Don’t for­get the os­teopaths

Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Letters -

Your mag­a­zine does its read­ers a dis­ser­vice when it ig­nores the fastest-grow­ing sec­tor of the med­i­cal pro­fes­sion, os­teo­pathic medicine. In the Aug. 22 is­sue of Modern Health­care (p. 32), you dis­play a chart list­ing the largest med­i­cal schools ranked by to­tal ac­tive en­roll­ment for the 2010-11 school year. The list shows only the al­lo­pathic, M.D. schools and ig­nores the 26 col­leges of os­teo­pathic medicine (D.O.), with 34 lo­ca­tions in 25 states.

For 2010-11, these 26 col­leges en­rolled 20% of all med­i­cal stu­dents—more than 19,000 fu­ture physi­cians. The Lake Erie Col­lege of Os­teo­pathic Medicine had the largest en­roll­ment of any med­i­cal school in the coun­try— 1,836—sur­pass­ing the 1,409 at the Univer­sity of Illi­nois in your chart. The col­lege en­rolled 542 first-year med­i­cal stu­dents for 2010-11. We re­ceived 8,487 ap­pli­ca­tions for med­i­cal school in 2010-11 to fill spots. In 2011, we grad­u­ated 387 doc­tors of os­teo­pathic medicine. With the ad­di­tion of a third LECOM cam­pus, en­roll­ment has grown by 30% since the class of 2011 en­rolled.

Col­leges of os­teo­pathic medicine are grad­u­at­ing more and more stu­dents each year. More than 4,000 new os­teo­pathic physi­cians en­ter the work­force each year. The na­tion’s ap­prox­i­mately 63,000 fully li­censed os­teo­pathic physi­cians prac­tice the en­tire scope of modern medicine, bring­ing a pa­tient-cen­tered, holis­tic, hands-on ap­proach to di­ag­nos­ing and treat­ing ill­ness and in­jury.

Os­teo­pathic physi­cians can choose any spe­cialty, pre­scribe drugs, per­form surg­eries and prac­tice medicine any­where in the U.S. They bring the additional ben­e­fits of os­teo­pathic ma­nip­u­la­tive tech­niques to di­ag­nose and treat pa­tient, and they work in part­ner­ship with pa­tients to help them achieve a high level of well­ness by fo­cus­ing on health ed­u­ca­tion, in­jury pre­ven­tion and dis­ease pre­ven­tion.

The Lake Erie Col­lege of Os­teo­pathic Medicine, LECOM School of Den­tal Medicine and LECOM School of Phar­macy of­fer in­no­va­tive and af­ford­able ed­u­ca­tion in os­teo­pathic medicine, den­tistry and phar­macy. From cam­puses in Erie, Pa.; Greens­burg, Pa.; and Braden­ton, Fla., LECOM pro­vides stu­dent-cen­tered path­ways to pre­pare the next gen­er­a­tion of health­care pro­fes­sion­als.

Pierre Bel­licini Di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions, mar­ket­ing Lake Erie Col­lege of Os­teo­pathic Medicine

Erie, Pa.

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