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The NMM-OMM Specialist

What is an Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Specialist?

ONMM stands for Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine. This is the current term used to describe the specialist trained and board certified in specialist-level osteopathic manual therapy since the integration of ACGME & AOAGME graduate medical education began in 2015. This integration will be complete by 2020. Previously, this type of training was designated as Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine & Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (NMM-OMM) or Specialty Proficiency in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (SPOMM).

  • C-NMM/OMM: Certification in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. A certification granted by the American Osteopathic Association through the American Osteopathic Board of NMM & OMM since 1999.
  • C-SPOMM: Certification, Special Proficiency in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. A certification granted by the American Osteopathic Association through the American Osteopathic Board of Specialty Proficiency in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine prior to 1999.

It should be emphasized that all DOs (Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine or Osteopathy) are trained in osteopathic philosophy and osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT). Some MDs have also sought out this training. All DOs are certified to perform OMT in their practices. ONMM specialists are physicians, who have devoted significant additional study, beyond the foundations of osteopathic philosophy taught during osteopathic medical school.

What are the pathways to becoming an Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Specialist?

There are currently three pathways to becoming certified as Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Specialist.

  • ONMM1 Pathway: 3-year residency entered after graduating from an approved medical school.
  • ONMM2 Pathway: 2-year residency entered after completing an ACGME internship/transition year.
  • ONMM3 Pathway: 1-year residency entered after completing any ACGME-approved residency program.

A listing of all available ACGME programs be found on this  ACGME website

What kinds of career opportunities are available to the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Specialist?

An ONMM specialist can practice in many different ways and settings.  Some ONMM specialists choose to practice in their primary specialty (primary care or surgical) and integrate OMM into their patient management. Some choose to only practice musculoskeletal medicine and OMM. An OMM practice can be hospital based, out-patient based, or a combination. Some ONMM specialists have entered academic medicine to teach further generations of DOs, and/or perform research.  The options are really endless and open to your career goals:

  • Specialty ONMM Private Practice – ONMM only
  • Specialty Private Practice – PMR, Sports Med, OB/GYN. etc with integrated ONMM
  • Specialty Hospital Based Practice – ONMM inpatient consults
  • Academic Positions with various clinical practice levels
  • Primary Care Private Practice – FP, IM, Peds, EM with integrated ONMM

So where do ONMM specialists work? According to 2015 AAO (American Academy of Osteopathy) membership data, the charts below provide some rough information. Keep in mind that this data …

  • Does NOT include retired or inactive categories of members
  • The fact that not all Board Certified ONMM Specialists may be AAO members
  • This specialty data is SELF reported

Chart 1

Chart 2

Chart 3

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