Many misconceptions still exist about osteopathic physicians and their abilities, despite these physicians receiving the same training and practice rights as peers who attend traditional medical schools, the American Medical Association and American Osteopathic Association said in a joint Nov. 4 statement.
“Misrepresentation of osteopathic medicine harms the credibility of the 121,000 osteopathic physicians who care for our nation’s sick and injured,” the statement said.
After medical school, osteopathic physicians must complete clinicals, national licensing exams and three to 11 years of residency, the associations said. They then receive additional training for osteopathic manipulative medicine, which entails hands-on techniques to diagnose or treat illness and injury.
Over the last 10 years, the practice of osteopathic medicine has grown about 63 percent, with a quarter of U.S. medical students attending an osteopathic medical school.
The AOA and AMA warned against the mischaracterization of osteopathic physicians by media, celebrities and companies, inviting them to first learn about the profession before speaking on it.
“Doctors of osteopathic medicine deserve to be honored for their contributions to the health of this nation,” the statement concluded.
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