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OMM clinicals Experience


Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2017
  1. Other Health Professions Student
Hello. Just a premed hopefully a future DO student. I posted this on pre med and got no replys. I am a bit concerned about learning OMM in med school. Not about the content but the practical part. Do we pratice on each other ? Is it awkward? It seems like it will be a little up close and personal right? I heard some schools we have to wear sports bra and shorts. What if we have scars we want to hide? Or feel self conscious?

If you are a DO student or student to be, how do you feel about this ? What is it like?


Full Member
2+ Year Member
May 1, 2019
  1. Resident [Any Field]
At our school we practiced on each other in OMM lab and on the practicals (Pre-COVID)....I have no idea how they're going to do this post-COVID.
We had to "dress out", like Phys Ed...shirts/t-shirt...women with sports bra...and depending on what we were doing we'd sometimes have to take our shirts off in lab.
If you think going shirtless is awkward, wait until they teach and expect you practice/perform ischial tuberosity spread or pelvic diaphragm palpation/fascial release....that's a fun one.

-Basically you'll feel awkward for the first few sessions, but so will everyone else and before you know it neither you or your classmates will give it much thought

-Nobody will care about your scars.
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Full Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 29, 2015
  1. Resident [Any Field]
They'll tell you on day 1 that everyone should be equally exposed. Our class didn't really follow it. People still covered/uncovered themselves based on how comfortable they were, as long as it didn't get in the way of the technique.

Don't worry about it. If they force you to do it, just remember NBOME will force much worse things on you once you get to 3rd/4th year.
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Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2017
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
As someone who is also very self-conscious, I’ll say I only ever partially got over it. I cried in the car for a good half hour before my first OPP lab over it, and the anxiety was a 10 for about the first half of the first semester. However, I did realize that at least nobody but me even cared, and just thinking about that helped some. By the end of second year it was just a minor inconvenience even for me, but it’s not like I ever got 100% comfortable.

One more practical exam to go and I never have to take my shirt off for OPP ever again!!! :)


Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jun 19, 2017
  1. Pre-Medical
There are also special OPP shirts that basically have a hole cut out of the back that a lot of people wear/I think some schools have it as part of the "lab uniform". But as others have said, it's really only awkward for the first few labs.


5+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2014
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Treat it as a way to get comfortable with physical exams. I was doing a shoulder evaluation for chest pain (because pec minor and didn't seem to be cardiac) and found a guy had completely torn through one of the muscles in his shoulder, later confirmed by MRI.


Full Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2016
  1. Medical Student
You'll get used to it. Put on a professional face (and attitude), and pray that your partner does the same.

It really helps to practice getting rid of that awkwardness on your partner b/c you'll practice on stranger patients in the future.


Full Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 11, 2012
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Yes it is awkward, antiquated, and absolutely unnecessary for pretend palpation. One of OMM's many unfortunate side effects is that you learn to fake it. Kinda like Andy Dufresne, you had to go to the prison of OMM to become a criminal.


Full Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2014
  1. Resident [Any Field]
By the end of the 3rd week, you'll be roaming around the lab topless (if you are a dude) trying to feel some other students' ischial tubes (near their butt hole). In addition, any awkwardness or self-consciousness will take the backseat for the impending doom that is your first gross anatomy practical.

Also we like to think that others people care and think a lot about us. The reality is nobody does and you should just be yourself and have some fun.
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