The very founding of osteopathic medicine and the armed forces are inextricably linked;
the father of osteopathic medicine, AT Still, served in the 21th Regiment of the Kansas
State Militia during the Civil War. Osteopathic physicians (DOs) who serve in the
military have often used their additional training in osteopathic manipulative medicine
(OMM) to relieve pain and treat injuries on the battlefield, when medication or other
treatments could not be readily available.
To raise awareness of osteopathic medicine’s role in the military, the PCOM chapter
of the Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons (SAMOPS)
and the PCOM President’s Diversity Council Subcommittee for Military Members, Veterans/Discharged
and Their Families, recently presented the third annual Military Medical Student Symposium
for DO and MD students.
The two-day event saw more than 60 pre-med, DO and MD students from a half-dozen medical
schools, including PCOM, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine and the University
of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.
On Friday, Dec. 11, PCOM hosted several members of the armed forces who are practicing
physicians, to discuss the role doctors play on the battlefield. Students also had
the opportunity to meet with high-ranking military physicians including Rear Adm.
David Lane, the medical officer (TMO) of the Marine Corps and incoming commanding
officer of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda; Rear Adm. Charles
Harr, retired TMO and civilian cardiothoracic surgeon; and Rear Adm. Alan "Woody"
Beal, deputy commander of Navy Recruiting Command.
On Saturday, Dec. 12, attendees took part in hands-on osteopathic manipulative techniques
(OMT) often used to treat military personnel, that can also be performed in the clinical
setting. The medical students also took part in a trauma simulation to learn skills
related to trauma care.
“Soldiers are a mix of warrior and athlete,” says C. Woodworth Parker, MS (DO ’16),
national president of SAMOPS and an ensign in the U.S. Navy. “They often develop somatic
dysfunctions in the body that OMT could be helpful in treating. And, many MD students
have never seen OMT done, so this is a way to expose them to another treatment modality.
Events like this are unique,” he added. “Military medical students get to meet with
colleagues, ranking members of our community, and learn more about our specific niche
About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands
of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists
who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms.
PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic
medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in
applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic
medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership
and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician
assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration.
PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service
to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care
to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
For more information, contact: Daniel McCunney Associate Director, News and Media Relations Email: email@example.com Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: