Walter C. Ehrenfeuchter, DO '79, FAAO
With a distinguished career in medicine and medical education, Walter C. Ehrenfeuchter,
DO '79, FAAO, served students and patients as a faculty member at Philadelphia College
of Osteopathic Medicine for a total of 40 years. But, before being employed at the
college, he was affiliated with PCOM as a student, intern and resident.
A 1975 graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia, Dr. Ehrenfeuchter, affectionately
known as Dr. E, earned a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from PCOM in 1979,
completing an internship at the Hospital of PCOM, and then served as the first resident
in the history of the osteopathic manipulative medicine profession in 1980.
He was a professor and chair of the PCOM Georgia Department of Osteopathic Manipulative
Medicine for 16 years, retiring in June 2021. Prior to establishing the department
in Georgia, he rose through the ranks at PCOM to the position of professor and vice
chair of the OMM Department where he worked for 17 years, having started as an instructor.
He was also the medical director of the Philadelphia Center for Osteopathic Manipulative
Medicine for seven years.
Dr. Ehrenfeuchter received the 2021 Fellow of American Academy of Osteopathy Distinguished
Service Award just prior to his retirement from the college. The award is presented
annually to one recipient by the Committee on Fellowship of the American Academy of
Osteopathy. Dr. Ehrenfeuchter was honored at the Fellows dinner during the academy’s
Convocation in March. His name and award date were engraved on the FAAO Distinguished
Service perpetual plaque, which is on display in the AAO office.
Dr. E achieved the status of Fellow of the AAO in 1990 and was board certified the
same year. He was elected to the Board of Governors in 1995 and became a member of
the Committee on Fellowship in 2012, where he continues to serve. He has also been
a member of the AAO’s Education Committee, chairing the academy’s convention program
in 1993 and leading a number of muscle energy technique CME programs in the following
From 1996 to 1999, Dr. E was a member of the American Osteopathic Board of Special
Proficiency in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, serving as vice-chair for two years.
In 1999, the specialty board was reconstituted as the American Osteopathic Board of
Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine where he served
as vice-chair from 1999 to 2006 and chair from 2006 to 2008.
Dr. E was the PCOM Student American Academy of Osteopathy chapter advisor from 1981
to 1998 and assisted in the founding of the PCOM Georgia chapter in 2005, serving
as chapter advisor until 2014. He served as the PCOM representative to the Educational
Council on Osteopathic Principles from 1981 to 1997, and as the representative from
PCOM Georgia from 2005 to 2021.
At ECOP, he served as chair of the Glossary Committee from 2009 to 2015. As the ECOP
core curriculum project evolved into a textbook, Dr. E served as the author for six
chapters of Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine, the standard text for teaching the
osteopathic profession, now in its fourth edition.
He has authored numerous articles and delivered a wide variety of lectures and workshops
in the United States, Germany and Japan on many topics including osteopathic principles,
principles of osteopathic manipulative techniques, biomechanics, disorders of the
axial skeleton, disorders of the appendicular skeleton, osteopathic cranial manipulative
medicine, and an osteopathic approach to patients with systemic disorders. In addition,
Dr. Ehrenfeuchter serves as a member of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical
Dr. E notes that his career move to the Suwanee area was the first time in his life
that he had lived outside of Philadelphia. He said, “In addition to the professional
opportunities afforded me, the move also resulted in my meeting my wife, Julie, and
14 of the happiest years of my life.” Coming full circle, he noted that Julie grew
up in Norristown, Pennsylvania, so he did meet and marry a Philly girl, but in the