A physician and medical student perform osteopathic manipulative medicine on a patient.

WVSOM to offer free care to public through annual student clinic

The new year brings with it another opportunity for students at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) and members of Lewisburg and surrounding communities to be of service to one another. Through the Student Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) Clinic, free osteopathic evaluations and manipulative treatment will be provided to the public starting Jan. 11.

In addition to improving the health of area residents, the annual clinic serves as an educational experience for WVSOM’s second-year medical students, who gain familiarity with providing osteopathic manipulative medicine to patients under physician supervision.

The 2023 clinic will take place on Wednesdays in two four-week sessions. The first session is scheduled for Jan. 11, Jan. 18, Jan. 25 and Feb. 1, while the second session will take place Feb. 15, Feb. 22, March 1 and March 8. For both sessions, appointments are available at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

This is the first year the clinic will be overseen by Pamela deWilde, D.O., an assistant professor in WVSOM’s Department of Osteopathic Principles and Practice. DeWilde said students are grateful for the chance to practice what they’ve learned.

“WVSOM is thrilled to again offer community members the opportunity to participate in the Student OMM Clinic,” she said. “Students have worked hard during the past two years to hone their skills and train their hands. Year after year, the clinic helps the community and our students.”

DeWilde explained that safety precautions taken during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic will remain in effect during the clinic.

“As in previous years, patients will be required to wear face masks during their appointments, and students will wear KN95 masks,” she said.

In osteopathic manipulative medicine, hands-on techniques are used to evaluate health, alleviate pain and restore motion through stretching, placing pressure on or otherwise manipulating muscles and joints. Students at WVSOM learn osteopathic techniques in addition to a standard medical curriculum that allows graduates to pursue residencies in any medical specialty.

Sheri Visted, a past participant in the clinic, said she has benefited from being examined and treated by WVSOM students.

“My experience with the program has been very positive. I have seen improvement with my condition, and everyone I have come in contact with has been attentive and professional. I appreciate all the guidance I have received,” she said.

The clinic is open only to those who do not have an open workers’ compensation, disability or motor vehicle accident claim and are not involved in injury-related litigation. Participants are asked to wear nonrestrictive clothing during their appointments.

Patients must have a referral from a primary care physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner prior to scheduling appointments. To register, call 304-647-6286.