Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs), like MDs, are licensed to prescribe medication and perform surgery but also receive extra training in manipulating the musculoskeletal system through osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). This training provides osteopathic physicians with a better understanding of how an injury or illness in one part of the body can affect another.
Osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) was developed in 1874 and is focused on treating illness within the context of the whole body. Andrew T. Still, a 19th century physician who pioneered the field, founded the first osteopathic medical school in 1892. In 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) began what is now a more than century-old tradition of training osteopathic physicians. In 2004, PCOM established a branch campus in Georgia (PCOM Georgia) to help fill the need for more healthcare professionals in the South.
Today, all osteopathic physicians are taught OMT diagnostic and therapeutic palpatory skills and may use them in their practice, although not all choose to do so.