Osteopathic Integration

OPP Integration is the process by which the basic tenets of the osteopathic profession are consciously applied to the teaching of the practice of medicine and related fields. The four tenets, as excerpted from the WVSOM Faculty Handbook, are as follows:

  • The body is a unit
  • Structure and function are interdependent
  • The body has self healing and self regulatory capabilities
  • Rational osteopathic care relies on the integration of these tenets in patient care

The OPP Integration Project

The OPP Integration Project was initiated in December 1992 by James R. Stookey, D.O., F.A.A.O., former Academic Dean of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM). The Committee was asked to develop a proposal that would result in a greater integration of Osteopathic Principles (philosophy) and Practice (manipulation) into the entire predoctoral curriculum at WVSOM. The goal was to create a curriculum that would graduate physicians who utilize the osteopathic philosophy in their clinical practices and provide osteopathic manipulation to their patients.

From this project came an institutional self study and a series of recommendations for change, which were approved fall 1993 (see OPP Integration Document link below). Out of this project has developed several unique curricular initiatives. Among them are the OMM 2nd year Student Clinics, required OMT case studies in the Family Medicine I & III rotations, and the James R. Stookey preceptor program, a required OMM rotation in both the 3rd and 4th years at WVSOM, at which students are required to perform at least 5 osteopathic manipulative treatments on patients weekly.

The integration of regularly scheduled OPP workshops in the WVSOM OPTI has received commendations in accreditation visits since its inception. In addition, WVSOM faculty members are evaluated on the integration of osteopathic principles in their teaching. In order to foster this integrative teaching, regular OPP Integration faculty in-service education is offered.

Associate Dean for Osteopathic Medical Education

Further support for this initiative occurred March 2003 when Michael Adelman, D.O., WVSOM's President, created the administrative position of the Associate Dean for Osteopathic Medical Education (ADOME). Robert Foster, D.O., serves as the ADOME. This position is responsible for ensuring the integration of osteopathic philosophy, principles and practice across the entire WVSOM pre- and postdoctoral curriculum. Further, the Osteopathic Principles & Practice Committee is advisory to the ADOME.

For further information, please see the following publications:

  • Lemley W, Steele KM, Shires W, McMahan R. Integration of Osteopathic Principles and Practices Teaching Programs into Osteopathic Graduate Medical Education at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. JAOA 2007:107(11); 495-501.
  • Steele KM, Baker HH, Boxwell GF, Steele-Killeen S. Community-Based Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Student Clinic: Changes in Curriculum and Student Confidence Levels, JAOA 2005:105(11); 503-513.
  • Baker HH, Cope MK, Steele KM, Wager MA. Graduates' Perceptions of Faculty/Administration Attitudes Towards Osteopathic Principles and Primary Care, JAOA 1997: 97(9)550.
  • Baker HH, Cope MK, Hassen A., Wager MA, Steele KM. Assessment of Attitudes of Graduating Osteopathic Medical Students, paper presented at the American Osteopathic Association 101st Annual Conference and Scientific Seminar, October 1996, abstracted JAOA 1996:96(8);489.
  • West Virginia School Experiments with Integrating OPP The D.O. December 1994: 67.
  • Steele KM, Baker HH, Broudy EP. Class of 1988 Reactions Regarding Curricular Integration of Osteopathic Principles and Practices at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, poster presented at the American Osteopathic Association 99th Annual Conference and Scientific Seminar, San Francisco, CA, November, 1994, abstracted JAOA 1994:94(9);764.
  • Baker HH, Steele KM, Broudy E. Return Rates of Confidential and Anonymous Surveys of Osteopathic Medical Graduates, poster presented at the American Osteopathic Association 98th Annual Conference and Scientific Seminar, Boston, October, 1993, abstracted JAOA 1993:93(9);957.
  • http://www.wvsom.edu/_pdf/OPPIntegDoc93.pdf.