Kansas City Celebrates Osteopathic Medicine Week

This week is Osteopathic Medicine Week in Kansas City. Lisa Cambridge, Director of Public Relations at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, joins us today to discuss osteopathic medicine. Is an osteopathic physician right for you? Read on and find out.

Recognition for osteopathic medicine resounds this week in the Greater Kansas City area and the entire state of Missouri!

Mayor Sly James and Mayor Joe Reardon have declared April 15-21 as Osteopathic Medicine Week in Kansas City while a similar proclamation was introduced in the Missouri House and Senate.

This is a week to increase awareness for osteopathic medicine and the role of osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) in our health-care system.

D.O.s are fully licensed physicians who can prescribe and practice medicine in all specialty areas, including family practice, surgery and psychiatry. They are trained to consider the health of the whole person and use their hands to help diagnose and treat their patients. They focus on preventive health care by teaching their patients to develop attitudes and lifestyles that not only fight illness but help prevent it.

There are currently more than 78,000 D.O.s in the United States. Osteopathic physicians practice alongside allopathic physicians (M.D.s) in medical practices, clinics and hospitals. Every major hospital in Kansas City grants privileges to doctors of osteopathic medicine.

More than 19,000 students attend osteopathic medical schools in the United States. Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences has more than 1,000 students enrolled in its College of Osteopathic Medicine and is the largest medical school in Missouri.

Osteopathic medical school curriculum is rigorous and covers the broad spectrum of medicine. After successfully completing two years of class and lab work, osteopathic medical students spend two years in clinical training working alongside physicians. D.O. graduates are then expected to complete a three- to seven-year residency program concentrating on their chosen field of medicine.

The primary difference between osteopathic and allopathic medicine is the additional training that D.O. receives throughout medical school to practice medicine using an osteopathic philosophy (emphasizing a holistic approach) and osteopathic manipulation treatment. It can viewed as a extra “tool” in their doctor’s bag.

D.O.s have made tremendous accomplishments and contributions to America’s health care system. They have served as physicians to U.S. presidents; contributed to the fight against AIDS and the fight for civil rights; conducted ground-breaking research; and served on nationwide health care panels. D.O.s, along with the American Osteopathic Association, advocate for sound medical policymaking in our nation’s capital and provide a strong voice in setting legislative priorities in issues that affect health care, such as Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.

For more information on osteopathic medicine, visit the AOA website.

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HCF's Local Health Buzz Blog aims to discuss health and health policy issues that impact the uninsured and underserved in our service area. To submit a blog, please contact HCF Communications Officers, Jennifer Sykes, at jsykes@hcfgkc.org.


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