By Kevin D. Treffer, DO, FACOFP; Chair, Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, KCU-COM, Kansas City & Joplin Campuses

This profession has come from the mind and actions of A.T. Still, MD, DO, to the many thousands of DOs caring for the people of this country on a daily basis. I am thankful to be a third-generation osteopathic physician in my family. I am thankful for the opportunity that Kansas City University gave me to train here and to be a part of training so many osteopathic medical students for nearly 29 years.

I am proud to be a physician who sees the patient in a distinctive manner, incorporating body, mind and spirit into the evaluation and management of their personal issues. The osteopathic approach of addressing the biomechanics, neurologic, respiratory/circulatory, energetic/immune, and psychosocial aspects of the clinical presentation of every patient is what makes this profession truly unique.

When I was going out for the evening, my father would say to me: “Remember your name!” To all my fellow DOs, similarly I say: Remember your training! Be an example to those coming behind you. Be an osteopathic physician guided by these principles, utilizing OMT to address the five-model approach to osteopathic medicine in the care of your patients.

To those of you who teach basic sciences in the profession, thank you for helping us to understand how the body functions; without this knowledge, there is no clinical practice. The foundational knowledge you teach is brought with us into the room in every patient encounter. Whether you know it or not, you are laying the foundation for the five-model approach, teaching us how the body, mind and spirit integrates.

As we move forward—working to exit out of this pandemic—the new paradigm of medical education is being forged. New technologies and new curricular processes are being developed to help our learners and graduates better understand how to effectively treat their patients. I hope to see these technologies to further incorporate musculoskeletal aspects in the patient scenarios, inclusive of the five-model approach to osteopathic medicine.

I dream of a world in which all healthcare providers are practicing osteopathic medicine, but I would be satisfied knowing that the increasing numbers of DOs in this country are actively doing their part to further this distinctive profession in the spirit of Dr. Still.

I am very proud to be a DO, a graduate of KCU-COM and a faculty member in the Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. We stand on the shoulders of giants who came before us, to pave the way to what this profession has become.

As we celebrate National Osteopathic Medicine Week, know that what you are studying, or teaching or practicing is making a difference in the lives of so many individuals and families—now and into the future. This is what the dream of Dr. Still has become today; I believe he would be amazed.

Happy National Osteopathic Medicine Week!

1 Comment »

  1. Great article Dr. Treffer! I echo your enthusiasm and vision. Very proud to be a DO and thanks for the great training I received at KCU!!

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