Distinctiveness ?

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Nov 19, 2001
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According to several surveys (Eckberg, 1987, Fry, 1997, Howell, 1999, Johnson et al, 1997, 2001) there is a marked decline in the use of OMM in practice, as well as the attitude towards it. According to the AOA factsheet, there is a decrease of 11.96% in those board certified as specialists in OMM between 1990 and 2000. The present number of DO's specialized in OMM, according to their factsheet, is 0.85%. This seem to be the trend since 1954, though being more prominent since the 1980s.

Based on these facts, I am interested in knowing the students attitude towards it and osteopathic medicine in general. therefor, I would like to ask some questions, and I hope as many of you as possible would take the time to answer. I know that your time is precious, and I am grateful for a response.

1. What's in a name ? Do you prefer osteopathy or
osteopathic medicine ? Why ?

2. What is the distinctiveness / uniqueness of
osteopathic medicine ?

3. How do you consider, and what is your attitude
towards OMM ?

4. If osteopathy has become the functional
equivalent of allopathy, what is the
justification of its existence ?

5. What is your perception of osteopathy ?

I know most of these has been a topic on this forum before, and I hope for many replies. I will, if you allow me, use the answers to reflect the students attitude of osteopathic medicine in an 'essay' I am working on.

Greetings from the northern part of Norway,


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OMM is an important modality that has long been underused in this country. Anyone who has ever been to a manipulation class can tell you that it works. Now we need to get it in our offices and in front of our patients, insyead of forcing them to go to chiropractors. Part of that is being addressed by the AOA- we need more osteopathic residencies so that OMM can be practiced a refined as we continue post-grad schooling. I am hoping that as I continue with my classes, more opportunities will come forward where I can use OMM.

1.Osteopathic Medicine is important to say instead of osteopathy. It allows others to understand our capabilities with out us having to explain or justify ourselves.
2. The uniqueness of osteopathic medicine is (was) in the approach to the patient as well as manipulation. I believe that this existed in the past, however as times change the MD's are along the same lines. (Any MD will tell you they want to treat the whole person, and they do.)
3. Most manipulations are good tools to use. Most work and work well. The main problem is that money is time and it takes time to manipulate. Also, insurance companies are not reimbursing very well (if at all) for OMM.
4. Tough question to answer. I believe that they will eventually find a middle ground between to two philosophies and then there will really be no difference.
5. It looks good when you are getting into medicine. i.e. "Treat the whole patient" It just makes since. Of course MD's also treat the whole person. OMM is an added bonus even if it is just treating friends and family with disfunctions. It is another tool in the tool shed.
In conclusion, when the research comes out supporting the OMT that really works, MD's will probably learn these modalities. Therefore, I do not know what the future for Osteopathic Medicine holds.