Osteopathic medicine. What does it really mean? To be honest, I had NO idea until I visited an osteopath myself. During my time in university, I started to experience chronic neck pain; you know the kind of cramping and aching that happens after you sleep on an unfamiliar pillow? Well imagine that every day. No matter how I adjusted my sleeping situation, gym routine, or study environment it just would.not.stop.
A family friend suggested I visit an osteopathic medicine who specialized in pain management. I wasn’t sure what to expect, I had never heard of a doctor of osteopathy. My doctor not only took the time to explain the history and tenants of osteopathy but also gave me very simple exercises to help alleviate the pain. After numerous visits and doing my own research I learned that osteopathic physicians go through the same schooling as allopathic doctors (aka MDs) BUT they are fortunate enough to ALSO learn how to diagnose and heal with their hands. DOs can and do specialize anywhere from neurology to plastic surgery and practice anywhere from hospitals to private clinics. I had never been more fascinated.
So I decided to a shadow and osteopath myself and when it came time to apply to medical schools I made sure that I kept my options open. Now, one year later I have learned so much about the human body and ways to alleviate pain with my own two hands. I have diagnosed and treated my grandmother’s back pain, I have relieved my sister’s sinusitis, and taught my dad some exercises he can do to reduce his neck pain as well.
Often times my friends and family ask if there is a stigma. I personally think there could be among those that are not informed about the profession and path it takes to become one. But there are stigmas all around us, even in the allopathic profession. I just know that I am going to be among some of the most compassionate, intelligent, and legendary group of physicians in the future. That my friends, is why I have chosen to do, what I D.O.