Osteopathic medicine was founded over 100 years ago. A primary reason for its development was to correct a perceived deficiency in medicine as it was practiced in the nineteenth century. The founder of osteopathic medicine, Andrew T. Still, MD was convinced that a holistic or 'whole person' approach to medicine, disease, or more importantly people, was better than the disease oriented approach that largely prevailed then... and still does to this day. In other words, the 'gall bladder in Room 237' is in reality Mrs. Smith, whose stomach pain also stresses her heart, kidneys, and yes, even her skin!
Today, osteopathic physicians number over 52,000. They comprise five percent of all of the physicians in the United States, but care for ten percent of the population. Osteopathic physicians have full practice rights and privileges in all states and territories, and comprise ten percent of all military and federal physicians. Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (or D.O.s) are in every way equal partners in health care in this country - from the late 1800s into the 21st century.
What Is An Osteopathic Dermatologist?
As complete physicians of medicine, D.O.s specialize in all the major specialties and subspecialties. D.O.s who specialize in dermatology have completed a rigorous program of medical education and training that includes:
Obtaining an undergraduate B.S. or B.A. degree.
Completing four years of general medical education at one of 20 federally accredited osteopathic medical schools resulting in the awarding of the D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) degree.
Completing a one year federally accredited internship program in general medicine.
Completing a three year federally accredited residency program in dermatology.
Dermatology subspecialists have one to two more years of subspecialty training.
The training for an osteopathic dermatologist is the same as an allopathic or M.D. dermatologist. The curriculum consists of concentrated study of skin, hair and nails. Although physicians in other specialties, based on their training and level of personal interest may feel comfortable with basic skin problems, the physician emerging from this training, whether D.O. or M.D., will have the greatest degree of knowledge and understanding of how to approach and care for the largest organ of the body - the skin. Dermatologists focus on how your skin, hair and nails affect (and is affected by) your health.
Learn more about Osteopathic Medicine by visiting the American Osteopathic Association.