Osteopathic Medicine: from the eyes of Nicolet

I am an osteopathic medical student. When I graduate medical school, my white coat will be embroidered with the letters D.O.  Oh how exciting that day will be ?

I am starting this blog series in hopes of describing osteopathic medicine, in all of it’s beauty, from many different perspectives. Each post in this series will be written by a new face – someone who wants to share their viewpoint with you. To begin the series, I’m giving you my perspective. So, lets talk medicine.

I didn’t know what osteopathic medicine was until I began the process of medical school applications. Actually, I was confused when I first learned that there are two types of licensed physicians. Maybe it’s my rose-colored glasses that I use to look at the world, but I thought that all doctors were trained to listen; to pay more attention to their patients than their patients’ charts. I thought the principal to promote the body’s natural tendency toward health and self-healing was taught in every medical school, but this focus is unique to osteopathic medicine. Identifying strongly with these principles, the core of osteopathic philosophy, I found myself running full speed towards the medical school I currently attend.

If your blood pressure is high, I should give you something to lower it.”  “Since you have back pain, let’s get you a pain killer.”  While these statements may sound logical at first read, they avoid the main issue. Why is your blood pressure high? Why do you have back pain? These are the important questions.

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, DOs, believe that there is more to health than simply the absence of disease or pain. Disease is a disruption of homeostasis in our bodies, affecting multiple systems – a domino effect. Treatment aims to restore that balance through structural (bones, muscles, tendons, fascia, and nerves), mental, lifestyle, and chemical or surgical optimization, basically in that order. DOs focus on prevention by gaining a deeper understanding of your lifestyle and environment, looking beyond the symptoms and taking the time to know you as a whole person. We are trained in evidence-based medicine, but also to work with you to create your treatment plan.

We’ve also got an extra tool in our tool box. Osteopathic medical students receive an additional 200+ hours of education (on top of traditional medical education) in OMM/OMT (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine/Treatment). Through OMM, we use our hands to diagnose illness and to support the body’s innate ability to heal itself. DOs have a deep understanding of how the human body’s physiological systems are intimately intertwined, and how each affects the others. OMM is used to treat a variety of health issues, including muscle pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and migraines. It can provide relief for patients with asthma or sinus disorders, and in many cases can be used to complement, or even replace, drugs or surgery.

To all my fellow medical students and doctors, both allopathic and osteopathic, thank you. Thank you for committing to a lifetime of learning so that you may care for others.

xoxo
Nicolet Finger, OMS-II

There are more than 100,000 DOs in the US, practicing in every medical specialty. Want to visit a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine? Check out the DOs in your area. 

For more info about osteopathic medicine, take a look at these websites:
www.doctorsthatdo.org
www.aacom.org

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30 Comments Add yours

    1. Nicolet says:

      Thank you!! ❤

      Like

  1. Thank you for sharing this information I was unaware of it. I certainly appreciate your hard work and not being one of those doctors who just offers a pill which isn’t getting to the root of the problem for the patient .

    Like

    1. Nicolet says:

      Thank you so much! It means a lot to me when people recognize the difference between treating symptoms and treating the cause.

      Like

  2. Jessica Joachim says:

    I never knew there were 2 types of Doctors like you described either. I think you are headed down a wonderful path and I look forward to reading more about your journey!

    Like

    1. Nicolet says:

      Yes! How cool is that?! I’m so glad I could share something new with you!

      Like

  3. So that’s what D.O. stands for on some of those medical coats I’ve seen in offices. It sounds like a wonderful career path if your choosing the medical field. I am all about getting under the cause of the pain or sickness as opposed to treating it. I like prevention and healing!

    Like

    1. Nicolet says:

      Yes!! I’m so glad to have shown you a new side of medicine!! ❤ I agree, being a D.O. encompasses how all doctors should practice!

      Like

  4. Cassie says:

    Thanks for sharing this – a very interesting post and certainly something I wasn’t already aware of so it’s great that I know now!

    Like

  5. I LOVE THAT YOU ARE GIVING PEOPLE INFORMATION ABOUT OTHER WAYS TO ATTEND TO THEMSELVES, WAYS OTHER THAN JUST PILLS. I THINK WE AS A SOCIETY HAVE GOTTEN WAY TO INTERESTED IN THE SHORT TERM EFFECTS OF PILLS RATHER THAN THE LONG TERM SIDE-EFFECTS OF THEM AS WELL AS THE BENEFITS OF OTHER AVENUES,E VEN THOUGHTHEY MAY REQUIRE MORE TIME AND WORK

    Like

    1. Nicolet says:

      Yes yes yes and so much yes!!!

      Like

  6. I had no idea what a DO was or anything to do with it so this was really interesting, thanks for enlightening us x

    Like

    1. Nicolet says:

      Yay! That makes me so happy that I was able to teach you something new! ❤

      Like

  7. Well done Nicolet your doing amazing and I can tell you are enjoying what you do. Thanks for sharing great information that I did not know about!!

    Like

    1. Nicolet says:

      I do love what I’m doing!! Thank YOU for your sweet words!

      Like

  8. Pam says:

    I love this and completely agree that PREVENTATIVE is the way to go! Every person is different and needs to be assessed on their lifestyle, diet, and fitness. Helping to find the right mix that will maintain homeostasis in the body is better than treating an issue!

    Like

    1. Nicolet says:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself!! ❤

      Like

  9. Journa Liz Servito Ramirez says:

    Thank you for sharing this! Now, I am aware. Thank you for having a good heart.. Sending lots of love!

    Like

  10. Even though I know a bit about medicine I wasn’t really aware of what osteopaths did. I really like the philosophy of getting to cause of pain or high blood pressure instead of just prescribing a quick fix pill.

    Like

    1. Nicolet says:

      Yes, exactly!! It’s one thing to prescribe when it is necessary… another to simply do it to please the patient and put a bandaid on the situation.

      Like

  11. Di Hickman says:

    This definitely sounds really interesting. I had no idea that there were different types.

    Like

    1. Nicolet says:

      So glad I could give you a different perspective!

      Like

  12. Jeanine says:

    This is very interesting. I had no idea. I love hearing about different types of medicine and am really intrigued by osteopathic!

    Like

  13. Jalisa Marie says:

    Thank you for this information. I had no idea of all the different types of doctors there could be.

    Like

  14. Amazing post! I’m so glad you’re starting this series – people often focus on allopathic medicine and aren’t aware of another great path of medicine they can commit to. I’m definitely going to be following your series, and I can’t wait to learn more about osteopathic medicine!

    Like

  15. Michelle says:

    That’s awesome you want to help others in a more natural way. When you understand the root problem, you can better help the individual heal.

    Like

  16. Ciara says:

    Hi, I found this interesting to read as I never knew you can visit an osteopath without being referred to one by a GP. I will definitely consider this an option in future. Thanks

    Like

  17. I like that you asking questions beyond just filling out the prescription pad, underlying causing are a huge part of most medical issues not to mention a predisposition of our genitics which is completely unavoidable no matter how hard you try sometimes. You can do everything right and still get the same issues your grandfather had, sometimes it is just in your DNA.

    Like

  18. Cassie says:

    This is great and so exciting! BTW love your hair!

    Like

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