The DO Philosophy: Quick Facts
Osteopathic medicine was introduced in 1874 by Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO. Dissatisfied with the heroic practices and ineffectiveness of 19th century medicine, Dr. Still turned to the study of human health to understand the process of disease.
Ultimately, this process led him to a concept of medicine based on the ideas of wellness, the harmony of structure, and the functionality of the body. In his discoveries, Dr. Still identified that normality of the musculoskeletal system was a key element of health, while recognizing the God-given ability of the body to heal itself through proper nutrition and exercise.
At Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine, student-doctors will be trained using the most advanced medical technology available, incorporating the latest in scientific knowledge and techniques while being taught through with a philosophy that places the patient, rather than the disease, at the center of the approach to care. At the core of their education, student-doctors will be taught to incorporate biomedical science, the principles of medicine, surgery, obstetrics, psychology, and public health, with a special emphasis on wellness, preventative medicine, and the musculoskeletal system.
Student-doctors who fulfill the requirements of the four year curriculum and graduate from LUCOM as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine will receive the DO degree, they will join one of the only two groups of physicians with unlimited licenses to practice medicine in all 50 states: those who have earned a DO degree and those who hold the Doctor of Allopathic Medicine (MD) degree.
Culturally, Osteopathic Physicians offer a distinctive approach to medical care that concentrates on holistic and patient-centered treatment, while emphasizing wellness and the prevention of disease and disability. Such a commitment to the training of primary care/community based physicians in combination of a desire to reach underserved rural, minority, geriatric and indigent populations marks the osteopathic medical profession as distinctive in its service to patients.
DO physicians often incorporate osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) into their practice, which allows for palpatory examination and structural diagnosis of abnormalities found in the neuromuscular skeletal system and the corresponding medical systems abnormalities related to the changes. This process often identifies the presence of functional impairments to health and wellbeing, as well as, provides the osteopathic physician with the opportunity to utilize manipulative treatment to correct identified defects and improve the patient’s health and well-being.
In an ideal “Dr.-Patient” relationship, Osteopathic physicians serve as patient advocates and educators, guiding each patient toward health through appropriate utilization of the health care system, encouraging personal involvement and responsibility for the individual's health and the concentration on the health and desires of the patient as much as the treatment of the disease.
While the college is committed to providing an excellent medical education that will prepare its graduates to enter any medical discipline or specialty upon graduation, Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine has designed its curriculum, and adopted as the foundation of its mission the production of vitally needed primary and community based physicians with a goal of placing its graduates in community based medical practices in the state and region annually.