HISTORY OF the American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO)

History of Osteopathic Medicine & PrinciplesAndrew Taylor Still - the Founder of Osteopathy and Osteopathic Medicine

In 1937, sixty-six physicians, concerned about ensuring the future teaching of the basic osteopathic principles set forth by Andrew Taylor Still, met and founded the organization now called The American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO).

Since that time, the Academy has grown to over 7,000 physician and student members who are dedicated to following and teaching the preventive and holistic philosophy of medicine which is osteopathy’s trademark. With an emphasis on palpatory skills in diagnosis and manual medicine, members of the Academy are known for being physicians who use their hands as well as their heads and hearts to help the body heal.

The American Academy of Osteopathy is an osteopathic medical society with a focused educational mission. Members are predominately osteopathic physicians (doctors of osteopathy, or DOs) and osteopathic medical students who have a high degree of interest in the art and science of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM). The Academy welcomes membership of allopathic physicians (MDs) who share an interest in learning osteopathic philosophy, its principles and practice as it applies to patient care.

The Academy is one of 23 practice affiliates of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the parent organization of the osteopathic profession. All osteopathic physicians (DOs) are educated in the basic principles of osteopathy and are trained in the use of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) as part of the curriculum in colleges of osteopathic medicine and postdoctoral training through AOA-approved institutions. While some Academy members specialize in osteopathic manipulative medicine, the majority integrate OMM into the practice of their medical specialty.

DOs are fully-licensed physicians in all 50 states and the U.S. Armed Forces. While osteopathic medical practice is in the mainstream of health care today, the specific delivery of osteopathic manipulative treatment continues to be misunderstood and underappreciated for its therapeutic benefits in the context of total health care management. To shift this trend, the Academy promotes the use of osteopathic manipulative medicine through its educational and research programs.


New Ideas Forum 2019

AAO members who submit the most promising proposals for advancing osteopathic manipulative medicine will be given 15 to 30 minutes to outline their thoughts, demonstrate their techniques and field questions from their peers.

Giving Tuesday Is Nov. 27

Help AAO knock out its fundraising goal on Tuesday, Nov. 27. First established in 2012, Giving Tuesday encourages people to prioritize charitable giving during the busy holiday shopping season.

AAO Recognized for Contributions to Profession

On Saturday, July 21, the AAO was one of four recipients of the American Osteopathic Association’s 2019 STARs (Strategic Team Award and Recognition) for its dedication to advancing osteopathic medicine. The STARs recognize contributions made by state, specialty and regional affiliates, colleges of osteopathic medicine, osteopathic postdoctoral training institutions (OPTIs), and nonpractice affiliates that have advanced the osteopathic profession. The award honors programs and activities that align with the initiatives in the AOA’s strategic plan.