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Physician Locums July 10, 2016

6 Facts about Osteopathic Doctors for National Osteopathic Medicine Week 2016

Happy National Osteopathic Medicine (NOM) Week! Here at AMN Healthcare, we want to help celebrate the hard work Osteopathic doctors do each and every day, all around the world, by taking a look at five basic facts about doctors of osteopathy.

According to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), National Osteopathic Medicine Week "is a time for members and supporters of the osteopathic profession to come together to educate the public about DOs and osteopathic medicine."

And to carry out that goal, the AOA is encouraging everyone to spread the word throughout social media with the hashtags #NOMWeek2016 and #DoctorsThatDO. The AOA is also asking doctors of osteopathic medicine to share their inspiration and talk about them a personal DO story that inspires you with the hashtag #ProudDO.

"Educate your network about the profession," proclaims the AOA. "Host a community event, hand out brochures on osteopathic medicine in your waiting room, or use our elevator pitch."

Facts About Osteopathic Doctors For National Osteopathic Medicine Week

1. The Basics. What is a doctor of osteopathic medicine? As an M.D., an osteopathic doctor, or D.O., is a fully licensed physician who practices in all areas of medicine. "Emphasizing a whole-person approach to treatment and care, DOs are trained to listen and partner with their patients to help them get healthy and stay well," reports the AOA via its #DoctorsThatDO website.

2. Training & Education. "Osteopathic physicians, while undergoing the same basic training as allopathic physicians, receive up to 200 hours of additional training focusing on the osteopathic approach to the body," writes Natasha Arora for the Gwinnett Daily Post. This osteopathic approach "emphasizes the importance of primary care, prevention of disease and visualization of the whole body as one uniform unit (as opposed to a conglomeration of several individual body systems)," she adds.

"Upon graduating from medical school, DOs complete internships, residencies, and fellowships," the AOA adds. "This training lasts three to eight years and prepares them to become licensed and board-certified."

3. Board Certification & Specialty. Doctors of osteopathy achieve board certification in a specific medical specialty or subspecialty "by meeting the requirements of a specialty certifying board," the AOA explains. "Physicians in the U.S. can become board certified through the American Osteopathic Association or the American Board of Medical Specialties. The board certification process involves a combination of written, practical and simulator-based tests.

4. Licensure. DOs are licensed to practice medicine in each state. Licensure requirements vary but typically involve "the successful completion of a medical licensing exam administered by the state licensing board or acceptance of a certificate issued by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners upon completion of a rigorous series of exams," the AOA explains. (A directory of state licensing boards can be provided by the Federation of State Medical Boards.)

5. Treatment Technique. The treatment style used by doctors of osteopathy is called osteopathic manipulative treatment, or OMT, a set of techniques designed to diagnose, treat and prevent illness and injury with methods such as stretching, resistance, and gentle pressure to move muscles and joints.

"OMT can help patients of all ages and backgrounds," the AOA adds. "Although it is often used to treat muscle pain, it can also help provide relief for asthma, sinus disorders, migraines, and carpal tunnel syndrome."

6. Employment Outlook. The D.O. profession is one of the fastest-growing in the healthcare industry, with the AOA reporting that out of every four medical students is enrolled in an osteopathic medical school.

"We tend to partner with our patients to help them get healthy and stay well," as the AOA sums up its philosophy. "We don’t see patients. We see people."

Are you a doctor of osteopathic medicine seeking new locum tenens opportunities? 

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