Michael A. Landrum, D.O. Board Certified Musculoskeletal Medicine

Differences between USA D.O. and M.D. training

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The only medical schools who train their physicians in Osteopathic Principals and Practice, are in the United States. Their graduates are called "Osteopathic Physicians". Other countries produce "Osteopaths" who are not "medically trained". The American D.O. is a full-fledged "medical" degree which states that its graduates have passed competency in medicine and surgery, receiving their medical diploma as, "Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine".

Physicians trained in these USA medical schools, are trained to diagnose and treat problems using every treatment modality available. This includes manual medicine along with use of drugs and surgery. USA Osteopathic physicians (D.O.'s) and MD's train together in hospital internships and residencies, and are both fully licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the USA.

The USA Osteopathic physicians, however, receive additional exhaustive study of the anatomy from head to foot, and hundreds of additional hours of training and practice in the musculoskeletal system. Osteopathic principles and practice is incorporated in the medical training of all Osteopathic physicians. Using their OMM skills, they are trained to use their hands to both diagnose and treat certain acute and chronic injuries and illnesses.

The D.O. physician seeks a three dimensional medical intervention, providing a therapeutic advantage in the treatment of illness and injury. The distinct dimensions gained in their medical and surgical training, combined with hundreds of hours of training in Osteopathic manipulation (manual medicine), enables Osteopathic physicians to offer their patients a unique and effective approach to healing.

Although not all D.O.'s later practice their manipulative medicine skills, those that do so offer a form of manipulation which is historically unique.

Andrew Taylor Still, M.D., the founder of the Osteopathic profession, began the first originally American alternative medicine from within the medicine of his day. He formulated and used a theory of manual manipulation to facilitate the body's ability to heal itself. He theorized and applied specific principles with the intention to restore and assure the motion and function of all innate healing systems.

In 1874, Osteopathy became the original manipulative medicine in the United States preceding all other manipulation professions.

Osteopathic physicians document the medical effects of intervention their patient's progress and design an ongoing treatment strategy, appropriate to the diagnostic condition. Quality control standards are held by and reinforced within the profession. Each office visit begins with a careful diagnostic evaluation of the chief complaint, which then defines the management and treatment for that date of service. Medical treatment is designed to achieve a best result that can be maintained without mandating frequent, prolonged follow-up. Although duration of treatment may vary with a given condition, the standard is to complete treatment in a medically reasonable period of time.

OMT addresses not only "boney" restrictions, such as with the joints, but also the associated soft tissues. This comprehensive approach improves blood and lymphatic circulation and nerve impulse to the areas involved, also making recurrence of restriction less likely. The soft tissue and nervous system is trained to maintain the correction.

Osteopathic theory and practice of manipulation emphasizes access to the actual anatomic sources of restriction present in injury or disease. This is more "deep tissue", and subtle, than is often otherwise observed.

All of the medical subspecialties are represented within Osteopathic Medicine. These in turn involve hundreds of hours of their own additional training and years of experience. Among these is included the unique Board Certification specialty in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (NMM/OMM).

Cranial Osteopathy also involves hundreds of additional hours of training, and years of experience, in order to become proficient. Cranial Osteopathy carries its own Physician-only special certification, through a rigorous written, oral and practical examination process. There are relatively few who obtain either of these levels of certification. Dr. Landrum achieved his USA NMM/OMM Board Certification in April 2004 and Special Proficency Certification in Cranial Osteopathy in June of 1998. Osteopathic physicians treat the whole body, from head to foot. They treat all systems of the body.

Osteopathic physicians typically take time with the patient in: 1) History taking, 2) Physical exam and 3) Treatment then re-evaluation of findings at every visit. Those Osteopathic physicians, who specialize in NMM/OMM and/or Cranial Osteopathy, will often spend an hour evaluating and treating a patient. The patient & initial visit is typically the longest of any visit. Appointments for children are typically shorter than those for adults.

Osteopathic medicine is the original truly complete practice of treating the body. This manipulative concept, combines medical/surgical training with its own unique hands-on theory and practice.

Click Here to Go to Biography of Andrew Taylor Still, M.D.