Student Doc Forum

MCAT Forum | USMLE Forum

Issues specific to osteopathic medical education and practice as a DO.

Science and the realistic value of D.O.

Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:38 am

I don't want to offend anyone here, so please keep that in mind.

What keeps me from considering a D.O. program is the idea of doing OMM. I haven't seen anything saying that this technique is revolutionary or in any way significantly effective. If this is the case, I feel that joining a medical program that does things based on tradition rather than science doesn't have its priorities straight. So my questions are two: Is there any body of evidence showing the effectiveness of OMM? If I went to a D.O. school, what else would be learned by "tradition" rather than real science?

Re: Science and the realistic value of D.O.

Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:47 am


That said, OMM I'm sure there are studies to show its effective, look for them on Pub MED

If it was not effective then it would be dropped.

Re: Science and the realistic value of D.O.

Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:17 pm

I have been tossing around the DO vs. MD debate for a while now and have yet to come to a decision. This OMM technique I find interesting and it highlights what I feel is a significant (though not necessarily inferior) aspect of the division. Anyone who has had OMM treatment seems to be rave about it. Primarily, I believe, its goal is to relieve pain and comfort level, which is not easily measurable. So, I don't believe you will find studies proving or disproving the effectiveness of OMM. If it indeed works, then it should be adopted by allopathic medical schools also.

Now, to highlight the larger divisions. It appears that less research occurs in osteopathic medical schools. The school I'm interested in doesn't even offer an MDPHD option. Obviously for the advancement of medicine this is bad. However, I have no interest in pursuing research and so I'll leave that to the MDs. My emphasis is on patient care, whether it has been reinforced statistically through trials or not.

If you learn OMM and don't like it, you don't ever have to use it once you graduate medical school. In fact, on the AOA website, it states that the organization is concerned that perhaps less than half of osteopathic graduates actually practive OMM.

The emphasis is not on tradition, it's on patient care. If it works, why should someone stop using a non-invasive technique until someone proves it.

Now, on to your other points. The curricula between the degrees is essentially identical with the difference being OMM. To argue that an additional skill-set (in addition to the "science" that is learned in the rest of medical school) which has yet to prove ineffective somehow invalidates the rest of the curriculum is silly. If OMM offends your sensibilities, then avoid it.

Re: Science and the realistic value of D.O.

Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:18 pm

Edit: I meant to say DO/PHP

Re: Science and the realistic value of D.O.

Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:01 am

Spike, thanks for the reply. I remember writing this when I was much more ignorant on DO. When I read it back, I worded it poorly, so thanks for your patience. I think a DO degree is great, and I've found OMM to be a nice addition to the curriculum, though I have my doubts cranial osteopathy actually works. It doesn't matter though. I've come to realize not everything I learn in medical school is 100% scientifically proven and new evidence can shape the body of knowledge.