An osteopathic career requires quite some time investment: it starts with a bachelor’s course followed by four more years in an osteopathic medical school. As a matter of fact, in addition to acquiring the education that medical doctors receive, osteopaths have to get further education on how to manipulate bones and soft tissue for the sake of diagnosis or therapy.
Therefore, osteopaths, otherwise known as D.O.s (Doctors of Osteopathy) can do anything M.D.s (Medical Doctors) can do once they have completed their residency training.
Working as an osteopath entails reducing swellings, pain, and identifying strains as well as improving physical mobility. This requires a highly developed sense of touch, which is used to attain these health goals through improvements on bone, muscle, ligament, joint, and nerve health so that they work better together.
Essentially, you should consider a career in osteopathy if you have good coordination and practical skills, find human biology fascinating, are physically fit, and have a sincere desire to help people recover their health.
A Fresh Approach To Medicine
The science of osteopath goes as far back as the nineteenth century. At the time, a regular physician by the name of Andrew Taylor had the notion that conventional medicine was wrong in focusing primarily on treating illnesses rather than helping to uphold health. Over time, the two medical paths have become more aligned, but osteopathic training is still more wholesome than conventional medicine.
The appeal of this field of focus has seen the number of medical students opting for osteopathy rise to over 20% in the US. Students specializing in osteopathy tend to be more community-minded as far as their career choices go.
The traditional focus of D.O.s has been primary care. Lately, however, there has been a shift away from primary care among osteopaths. Medical colleges focusing on osteopathy see this as a deviation from the founding tenets of the field, which is why they are trying to revamp their training programs to encourage careers in primary care.
But this is not to say you do not have the option of specializing, just as M.D.s do, once you decide to become an osteopath. As mentioned earlier, you can pick any career path a medical doctor can choose. So, you can choose to specialize in whatever branch of medicine you like without necessarily abandoning the principles of osteopathy.
The field of osteopathy has grown by leaps and bounds over the last three decades in the U.S., in no small part because of the rise in the number of osteopathic colleges in the country. For instance, there were just four osteopathic colleges in 1968, a number that has since ballooned to 29 colleges in three decades. The students have increased by about ten times over the same period from a paltry sum of 1,900 to a more respectable figure of 18,000.
As an osteopath, you can launch your own private practice and become self-employed. This career path requires you to put some work and time into building a good client base and growing your name. In the end, you could be the successful owner of a private health care center or even a private sports clinic.
There are other opportunities as well in the job market. For example, you can work in a community-based clinic. Here, you can work alongside physiotherapists and chiropodists. Other places that could fit you perfectly include health consultancy, a general practitioner surgical practice, clinical care centers, and so forth. You could even choose to be a trainer or a researcher in the field and find your skills in demand both locally and abroad.
Is Osteopathy The Right Choice?
Essentially, becoming an osteopath is all a matter of choice. But if you feel that the kind of training osteopathy entails would be beneficial to the medical career you are seeking to pursue, then you should seriously consider pursuing it. You could even try visiting an actual D.O. and see what this career is all about so that you make the right choice.
In fact, most osteopathic colleges will ask for a recommendation from a D.O. before taking you on as a student. You should also know that the benefits of an M.D. course over a D.O course are limited. For instance, osteopathic training will put you at a disadvantage while seeking to pursue careers such as neurosurgery, CT surgery, and opthalmology. But other than that, the sky is the limit!