December 2000

Volume 21 | Number 1

Special Theme: Osteopathic Medicine

Dean's Column
Dorothy Dobbins, Ph.D.

Osteopathic Medicine: Emphasis on Health Rather than Disease
Michael L. Kuchera, D.O.

Over one hundred years after its introduction as a distinctively American approach to health care, osteopathic medicine is now the fastest growing segment of the U.S. healthcare field. Organized around a distinctive philosophy, it is a complete system of health care delivery and disease prevention.

Why is the osteopathic profession so popular? This article focuses on four aspects of the current popularity of this profession.

  1. An emphasis within osteopathic education on health
  2. The perception of osteopathic medicine as an alternative approach to health care
  3. A history of osteopathic physicians practicing primary care
  4. The profession's value-added perception approach to care using "high-tech and high-touch"
  5. Growing international recognition of the profession and its potential contributions

Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine: Optimizing Patient-Focused Health Care
Brian F. Degenhardt, D.O.

As an osteopathic physician who integrates osteopathic manipulative medicine into his practice on a daily basis, I often spend a great deal of time explaining the role of this treatment modality in health care. This article describes the philosophy of osteopathic medicine, as well as how several of its basic tenets make this practice of medicine a distinctive form of health care in the United States.

Survey on Perceptions of Osteopathic Medicine
Lori Haxton, M.A.

In 1999, the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine conducted three surveys through an independent agency, Central Surveys, Inc. The surveys were conducted to obtain feedback from three populations.

  1. Newly enrolled medical students
  2. Premedical advisors
  3. Premedical students

The college president supported and financed the project. The purpose of the project was to obtain information on marketing, image and name equity. A number of survey questions were developed specifically to obtain information on osteopathic medical advising from the entering medical student, premedical student and premedical advisor perspective. Survey content was developed by a committee made up of the college president, assistant vice president of public relations and communications, vice president and dean of students, and the director of admissions with support from Central Surveys, Inc. This article will focus on survey results as they relate to advising only.

Advisor to Advisor

Pre-Medical Student Attrition at a Four-Year Liberal arts College
Dan A. Gerbens, Ed.D.

Interest in a career in medicine remains high among entering college freshmen, even though in recent years the number of medical school applicants has declined. The purpose of this study was to investigate the attrition of pre-medical students during their four years of undergraduate, "pre-med" education. Two classes of pre-med students at Hope College were contacted after each semester of their college career to determine whether they still considered themselves to be pre-med students, and if not, why not. Results indicated that the largest attrition of pre-med students occurred following the first semester of college. The amount and difficulty of the required science courses were most commonly cited as the reason for abandoning medicine (pre-med) as a career direction.

NEW VISION on Health Professions
Bradley S. Bowden, Ph.D.
Joan M. Bowden, M.S.

All health professions programs look for evidence of an applicant's familiarity with and sincere interest in the health profession to which he or she is seeking admission. In the 1998 summer issue of The Advisor, Dan Gerbens described two programs at Hope College that provide college students with firsthand experience in the health care system to gain insight into the practice of medicine, to confirm their career choice and to build their resumes. It is equally important for high school students to have this opportunity prior to college, especially to have close and extensive contact with the health care system, a diversity of health professions and the opportunity to assess their own commitment to the health professions. In New York State, BOCES districts (Board of Cooperative Education Services) have sponsored NEW VISION Career Exploration programs that provide high school seniors these opportunities in several different professions. NEW VISION Health Professions programs will be starting their tenth year in some BOCES districts. This article describes the organization and the advantages of these programs.

Correlates of MCAT Performance in a Post-baccalaureate Population of Premedical Students
George Delahunty, Ph.D.

The purpose of this study was to examine correlations between traditional indicators of academic performance, SAT scores and grade point averages, and MCAT scores in a population of post-baccalaureate premedical students. Data was collected from post-baccalaureate students at Goucher College from the academic years 1990-91 through 1994-95. A strong correlation exists between the total MCAT score and the total SAT score whereas a modest correlation exists between the total MCAT score and the post-baccalaureate GPA. The Physical Sciences and Verbal Reasoning subsection of the MCAT correlated well with the Math and Verbal subsection of the SAT. These data suggest that SAT scores have significant value in helping to identify post-baccalaureate candidates who can be successful medical school applicants.

From the Literature: Mastering the New Public Health
Noreen M. Clark, Ph.D,
Elizabeth Weist, M.A., M.P.H.

The dramatic changes in the field of public health are reverberating in schools of public health in a number of ways, not the least of which is action by the deans of the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) to ensure that graduates with master’s of public health degrees are competent to meet the current challenges of practice.

The conceptual framework at the center of this activity describes three domains — skills, perspectives, and settings — in which alumni of schools of public health may be required to demonstrate competency. ASPH work in this area is grounded in previous national and professional competency definitions and school- and department-specific competency development; it is distinct from earlier work, however, because its focus is on competency at the master’s level across the graduate schools of public health.

The field of public health is undergoing a transition that is making itself felt deep into the heart of public health academe. The changing nature of people entering the field of public health is, moreover, causing graduate schools of public health to reconsider the way students are prepared for public health practice.

Liaison Report
David Verrier
NAAHP Liaison to AACOM

Book Review: The D.O.'s: Osteopathic Medicine in America
Book by Norman Gevitz
Review by Helen Pigage

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