Osteopathic medicine is a patient-focused approach to health care that takes into account every aspect of the patient, including his or her physical, personal, and spiritual well-being. Developed more than 130 years ago by Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO, osteopathic medicine brings a unique philosophy to traditional patient care. Understanding that the body is more than just a sum of its parts, osteopathic physicians (DOs) assist the patient’s innate capacity to heal by addressing the interrelationship of the body’s nerves, muscles, bones and organs. Osteopathic physicians are licensed to prescribe medicine and practice in all medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties.
While DOs and MDs have very similar educational and experience requirements, including four years of medical school and three to four years of residency, DOs are trained to emphasize whole body health. They may use a system of hands-on diagnosis and treatment called osteopathic manipulation to correct dysfunctions and relieve symptoms rather than prescribing pharmaceuticals. In addition, DOs may help patients pursue lifestyle changes to reduce recurring problems.
All health care professionals and students are invited to attend AAO courses. Some courses require prerequisites and may not be appropriate for newcomers to osteopathic medicine. Academy members receive special pricing.
Anyone can purchase books in the AAO’s online store. The AAO is not responsible for any loss or injury and/or damage to persons or property arising out of or related to any use of the materials available in the online store.
The AAO has established online discussion forums to promote peer-to-peer communications. There are two public discussion forums, one for general discussion and one for research; a members-only forum, which includes a section for job postings; and forums for each AAO board or committee. Members must be logged in to the website to view member forums. Download the forum guide for additional information.
All Academy physicians in practice may be included in the AAO's Find a Physician search. To ensure your listing appears in the search results, follow the steps below:
Created in collaboration with the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), this online learning module shares surprising insights from the frontlines on treating COVID-19 patients with OMM.