American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Value of Osteopathic Recognition

By achieving osteopathic recognition, training programs help ensure the unique principles and practice of osteopathic medicine will continue to benefit future generations of patients. Osteopathic recognition also provides advantages for medical students seeking osteopathic-focused training and hospitals in need of residents who provide patient-centered, holistic care

The following list of benefits includes links to relevant research and proof points that demonstrate the value and efficacy of osteopathic medicine. 

Why apply for osteopathic recognition?

doc.jpgReduce costs and improve care 

doc.jpgEnsure osteopathic distinctiveness

doc.jpgAttract more high quality candidates


 Supporting Research


The following articles and research studies provide supporting evidence that osteopathic recognition improves patient care, reduces institutional costs and increases the number of high quality residency applicants..​​​​

Correlates and changes in empathy and attitudes toward interprofessional collaboration​ in osteopathic medical students​

​Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (2013)

Authors: Calabrese, L.H.; Bianco, J.A.; Mann, D.; Massello, D.; Hojat, M.
Summary: Empathy is fundamental to patient care and greatly improves a physician's ability to positively influence patients' health. According to researchers, the decline in empathy often reported among allopathic medical students was not observed among osteopathic medical students. 

Do osteopathic physicians differ in patient interaction from allopathic physicians?​

Journal of the American Osteopathic Association​ (2003)
Authors: Carey, Motyka, Garret & Keller
Summary: Study indicated that osteopathic physicians are more likely than allopathic physicians to discuss social, family and emotional impact of illnesses with patients and were easily distinguishable from allopathic physicians by their verbal interactions with patients.

Patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes associated with osteopathic manipulative treatment​

Journal of the American Osteopathic Association​ (2002)
Authors: Licciardone, J.C.; Gamber, R.; Cardarelli, K.
Summary: Patients receiving OMT reported higher levels of patient satisfaction and relief from pain or discomfort.

Efficacy of osteopathic manipulation as an adjunctive treatment for hospitalized patients with pneumonia​

Osteopathic Medicine and Primary Care (2010)
Authors: Noll, D.R.; ​Degenhardt, B.F.; Morley, T.F.; Blais, F.X.; Hortos, K.A.; Hensel, K.; Johnson, J.C.; Pasta, D.J.; Stoll, S.T.
Summary: Difference in length of stay and duration of intravenous antibiotics for patients suffering from pneumonia who received OMT.

Effect of osteopathic manipulative treatment on incidence of postoperative ileus and hospital length of stay in general surgical patients.​

Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (2013)
Authors: Baltazar, G.A.; Betler, M.P.; Akella K.; Khatri R.; Asaro, R; Chendrasekhar, A.
Summary: Osteopathic manipulative treatment applied after a major gastrointestinal operation is associated with decreased time to flatus and decreased postoperative hospital LOS.

OMT associated with reduced analgesic prescribing and fewer missed work days in patients with low back pain: An observational study​

Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (2014)
Authors: Prinsen, J.K.; Hensel, K.L.; Snow, RJ.
Summary: Patients who received OMT had less use of analgesics, steroids and spinal injections than patients who did not receive OMT.​

Estimating cost of care for patients with acute low back pain: A retrospective review of patient records​

Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (2009)
Authors: Crow, W.T.; Willis, D.R.
Summary: Osteopathic manipulative treatment may reduce costs for the management of acute low back pain.

Osteopathic manipulative treatment improves heart surgery outcomes: A randomized controlled trial​

The Annals of Thoracic Surgery (2016)
Authors: Racca, V.; Bordoni, B.; Castiglioni, P.; Modica, M.; Ferratini, M.
Summary: The combination of standard care with OMT is effective in inducing pain relief and functional recovery, and significantly improves the management of patients after heart surgery with sternotomy.

Osteopathic manipulative treatment for nonspecific low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis​

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders (2014)
Authors: Franke, H.; Franke, J.D; Fyer, G.
Summary: Moderate-quality evidence suggested OMT had a significant effect on pain relief and functional status in acute and chronic nonspecific low back pain. In chronic nonspecific low back pain, moderate-quality evidence suggested a significant difference in favor of OMT regarding pain. Also useful in nonspecific low back pain postpartum.

American Osteopathic Association guidelines for osteopathic manipulative treatment for patients with low back pain​

Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (2016)
Authors: AOA Task Force on the Low Back Pain Clinical Practice Guidelines
Summary: Low back pain guidelines. OMT reduces pain more than expected from placebo effects alone. These results have the potential to last beyond the first year of treatment. More specifically, clinically relevant effects of OMT were found for reducing pain and improving functional status in patients with acute and chronic nonspecific​ low back pain and for low back pain in pregnant and postpartum women three months after treatment.

Preoperative intravenous morphine sulfate with postoperative osteopathic manipulative treatment reduces patient analgesic use after total abdominal hysterectomy​

Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (2005)
Authors: Godstein, F.J.; Jeck, S.; Nicholas, A.S.
Summary: Administration of postoperative OMT enhanced pre- and postoperative morphine analgesia in the immediate 48-hour period following elective total abdominal hysterectomy, demonstrating that OMT can be a therapeutic adjunct in pain management​​ following the procedure.​

Patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes associated with osteopathic manipulative treatment

Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (2002)​
Authors: Licciardone, J.; Gamber, R.; Cardarelli, K.
Summary: Perception of OMT efficacy was significantly associated with all dimensions of patient satisfaction. Relief from pain or discomfort was significantly associated with overall satisfaction.​​​​​​​​​​

Osteopathic recognition is key to GME program' forward-thinking approach ​

The DO​ (2016)
Authors: Raymond, R.
Summary: Obtaining osteopathic recognition will help ensure patients continue to receive the holistic, whole-person care they have come to expect, Dr. Braden says. "They greatly benefit from the osteopathic care our program provides, " she adds.


Survey Results: Appeal of ACGME-accredited programs with osteopathic recognition among third-year osteopathic medical students ​

AACOM (2017)
Summary: Survey results indicate that 70% of third-year osteopathic medical students wish to complete training in an osteopathic residency program. Osteopathic recognition is perceived as a mechanism to continue training as DOs, allowing for further development of the skills learned in osteopathic medical school.


Dermatology: A specialty the exemplifies the osteopathic medical profession​

Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (2011)​
Summary: Using OMT as an adjunctive therapy can provide benefits for patients with skin conditions. In addition, the tenets of osteopathic medicine can be incorporated into the practice of dermatology.​​ ​​​​


Allopathic GME programs seek to attract DO candidates by obtaining osteopathic recognition​

The DO (2015)​
Summary: Allopathic program directors discuss the importance of showing applicants their programs are committed to osteopathic principles. The osteopathic profession's holistic approach to care benefits patients and ensures a diverse applicant pool for residency positions.