December 2007

Volume 27 | Number 4

Special Theme: Osteopathic Medicine

The State of Osteopathic Medical Education
Stephen C. Shannon, D.O., M.P.H.

Dr. Shannon describes the role osteopathic colleges play in helping to meet predicted physician shortages, particularly in primary care and for underserved populations. Currently, “nearly one in five of the nation’s medical students is studying at an osteopathic medical school.” With the new colleges projected, this number is expected to increase. Dr. Shannon writes that Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (COMs) are also focusing on recruiting students “who reflect the communities they will serve” in rural and urban areas.

Osteopathic Medical Education: Enrollment by the Numbers Over Forty Years
Thomas Levitan, M.Ed.

The numbers presented by Mr. Levitan graphically demonstrate the rapid growth in osteopathic education since 1969. Prior to that year, there were only five Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (COMs). They were established in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This article provides a look at current enrollment, trends in the composition of medical school classes, and projections for future growth. Factors inhibiting growth include: “the availability of faculty and clinical training sites, and funding.”

Osteopathic Principles and Philosophy: A Contemporary View
Raymond J. Hruby, D.O., F.A.A.O.

The author places the practice of osteopathic medicine in historical context. Quotes from Dr. Andrew Taylor Still’s writing are woven in to help the reader understand more about ideas that form the foundation of osteopathic practice. For example, in one passage Dr. Still described an incident that eventually led him to incorporate a different approach in his treatment of patients. Transitioning between past and present, Dr. Hruby explains four basic principles: Unity of Body, Self-regulatory and Self-healing systems, The Relationship between Structure and Function; and, The Rational Treatment Approach. He highlights key concepts and lists four of an osteopathic physician’s goals. Dr. Hruby also describes how goals and principles fit together in models, which “allows the osteopathic physician to consider” the patient’s overall condition, treatment options and preventive measures.

Changing the Blueprint of Medical Education
Adrian Anast, Ph.D.

ATSU builds the medical school of the future in Mesa, Arizona

A Three-Year Accelerated Medical School Curriculum Designed to Encourage and Facilitate Primary Care Careers
Hershey S. Bell, M.D.
Silvia M. Ferretti, D.D.
Richard A. Ortoski, D.O.

Prescription for Progress: Florida Passes Landmark Physician Workforce Legislation
Scott Colton

In this article the author writes about the passage of CS/CS/SB 770, and its subsequent signing into law by Florida Governor Charlie Crist. The bill authorizes the Department of Health to collect and analyze physician workforce data. The information gained from the data is intended to “help the state make appropriate decisions in the future concerning physician workforce issues.” Mr. Colton provides numbers and comments on the need for a detailed assessment.

Costin Institute Trains Osteopathic Medical Educators
Fran Daly, Ph.D.

Anchors Away: WVSOM Grads Serve as Navy Physicians
Jeffery D. Cobb

The author talks with three Navy physicians who attended West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine — Lt. Lisa Zaleski, Lt. Mickey Deel, and Lt. Christopher Hardy. They describe advantages of military scholarships and service. Being the “person on the ship with the most medical knowledge” requires leadership ability and developing confidence in one’s skills. Being in close proximity to patients, allows the physician to feel like he or she is “treating people, not diseases.” The admitted downside is that when deployed, the Navy physician is away from home and his or her family. The article concludes with a statement by Lt. Deel: “Overall, there are some sacrifices…but I still think it is one of the best decisions I could have made.”

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