Practitioners of osteopathy are referred to as osteopaths. Others have concluded that osteopathic style manipulation “failed to produce compelling evidence” for efficacy in treating musculoskeletal pain. Some countries clinical anatomy and osteopathic manipulative medicine pdf that osteopathic practitioners must be physicians or medical doctors. Osteopath in the United States.
The practice of osteopathy began in the United States in 1874. This view was opposed to that of the orthodox practitioner, which held that intervention by the physician was necessary to restore health in the patient. The division between irregular medicine, also known as unorthodox medicine, and regular medicine that resulted because of these differing views was a major conflict for decades before Still established the basis for osteopathy. The foundations of this divergence may be traced back to the mid-18th century when specificity in physiology became the central study that pointed to the cause and nature of disease. Diseases began to be localized to organs and tissues, and doctors began shifting their focus from the patient to the internal state of the body, resulting in an issue labeled as the problem of the “vanishing patient”. A stronger movement towards experimental and scientific medicine was then developed. In the perspective of the unorthodox physicians, the sympathy and holism that was integral to medicine in the past were left behind.
Alternative medicine had its beginnings in the early 19th century, when gentler practices in comparison to Heroic medicine began to emerge. As alternative medicine grew to include more followers, orthodox medicine continued to rebuke and seek to invalidate the “irregulars,” as termed by the orthodox practitioners in Heroic medicine. As each side sought to defend its practice, a schism was presented itself in the medical marketplace, with both the irregular and regular practitioners attempting to discredit the other. The irregulars—those that are now referred to as Alternative Medicine practitioners—argued that the regulars practiced an overly mechanistic approach to treating patients, treated the symptoms of disease instead of the original causes, and were blind to the harm they were causing their patients. Regular practitioners had a similar argument, labeling unorthodox medicine as unfounded, passive, and dangerous to a disease-afflicted patient. This is the medical environment that pervaded throughout the 19th century, and this is the setting that Still entered when he began developing his idea of osteopathy.
After experiencing the loss of his wife and three daughters to spinal meningitis and noting that the current orthodox medical system could not save them, Still may have been prompted to shape his reformist attitudes towards the conventional medicine. Still began practicing manipulative procedures that were intended to restore harmony in the body. Over the course of the next twenty five years, Still attracted support for his medical philosophy that disapproved of orthodox medicine, and shaped his philosophy for osteopathy. Components of this philosophy included the idea that structure and function are interrelated and the importance of each piece of the body in the harmonious function of its whole. Still sought to establish a new medical school that could produce physicians trained under this philosophy, and be prepared to compete against the orthodox, or allopathic physicians.
The American School of Osteopathy was established on 20 May 1892, in Kirksville, Missouri. Twenty-one students made up this first class. Still explains the science of osteopathy in his book “The philosophy and mechanical principles of osteopathy” in 1892. In the early 20th century, osteopaths across the United States sought to establish law that would legitimize their medical degree to the standard of the allopathic medic. The processes were arduous, and not without conflict.
In some states, it took years for the bills to be passed. These groups are so distinct that in practice they function as separate professions. The regulation of non-physician manual medicine osteopaths varies greatly between jurisdictions. In Australia, the UK, and New Zealand the non-physician manual medicine osteopaths are regulated by statute and practice requires registration with the relevant regulatory authority. The Osteopathic International Alliance has a country guide with details of registration and practice rights and the International Osteopathic Association has a list of all accredited osteopathic colleges. Several international and national organizations exist relating to osteopathic education and political advocacy. Osteopaths work in private practice, and the majority of private health insurance providers cover treatment performed by osteopaths.