How I Became an Osteopathic Physician


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How I became an Osteopathic Physician

I never had any interest in becoming a physician as a child or teen.  It wasn't until after I had sold my organic farm and returned to college that the idea eventually came to being.  Upon returning to college I made the decision not to worry about what major to declare.  I decided to take courses that resonated with me, that deeply attracted my interest.  Soon enough I found myself naturally in a premedical curriculum.  It just happened. 

I still wasn't too sure that I wanted to be premedical student.  I did not like what i experienced interacting with the premedical advisor, my fellow students and conventional medicine.  I seriously considered Chiropractic school.  I knew about Naturopathic Medicine but at the time (mid 1970's) I did not feel that Naturopathic Medicine would offer me enough opportunity to practice.  In fact the premedical advisor at my college laughed at me and told me I was a fool for applying to medical school because I didn't have the "right stuff" to be a gain admission to medical school and become a physician.  Actually I think it had more to do with my long hair, beard and checkered past.  I wasn't the typical premedical student.

Then I learned about the Osteopathic Medical Profession.  It was one of the few times in my life when a lightbulb went on over my head flashing "this is it".  I was attending a meeting of the Premedical Society at Albright College (a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania that I graduated from).  Each month they would bring in several speakers from the various medical schools in the area.  They would talk to the premedical students mostly discussing thier admission requirements.  One month there was a representative of The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) speaking, his name was Nicholas Nicholas, D.O.  He was the chairman of the Department of Osteopathic Principles and Practice at PCOM.  He must have been in his sixties and had been an Osteopathic Physician for many years (30 or 40) and he specialized in Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy, treating people with manual medicine, with his hands.

Interestingly enough, I subsequently found out that the general practice doctor that my mother had taken me to for years was a D.O. (Osteopathic Physician) but I never knew it because he practiced exactly like every other physician, without Osteopathic distinction.  Dr. Nicholas spoke with passion about his profession.  How it was founded by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still in the 1860's, its growth over the last century and it's current status.  He discussed the integration of Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy and the distinctly holistic Osteopathic Philosophy. 

After his talk Dr. Nicholas proceeded to ask for volunteers from the studio audience whom he had walk across the stage and back.  Then Dr. Nicholas proceeded to tell them facts from their medical history, mostly about musculoskeletal trauma or issues.  He was right on in an incredibly consistent fashion.  I came to see that he was not being a psychic or playing tricks.  He was a brilliant observer and student of the body and was able to see how people moved and deduce specific likelyhoods from that information.  I was very impressed and immediately knew that I wanted to be an Osteopathic Physician.  See my articles and area concerning Osteopathic Medicine.

(This article is incomplete and abbreviated... more to come!)











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