca

    aecuenca Senior Member 15+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 1999
    San Diego, CA USA

    Just curious as to what kind of criteria are you judging these schools from?

    In my opinion, the OMM department here at COMP does a decent job of integrating OMM into the basic sciences curriculum.

    However, as far as rotations, we are required to do 1 OMM rotation in our blocks, and there are many opportunities to utilize the OMM w/ patients if that is what you would like to focus some of your rotations on.

    Granted there are some in my class that don't utiliize the OMM they are taught, but those that do are just as good as the students at the schools that you point to as the best. It's not necessarily the school that makes your OMM better; it's the individual's drive and motivation.

    I also believe that we have a very strong OMM department. But then again, that is just my opinion. :)

    Western U/COMP
  8. Stillfocused

    Stillfocused Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 25, 2001
    I am not trying to bash either COMP or DMU.

    Enough of that has gone on here.

    I know that each school has some excellent OMT teachers.
    It just seems to me that because their rotation sites are relatively limited, there is not as much opportunity to practice OPP/OMT in multiple, diverse settings.

    I do think that quality of one's education is not solely the responsibility of the student. It is not just what the student makes of his or her time. It is also dependent on curriculum, instruction, support and practice settings.

    If I am really criticizing any of the schools, look at where I placed PCOM and CCOM.

    Are the most endowed, prestigious schools with the best clinical rotations failing their osteopathic mission?

    Are they ultimately more allopathic than osteopathic?????
  9. macman

    macman Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Ok- what are your criteria and sources? How do you rate these OPP/OMM programs? If you are going by board scores I believe UNECOM, NYCOM, and DMU are all consistently near the top, other schools may deserve to be here as well (I'm sure KCOM does well here too). As a DMU student, I hear we are top three, year in, year out-but I admitedly have not seen the numbers.
    As far as methods of comparison, if I understand correctly, you are pre-med. I think board scores are nice but mean less in terms of ability to help patients than motor skills and didactic OPP/OMM knowledge that intergrates a working knowledge of anatomy, not necessarily knowing a certain strain/counterstrain tenderpoint. I have attended many national meetings and find that the way we learn OMM here at DMU (and I'm sure some other programs) we have a great ability to use OMT, and right away. Some schools may teach a lot, but a lot of esoteric stuff. I have communicated a lot with student leaders from all the schools about their programs.
    I wanted a strong OMM program, and when I asked around as a pre-med, everyone said DMU. I have also heard good things about UNECOM. I'm sure other programs are great too. I would respectfully disagree with your ranking of us, and I would encourage you to visit DMU and see our fantastic OMM program for yourself.

  10. macman

    macman Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    After re-reading your post-I see you are focused on rotations-that is a intersting subject-That is actually changing for DO 05 here at DMU. Also-I would caution you to not confuse structure with quality-we have some great core hospital affiliations-they just aren't our own hospital. I know as a pre-med that it is unsettling to see a program that is not totally self-sufficient, but that also creates some unique opportunities. Wouldn't it be nice to preview the hospital in whereever state before you put all your eggs in one basket and do a fall 4th year rotation there?

    BTW-I'm happy to discuss any aspects of DMU with you
  11. Mayqswet

    Mayqswet Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 9, 1999
    As an MS-2 at AZCOM, I can say that I'm quite happy with my training here. With that said, OMM is what you put into it. I practice a minimum 4 to 5 hr a week outside of our OMM lecture/lab and have steadily built my skill level.

    I attended the AAO convocation at Va Beach last weekend and was very impressed with Dr. Stiles' approach to teaching OMM at Pikesville. He starts out with patterning and finding the key lesion. Only when students have gotten a good handle on that do they learn how to fix the problems. Teaching this way has the potential to keep more students fired up about OMM because their treatments will be more on target from the beginning (and hence, more sucessful).

    No matter what your school does/doen't offer, form a study/practice group and put your hands on as many people as you can. OMM rocks! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />

    AZCOM 2004
  12. bustinbooty

    bustinbooty Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 11, 2001
    Detroit, MI
    KCOM= Most hours devoted to OTM

    Whether we are the BEST or not, who knows....I've not experienced other programs.
    WE definitely spend the most time on it though.
  13. sean

    sean Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 11, 1999
    San Francisco
    I am interested to know how many hours KCOM spends on OMM? I just visited TUCOM and they seem to favor OMM heavily. In addition to class hours they have a club that meets most days for clinic hours and also their professor teaches extra Sunday morning class at his home.
  14. biz

    biz Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    MO for now
    At KCOM we have just over 200 hours of OMM in the first 2 years.
  15. jhug

    jhug 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 11, 2001
    Valley o' the sun
    tough someone else said- i'd go with quality not quantity. 200 hours of flipping each other with towels won't get you very far (used only as an extreme example-not what i think of kcom) The only way to really know the answer would be to attend each school and decide for yourself.
  16. Mr. happy clown guy

    Mr. happy clown guy Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 30, 2001
    Are you following me?
    Instead of basing your opinions on SUBJECTIVE information and some none existent bench mark of bout looking at the Osteopathic Principals portions on the COMLEX!? That is OBJECTIVE MEASURMENT AS CREATED BY THE NBOME! Each school most likely will have that information.
    Total hours is certainly no guarantee of quality, nor is the "integration" principle. Without objective measurment, this topic is pure heresay!
  17. bones

    bones Osteopathic Physician Physician 10+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2002
    This is an interesting thread. My only experience is with the programs at KCOM and PCOM. PCOM has a good OMM lab, but very limited faculty and integration. Dr. Crow is quite good, however. I don't know how much the students get to see of what he has to offer though.

    As a KCOM student, the first year we are bombarded by techniques. Tons of in-lab hours (a good thing?- we actually do have some complaints by the students). We have moderate integration with anatomy and "the complete DO" doctoring course, but the integration is more a matter of timing than true integrative teaching (i.e. we learn arm anatomy as we learn arm OTM techniques, then move on to leg anatomy and leg techniques). we cover all of anatomy and otm in such a manner over the course of the first year (in excruciating detail).

    Second year for us is pretty much all clinical training, and I understand that this is where we learn most of our skills that distinguish KCOM students (apparently there are many opportunities for hours of 1x1 training with the docs).

    The #1 strength of KCOM is its OMM faculty. We have 8 full-time faculty and 6 residents (as well as fellows) that help teach the labs.
    Several of the faculty are FAAO's (fellows of the academy)- some of the very best at OMM anywhere.
    what hit this home was at convocation, where we heard many a DO school talking about how wonderful it was to have had this or that doc from our school teach a seminar there. Its strange to think that the docs we see every day are celebrities elsewhere.

    anyway, I can't really compare to other schools, but I'm satisfied with the OMM at KCOM. The curriculum could always stand improvement, and I don't know how we fare on OMM boards - but I understand that where it counts- in the skills, we come out in very good standings relative to the other schools.
  18. doughboy

    doughboy Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2001
    It's all about how much individual committment you have and how enthusiastic you are about learning and developing your OMM skills. Every school is going to have people who like it and people who don't. Each school has devoted OMM faculty that would shower you with OMM attention if you told them how much you want to learn the techniques. I can't see how a great faculty or a great lab makes you better at OMM. Even if you have to put in so many hours. Bottomline is the same as it is in everything anyone does....its how much you put into it is going to be how much you get out of it. Also, if you don't keep practicing it, you forget it.
  19. PhillyGirl

    PhillyGirl Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 28, 2000
    Hi all...

    Since Bones is the only person to mention PCOM so far, I as an MS-I at PCOM must step in. First of all Stillfocused's understanding that OMT isn't integrated into our curriculum is off-base. It's so integrated that we, the students, are asking them to back off a little. We are learning our OMT in conjugation with our systems in our clinical classes. For example, we are in CardioVasc Med 1 right now and are learning OMT techniques about lymphatics, thorax (structural and visceral), etc. We also take our written OMT exam at the same time as our other classes, so in the middle of thinking about EKG's, we have to think about the tenderpoints associated with MI's. So, it is very integrated. Also we are required to do 2 (I think) rotations in OMT during our 3rd and 4th years, so we don't "lose" our skills or learning curve while on rotations.

    Bones mentioned that Dr. Crow is really good. Actually, he's amazing. Anyone that was at Convocation last weekend had the opportunity to interact with him and missed out if they didn't. As far as on campus goes, Dr. Crow and all of the faculty are fully interactive in our labs. And, they highly encourage us to come over and shadow them as much as possible. And, just to mention, the rest of our instructors are pretty amazing, too. 4 of them are FAAO, all of them know their stuff, 2 of them are from a family of Osteopathic Physicians and grew up learning this stuff. That alone says something about their knowledge. There are also always fellows and third or fourth year students in our labs, too. Basically, if you need someone to give you some one on one time in lab, they are there ready to help. Just something to keep in mind.

    I admit that I don't know that much about the programs at any other schools aside from what you learn during interviews. I am not bashing any other programs, I just want to stick up for the OMT curriculum at PCOM for once (since no one else ever seems to do it). I believe that we are involved in piloting/creating the Practical portion of the COMLEX. We were also recently informed that our 4th year students just rocked the boards, so (to quote one of our instructors) "We must be doing something right".

    All in all, I will say this. Any school has the resources available for all of it's students to learn OMT to the degree required by the powers that be and to the extent that they wish. Some people learn more, some learn less, just like any other class.

    So, I hope to meet you all in Ottawa March 20-23 next year!


    Hey Bones - did you go out for Sushi while at Convo? If so, I think we met... :)
  20. DrQuinn

    DrQuinn My name is Neo Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 6, 2000
    Third year at NSUCOM (almost a fourth year, wow)... I was reading the Journal of the AOA (I think that was the title... I get so many journals in the mail its hard to keep track) and it had a poll of all the schools and their alumni... if they use OMM, how much they use it, etc...

    I think Ohio was #1, KCOM #2... I cant' remember teh exact numbers...
  21. bones

    bones Osteopathic Physician Physician 10+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2002
    hey phillygirl,

    I was at convocation but I didn't make it out to sushi (unfortunately) :( musta been someone else you're thinking of- though I would have LOVED to tag along (in kirksville people don't even know what sushi is!!!).

    Didn't mean to sound like I was ragging on PCOM. PCOM has a very good reputation in philly (among the MD-dominated medical culture no less- many an MD there gave PCOM their approval) -so you guys are obviously doing a good many things right.
    the OTM hearsay I spoke came from 3rd and 4th year PCOM students, my interview there, and alum. My only info was that OTM wasn't the priority there, but that the school was very strong otherwise- but since they aren't going through the current PCOM basic science program, and neither am I, I say listen to philly girl on the matter. :)

    regarding the other post, I agree that personal dedication is everything when it comes to learning OMM. If you are looking into family med or another field and want to use a little OMM in your practice, whether your teacher is decent or the best of the best at what they do may not make a huge difference. If you're one of the few that is considering specialization however, then having truly skilled mentors makes ALL the difference. If you have a much higher bar to shoot for, your growth is in leaps and bounds rather than methodic steps.

    Thats not to say that it must all come from your undergrad medical school. You can be an excellent OMM specialist out of any school (even an MD school- remember Dr. Still was an MD!). You can do so by entering extra manipulation courses (i.e. cranial academy), attending convocation, and finding great mentors for rotations and residency that incorporate OMM.

    in all honesty though, if I thought the integrative teaching of OMM in the first 2 years of med school wasn't important, I'd have applied to MD schools and studied OMM on the side, maybe doing a OMM residency after I got the MD. For me, the whole point of going DO was for the OMM education, and for that I thought Kville was the best (though uh, I could have asked for more from the LOCATION...). ahem. sacrifices... I made the judgement call based on tons of info, but all of it subjective, and I haven't changed my mind after being here. Of course, that doesn't really mean a pile of rat poo to you folks. everyone has their own formula of what constitutes "good" or "best"... find whats good for you!

    just my 2cents.

    <img border="0" alt="[Pity]" title="" src="graemlins/pity.gif" /> sorry for the long post. must be that I'm procrastinating... got a freakin micro quiz tomorrow.

    KCOM 05
  22. Texas_Sam

    Texas_Sam Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2000
    NYC, NY
    NYCOM and OMM:

    I think that NYCOM does a really good job of preparing students to use OMM. We run through diagnosis, myofascial release, muscle energy, FPR, counter strain, lymphatic pump, HVLA for cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and pelvis followed by a little rib raising and rib HVLA during year one.

    The second year is spent on the extremities and cranial manip. Personally, I think the students would be much better off spending more time running through clinical cases and focusing on how to apply the skills learned in the first year through clinical cases. But that's simply an opinion. The fact is NYCOM does outstanding on the OMM section of the boards Dowling, McCarty, and the rest of the crew know what they are doing.

    Oh! Dowling also gives a ton of digital animation lectures that help solidify musculoskeletal mechanics. These also review the anatomy that is so quickly forgotten during the first year. These lectures can be tedious but are available on the web. Reviewing them from the web is an invaluable resource (for me, anyway).

    NYCOM also has an extremely strong family practice curriculum. In a perfect world, I would like to see a better marriage between the two departments. As is, they are fairly separate although I think Dowling had some input on a few of the clinical case studies.

    During the third year, the student?s experience varies based on which rotations the student ends up with.

    Fourth year is also variable. The administration is considering making a mandatory fourth year rotation in OMM (6 wks of nothing but OMM). I?m not sure that this is the best idea though. It?s propagation of the same non-integration issues that are so clearly evident to most students at NYCOM. One of NYCOM?s current fourth year strengths is a Hospital based OMM rotation elective. In this rotation students are able to see how OMM may be applied in a hospital setting. They are afforded the opportunity to see how techniques can be adapted and twisted to accommodate bed bound patients, how pelvic manipulations can help ease the stress and strain put on the pelvic diaphragm and bone structure during child birth, how rib raising may ease the work load on patients suffering from COPD or patients that have been intubated for extended periods of time? and the list goes on?. Kind of like this post. It seems like NYCOM rarely gives the outside world a view inside so I was attempting to be complete. Hope this helps.
  23. Stillfocused

    Stillfocused Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 25, 2001
    Thanks everyone. This is a excellent thread.

    Would a CCOM student weigh in? I know about the 4th year rotation and I know that Dr. Kappler has a great rep and that he has the NEMJ pub. I also I know that Dr. Nelson is great and that he has the THM research program.

    But, what about integration of OMM/OPP at CCOM.

    Also, could a UNECOM student talk about OMM/OPP integration there? From my understanding, they do an almost ideal job with this, especially with family practice rotations.

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