Physicians' Training

How are Osteopathic Physicians trained?
  • Doctors of Osteopathy (DOs) are fully licensed physicians who graduate from a 4 year Osteopathic medical school that covers all branches of conventional medicine and surgery.
  • Osteopathic physicians can prescribe medications, do surgery, order tests and radiologic studies and deliver babies.
  • DOs specialize in a broad variety of fields ranging from Dermatology to Cardio-Thoracic surgery.
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In addition to allopathic (MD) training DO students receive, they also get 200-400 hours of training in manual diagnosis and treatment. This training allows the osteopathic physician to effectively treat disorders and diseases in ways, which are unique to the profession. DOs and MDs often train side by side during their internships and residencies.

The foundation of their training differs from that of MD medical schools in that its emphasis is on making use of the patient’s own healing mechanisms by working with the principles of nature’s repair systems. An Osteopathic Physician is uniquely suited to evaluate dysfunction in the immune, elimination, circulatory, nervous, endocrine and musculoskeletal systems, from both a palpatory and laboratory standpoint.

The highly developed sensory skills of an Osteopathic Physician gives the doctor a comprehensive understanding of how disease develops and stays in the patient, and helps the doctor work on multiple levels of structure and function simultaneously. For instance, a patient with pneumonia who also has poor respiratory effort has a much slower recovery if only given antibiotics to reduce the bacterial count. Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT) can improve the function of the diaphragm, ribs and lung motion thereby increasing opportunity for oxygenated blood to move through the patient’s entire body and for immune cells to get to the area of the consolidated infection. This will help the body overcome the imbalance of the infection which can cause fatigue, loss of appetite, pain and shortness of breath. So the Osteopathic Physicians looks not only at the diagnosis of pneumonia as an infection of lung tissue which is debilitating and sometimes life threatening, he also evaluates the patient’s capacity to literally fight off the infection by studying their circulatory and respiratory capacity, palpable signs of vitality, appetite, the effect on other organ systems and the effect on the patient’s mind and spirit. All of those issues are addressed in a customized hands-on treatment and reassessed after treatment to evaluate progress. The body can heal itself just as a stream dammed up can eventually clear its water by finding exit paths in crevices between the obstructing rocks. The rapidity and comprehensiveness of the healing process may be improved or ignited by scientifically designed neuro-endocrine-immune-musculoskeletal treatment.

Extensive post-graduate training enables DOs to develop the diagnostic and therapeutic skills necessary to consistently help the majority of their patients. Our physicians are dedicated to life long medical education and teaching because they wish to offer the best Osteopathic Medical care available.

Many specialists and lots of medicines did not resolve my migraines or my daily headaches. But Dr. H. got rid of all my headaches without any medications by using his hands in osteopathic treatments.
-Nicola D.
Dr. Hagopian fixed my back problems that had been plaguing me for 5 years! He helped me find long term relief. Almost like he gave me my life back!
-Bonnie Z.
This is a doctor who listens closely to everything I say. And the funny thing is he doesn't really need to do that because most of the time he can figure out what I need just by examining me. That's the osteopathic difference!
-Frank B.
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