There are basically several reasons people come to see a doctor like myself. First people who tend to access my care are seeking out a primary care physician (PCP) - The First doctor they need in today's system of managed care. This might be in order to get a referral to other specialists or to get a general "checkup'. I liken the latter idea to getting a 'tune up' for your car to keep it running longer. I basically do the same thing for the human body.
The other major reason people tend to come in is for my unique hands-on Osteopathic Manipulative medical approach to pain, such as the pain from headaches, neck, and back problems. As you will see from scanning this web site, I am not your typical family doctor. My medical training included everything that you would expect an MD to go through in medical school as well as additional intensive training in the art and science of using my hands in medicine to deal with everyday complaints such as colds, flu, headaches, neck pain, back pain, and many more. I was fortunate enough during my medical school training to be exposed to many disciplines such as Acupuncture, Homeopathy, and many other complementary medical methods that people ask about, in addition to traditional medicine. I graduated from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, the original school of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri, in 1989.
It is important to know a little bit about the history of Osteopathic Medicine in the United States to better understand my philosophy and my medical practice.
Medicine in the late 1800s, post-civil war days, was practiced in a very primitive and almost barbaric way. Treatments that we don't use today, such as leeching and other methods, were commonplace. There were only about 25 to 50 drugs in the entire country, and most of them were very toxic and had lots of side-effects. Hence, the founder of our Osteopathic medical profession, Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO discovered by some unfortunate circumstances what he considered a more advanced, safer, and comprehensive way to practice medicine. Three of his own children died one spring in the late 1800s of complications of spinal meningitis, and he, as well as other physicians, watched helplessly as traditional medicine could not save their lives. He decided to research and rediscover neuroanatomy and physiology that he had in medical school and came up with a new concept which he called 'Osteopathy'. He eventually began his own medical school when he was turned down by his fellow MDs and even the very medical school from which his father, a MD, and he graduated from, in Baldwin, Kansas. His goal was to improve upon the traditional system of medicine, as it was practiced, and include the doctor's hands as an additional tool to treat people's musculoskeletal complaints. He coined this treatment 'Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment' or 'OMT' for short.
The art and science of OMT would become integrated into the traditional medical school curriculum. If this was not controversial enough, some of his philosophies included the fact that we were becoming a drug-addicted society,as well as alcohol dependence, and that more women should be admitted into medicine than previously before. He also was a big proponent that the body had a natural ability to heal itself, and if the doctor could assist the body using his/her hands, then faster healing could occur, thus avoiding unnecessary medicines or surgery. This unique philosophy became popular enough that people came from all over the country to study with Dr. Still and many osteopathic medical schools began to open, modeled after the original osteopathic medical school in Kirksville which opened in 1892.
Right about now, you are probably wondering how this is any different than Chiropractic manipulation. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that Chiropractic, which started in 1895, three hours north of Kirksville, in Davenport, Iowa, was developed from the very principles of Osteopathy. For more information on this, click here.
- My entry on the Valley Health System web site
- American Osteopathic Association
- American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians
- Dr. Weil's article about Osteopathy—A Better Kind of medicine?
- American Academy of Osteopathy
- The New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (NJAOPS)
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