Studies & Degrees in Osteopathic Medicine
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Osteopathic Medicine Study Programs
Osteopathic Medicine deals with treating and evaluating people in a holistic way. Although specialists in this field, often referred to as DOs, could be equally trained as MDs, they apply a different approach to treating patients. Their aim is not simply to treat problems, but also prevent such by examining the person’s lifestyle, psychological traits, and possible health risks. This means osteopathic medicine professionals form a closer relationship with patients, trying to gain an in-depth view of their home and work life, levels of stress, as well as the impact of the disease on the whole body, not just on a part of it.
Osteopathic medicine specialists can also focus on a given field like psychiatry, pediatrics, or surgery, for example. It is most likely that they are trained to become general practitioners, though. Except for the broader approach that they undertake, these practitioners are able to pass all the examinations on a patient that a regular MD would do, for which reason both professions are now considered equal in countries like USA and Canada.
To practice osteopathic medicine, you need to have keen interest in the sciences, be prepared to explore and learn innovative techniques of treating patients, and nurture a love of helping others. Here are some other qualities to consider:
- Patience and compassion
- Excellent listening skills
- Great communication skills
- Ability to transform complex information into everyday language
- Perseverance and hard working nature
- Prepared to work long hours.
First and most important fact to consider is that studying osteopathic medicine in European or Commonwealth countries greatly differs from the osteopathic medicine taught in the USA and Canada. In the latter, this type of medicine is more or less a supplement to conventional medicine, whereas in Europe an osteopathic practitioner does not normally have similar training to traditional doctors. In colleges in USA and Canada, osteopathic medicine students tend to study for much longer.
In relation to this, when choosing an osteopathic medicine college in which to study, you should consider whether it teaches your preferred type of medicine, as well as the license you will be issued with. It is worth mentioning that if you have graduated from an osteopathic college in the UK, you would not be allowed to practice in the USA. It is crucial that you check in which regions of the world you would be able to practice once you graduate. Similarly, you have to ensure that the institution you choose has the required accreditation, and finally make a list of the osteopathic colleges that best suit your future career expectations.
Career prospects for osteopathic practitioners are excellent, as there is a growing amount of people in the world, turning to alternative methods of treatment and healing. Depending on the region of the world you wish to live in, you could work in elementary schools, medical institutions, or military organizations, along with traditional doctors; or, you can have your own private practice where you accept and treat patients by employing the methods and techniques you have learned.
This profession also offers great opportunities of researching and creating new healing methods, which of course should always be aligned with the safety of each patient.