18 November 2013

Med School Update: OMM

Student Doctor Chandler's last rotation was only 10 minutes from where I work in a clinic that I have frequented before. The Heartspring Wellness Clinic in Corvallis (part of the Samaritan Health System) is home to one of the only practicing osteopathic manual manipulation specialists in the area. If you live in the Willamette Valley and have muscoluskeltal pain, I've heard that Dr. Myers can work wonders. I heard that from Scott who was so impressed to hear most patients were referred from other patients and saw they left feeling a great relief from pain. Scott worked with this doctor and an Internal Medicine resident from 7:30 Am - 5:30 Pm each day. Scott said the doctor had 10 one hour appointments each day with little time for lunch. Scott, however, was required to attend lunchtime lectures at the Corvallis hospital each day as part of his rotation. 
Scott describes these OMM treatments as being much different from what he learned in school. While the basic concepts were the same, Scott said his preceptor took the manipulation to a whole new level. This doctor could do a light palpation, and without any patient description, find troubled musculoskeletal areas. He would then apply several different treatments at the same time. Some of the treatments Scott was familiar with, and some were new techniques that his preceptor taught him during these four weeks. The doctor was also trained in acupuncture and would needle a patient if appropriate. 

I was lucky enough to play the victim most nights for Scott's manipulation practice. Before you go all dirty with that last sentence, that means that Scott tried his OMM techniques to help with my neck or back pain and even alleviate some concerns with my Crohns (troubled ileum). It was fun to see Scott so excited about these new techniques and the outcome that they seemed to produce. 

In addition to working with patients in the clinic, Scott was invited to watch an after-hours clinic that his preceptor conducts with OSU athletes at Reser Stadium. Athletes from all of the sports at OSU have access to a team physician and orthopedic doctors. However, they find that some cases are best suited for OMM and have a clinic twice a week for these cases. Having the opportunity to see OMM in action in a sports medicine setting is right up Scott's alley.

Scott feels extremely grateful that he had the opportunity to do his OMM rotation with this particular doctor. It raised OMM to a new level of practice and education. He now feels that he would like to practice OMM with patients the majority of the time, but not all the time. He still likes the idea of family practice, sports medicine or PM&R, integrating OMM throughout. 

Next rotation - VACATION! Four weeks of blissful relaxation… oh, yeah, and scheduling all of his rotations for 4th year. Still, he can watch sports while he's researching those options, so I think it's still a vacation.