Program PhilosophyOsteopathic medicine embraces the following philosophic principles:
- There exists an intimate relationship between structure and function in the human body
- Within this unity of organization, health is a reflection of an integrity of self-regulatory and self-healing mechanisms
- Certain distortions within these components reflect a level of disturbed health as a part of the process of disease
- Some manifestations of these distortions can be perceived within the neuromusculoskeletal system through the clinical use of osteopathic diagnostic procedures
- Osteopathic medicine is dedicated to the amelioration of these disturbed structure-function relationships by the clinical application of osteopathic diagnostic and therapeutic skills developed within this distinctive orientation.
The college is dedicated to assist in meeting the ever-growing public demand for physicians who can provide comprehensive and continuing health care to all members of the family. While the educational program of the College of Osteopathic Medicine is geared to the training of primary care physicians, the curricula are also designed to meet the continuing need for medical specialists and teacher-investigators.
Traditionally, osteopathic education seeks to prepare physicians who are especially concerned with maintaining continuing personal relationships with patients, their families and their optimum interaction with the community environmental patterns. This emphasis is reflected in the nature of the curriculum and particularly reinforced during clinical clerkship rotations through a variety of clinical disciplines in both hospital and non-hospital settings.
Early clinical involvement in patient care enables students to study the biological and behavioral sciences that are relevant to what they are seeing and doing in the clinical area. With the help of the faculties in the biological and behavioral sciences, students learn to apply current concepts and principles to clinical problems related to patient care.
The entire teaching program emphasizes an important cooperative relationship between basic sciences and clinical practice. During their medical undergraduate and graduate education, students must develop the foundation and motivation for a lifetime of learning, and the ability to apply new knowledge and skills as they evolve.
Medical education within the college is consistent with osteopathic philosophy and is based on the following tenets:
- The focal point of the curriculum is patient care
- The holistic nature of osteopathic medical care of patients in their environments requires the integration and application of the biological, clinical, social and behavioral sciences
- The basic sciences are not necessarily preclinical topics, but subjects that become meaningful and relevant when applied to the art and science of clinical osteopathic medicine
- The students should have early and significant patient contact, and patient responsibility should increase progressively throughout the program
- A level of performance to criterion is expected of all students in basic and clinical sciences, including palpatory diagnosis and manipulative therapy
- Students must be prepared for more than utilization of present knowledge.
Throughout all preclerkship and clerkship educational experiences, learning is reinforced through an integrated basic and behavioral sciences clinical correlations approach. This "Building Block" leaning strategy is designed to prepare students for the Clinical Clerkship program, where they receive clinical training in primary care settings that vary from inner-city clinics to suburban or rural practices. This clerkship program is designed to provide students with practical experiences in all aspects of the delivery of health care, with particular emphasis on holistic patient management, at sites which include hospitals and ambulatory care settings throughout the state of Michigan.