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Osteopathic History | Osteopathic Medical Foundation

Osteopathic History

A New Philosophy in Medicine

In response, Dr. Still founded a philosophy of medicine based on ideas that date back to Hippocrates, the father of medicine. The philosophy focuses on the unity of all body parts. He identified the musculoskeletal system as a key element of health. He recognized the body's ability to heal itself and stressed preventive medicine, eating properly and keeping fit.

Dr. Still pioneered the concept of "wellness" more than 125 years ago. In today's terms, personal health risks -- such as smoking, high blood pressure, excessive cholesterol levels, stress and other lifestyle factors -- are evaluated for each individual. In coordination with appropriate medical treatment, the osteopathic physician acts as a teacher to help patients take more responsibility for their own well-being and change unhealthy patterns.

21st Century, Frontier Medicine

Just as Dr. Still pioneered osteopathic medicine on the Missouri frontier in 1874, today osteopathic physicians serve as modern day medical pioneers.

They continue the tradition of bringing health care to areas of greatest need:

Over half of all osteopathic physicians practice in primary care areas such as pediatrics, family practice, obstetrics/gynecology and internal medicine.

Many D.O.s fill a critical need for doctors by practicing in rural and medically underserved areas.

Today osteopathic physicians continue to be on the cutting edge of modern medicine. D.O.s are able to combine today's medical technology with their ears, to listen compassionately to their patients; their eyes, to see their patients as whole persons; and their hands, to diagnose and treat injury as well as illness.