The Healing Power of Osteopathic Medicine in Practice
Osteopathic training goes far beyond sharpening the healer's mind and heart, because it involves instruction in a compassionate and knowledgeable touch. In addition to the core curriculum found in all medical schools, VCOM students benefit from hundreds of additional hours in the practice unique to the osteopathic profession – osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM).
What is Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM)?
OMM training gives VCOM students the education and practical experience required to evaluate and treat patients using safe and effective osteopathic manipulative techniques for a variety of medical conditions. These include but are not limited to: low back pain, joint pain, neck pain, headaches, post-surgical ileus, gastrointestinal conditions, and respiratory problems. The VCOM curriculum integrates the osteopathic musculoskeletal exam within the physical diagnosis course. This assures that every student possesses the skills to fully evaluate each patient with visual, auditory, and palpatory skill.
VCOM has an 8:1 student-to-professor ratio of board certified faculty physicians who are trained and experienced in osteopathic manipulation with a wide variety of specialties, including: family medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, internal medicine, sports medicine and neuromusculoskeletal medicine.
Senior VCOM students in their clinical years of training (years 3 and 4) also return to assist in training their junior classmates. They also refine their skills through monthly conferences/labs detailing advanced concepts and techniques, and through their clinical training on rotations.
At the conclusion of their second and third years of training, students undergo comprehensive and rigorous evaluation in an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). This evaluates not only their clinical training in the office assessment and management of patients, but also their interpretation of laboratory results, medical tests (such as X-rays, MRIs and EKGs), and practical skills such as performing physical examinations, suturing, casting/splinting, and performing OMM.
VCOM Students Highly Regarded in Osteopathic Education
Such training has resulted in VCOM students not only being willing to, but capable of delivering high-quality OMM to their patients. VCOM students lead the way in providing OMM treatments at national conferences, and are sought for demonstrations by students and physicians at other osteopathic colleges. Healthcare professionals across the country recognize the brilliant orange, maroon and blue of the VCOM badge on the white coat of our students as a symbol of excellence in osteopathic manipulative and clinical medicine. As evidence of this, VCOM students have won national awards from the Undergraduate American Association of Osteopathy (UAAO).