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The DOs

Osteopathic Medicine in America

Norman Gevitz

Publication Year: 2004

Overcoming suspicion, ridicule, and outright opposition from the American Medical Association, the osteopathic medical profession today serves the health needs of more than thirty million Americans. The DOs chronicles the development of this controversial medical movement from the nineteenth century to the present. Historian Norman Gevitz describes the philosophy and practice of osteopathy, as well as its impact on medical care. From the theories underlying the use of spinal manipulation developed by osteopathy's founder, Andrew Taylor Still, Gevitz traces the movement's early success, despite attacks from the orthodox medical community, and details the internal struggles to broaden osteopathy's scope to include the full range of pharmaceuticals and surgery. He also recounts the efforts of osteopathic colleges to achieve parity with institutions granting M.D. degrees and looks at the continuing effort by osteopathic physicians and surgeons to achieve greater recognition and visibility. In print continuously since 1982, The DOs has now been thoroughly updated and expanded to include two new chapters addressing recent and current challenges and to bring the history of the profession up to the beginning of the new millennium.

Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press

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Preface & Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiv

I first became aware of the existence of the osteopathic medical profession during the summer of 1974. I was meeting my friend David, who was soon to graduate with his MD degree from a Chicago medical school. We were going to play tennis. The court we had reserved was still in use, and while we waited for it we got into a conversation in which I brought up the subject of “occupational role duplication.” I was a sociology graduate student at the University of Chicago ...

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CHAPTER 1 ANDREW TAYLOR STILL

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pp. 1-21

Like other medical prophets or revolutionaries, the founder of osteopathy, Andrew Taylor Still, sought recognition as a completely original thinker. In his autobiography, Still maintained that the precepts of his approach came to him in a single moment of inspiration, that no contemporary belief system or practice significantly influenced his theory that most diseases were directly or indirectly caused by vertebral ...

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CHAPTER 2 THE MISSOURI MECCA

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pp. 22-38

Having named his new system of medicine, Still decided it was time to share his discovery with others. In 1892 he opened the American School of Osteopathy, charging his students $500 for several months of personal instruction. Upon completion of the specified course, students were awarded a certificate stating they were “diplomats in osteopathy,” or DOs. Within six years, the school changed the title on ...

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CHAPTER 3 IN THE FIELD

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pp. 39-53

Although a few of Still’s early graduates remained in Kirksville to serve as assistants in the infirmary, the majority went out into the field to establish their own private practices. A directory published in 1900 listing 717 graduates shows 121 (16.8 percent) residing in Missouri, 84 (11.7 percent) in Iowa, 83 (11.7 percent) in Illinois, 48 (6.6 percent) in Ohio, 32 (4.4 percent) in Pennsylvania, 31 (4.3 percent) in New York, and 30 (4.2 percent) each in Indiana and Tennessee, with the rest scattered throughout thirty-five other states and territories.1 ...

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CHAPTER 4 STRUCTURE & FUNCTION

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pp. 54-68

With the movement rapidly growing, many DOs thought it desirable to coordinate their efforts and activities. In February of 1897, a small group of American School of Osteopathy alumni met in Kirksville and decided to establish a national organization for this purpose. Graduates of other schools were then invited to take part in the planning, and by April they had collectively launched ...

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CHAPTER 5 EXPANDING THE SCOPE

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pp. 69-84

The most controversial issue the DOs wrestled with throughout the first three decades of the twentieth century was the scope of their practice, particularly in regard to the range of therapeutic modalities they should utilize and the type of diseases and conditions they should treat. Vying for the support of the majority of practitioners were two distinct groups. One was composed of the self-proclaimed ...

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CHAPTER 6 THE PUSH FOR HIGHER STANDARDS

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pp. 85-100

With DOs increasingly duplicating the role and services of MDs the focus of the debate over the relative merits of osteopathy gradually shifted from its underlying philosophical and therapeutical beliefs to an analysis of its educational system. The central question became whether the standards maintained by osteopathic colleges were adequate to ensure the production of qualified physicians and surgeons. ...

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CHAPTER 7 A QUESTION OF IDENTITY

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pp. 101-114

Osteopathy as originally conceived by Andrew Still was a radically different approach to healing. Its philosophy, view of pathology, and system of patient care shared little with the components of orthodox medicine. Indeed, the founder cast himself and his followers as ...

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CHAPTER 8 THE CALIFORNIA MERGER

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pp. 115-134

For most DOs the problems connected with their identity did not undermine the desire for professional autonomy. Even many of those who failed to advertise themselves as osteopathic practitioners and favored the schools’ awarding an MD degree continued to believe they were part of a distinctive group that should remain politically separate and independent. Their displeasure with the AOA was with its ...

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CHAPTER 9 REAFFIRMATION & EXPANSION

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pp. 135-154

To many outside observers the events taking place in California, from the initial public announcement of a merger plan to its implementation in 1962, seemed to signal the first step in the inevitable absorption of the DOs as a group into the allopathic medical profession. Whatever agreements had to be worked out, complete countrywide amalgamation was viewed as a foregone conclusion. There was no ...

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CHAPTER 10 IN A SEA OF CHANGE

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pp. 155-170

Having successfully resisted the AMA’s aggressive efforts to achieve a national amalgamation of MDs and DOs, the osteopathic profession now faced quite a different threat to its autonomy. Government and private health insurers were in the process of transforming the entire health care system in response to significant and unrestrained annual increases in the cost of providing health care. ...

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CHAPTER 11 THE CHALLENGE OF DISTINCTIVENESS

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pp. 171-191

Osteopathic medicine occupies the same professional space as its older, larger, and more socially dominant counterpart, which wishes to absorb it. Given its increasing closeness in standards and services to its dominant rival and the greater association between the practitioners of both professions, it makes little sense for the osteopathic profession, if it wishes to retain its independence, to continue stressing its similarities with allopathic medicine. ...

Notes

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pp. 193-235

Index

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pp. 237-242


E-ISBN-13: 9780801897368
E-ISBN-10: 080189736X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780801878343
Print-ISBN-10: 0801878349

Page Count: 264
Illustrations: 10 illustrations
Publication Year: 2004

Edition: second edition

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Subject Headings

  • Osteopathic medicine -- United States -- History.
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