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Departments: Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

Osteopathic Medicine in Downers Grove


Chair: Kurt Heinking, D.O.

The Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) is designed to serve as a focal point of osteopathic uniqueness within the Downers Grove Campus of Midwestern University. In addition to the traditional role of teaching the osteopathic courses to students, the Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine is a resource to provide leadership to facilitate the demonstration of this osteopathic uniqueness. A continuum of osteopathic training is essential, and the Department will work to facilitate this continuum of training. The Department recognizes the necessity for a base of scientific research to support osteopathic theory and practice, as well as the necessity of clinical studies to document the efficacy and cost effectiveness of osteopathic care.

1501, 1502, 1503 Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine is taught in the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. Instruction consists of one hour of lecture plus a laboratory period each week. Laboratory sessions are designed to reinforce material presented in lectures and to identify and develop the practical skills needed to diagnose and treat patients. Laboratory periods provide an excellent opportunity for medical students to ask questions. Closed-circuit television is used to enhance the effectiveness of demonstrations.

Instruction begins with an orientation to the osteopathic profession (including the history and philosophy of osteopathic medicine) and an examination of the distinctive contribution of the osteopathic profession to the delivery of health care. Normal anatomy and physiology are also emphasized. Early laboratory periods emphasize palpation, identification of anatomic landmarks, evaluation of motion, and evaluation of soft issues. The course then progresses into the pathophysiology of the spine with a description of the structural-functional disturbances that occur in the spine. The techniques of articulation, range of motion procedures, muscle energy, cranial osteopathy, counterstrain, myofacial release, and high-velocity thrust manipulative techniques are taught. Neurobiologic mechanisms in manipulative treatment and their clinical manifestations are also presented. At the conclusion of the first year, medical students are expected to have mastered palpation, diagnosis, and simple basic manipulative procedures.

1604, 1605, 1606 Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine is taught in the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. Instruction in the Fall and Winter quarters consists of one hour of lecture each week followed by a laboratory period. The second-year course is an expansion of the first year, with a dominant focus on organ systems as contrasted to anatomic regions. A complete spectrum of direct and indirect osteopathic manipulative techniques are taught. The Spring quarter returns to examination and treatment of anatomic regions and concludes with a "Find It, Fix It" practical examination in which the student must demonstrate competence in diagnosis and treatment. A comprehensive written examination covering the first two years is given.

1801 Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Rotation
This is a core rotation required of all MS-IV students. Each student will spend one four-week rotation in the office of a physician who uses an extensive amount of OMT in their practice. The didactic component will consist of a two-day comprehensive review of osteopathic principles, diagnosis, and common manipulative techniques. At the end of two weeks, students will return to the campus on Saturday morning to discuss clinical cases and review progress. On the final day, a written examination and practical "Find It, Fix It" examination will be given. The student will gain practical experience in using osteopathic principles and practices in the clinical setting.

Elective: Osteopathy in the Cranial Field
This course will be a combination of lecture and laboratory instruction in the skills lab. Didactic material will cover the Primary Respiratory Mechanism, cranial anatomy and function, flexion/external rotation-extension/internal rotation of the mechanism as well as individual bones, diagnosis by observation, diagnosis by palpation and motion testing, treatment techniques, clinical correlation, and clinical problem-solving.
20 credits
Prerequisites: MS-I or MS-II students with interest in learning more skills in cranial, and basic ability to palpate CRI

Elective: Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
This elective will allow the student to work directly with OMM faculty members and first-year students in the development of psychomotor skills and problem-solving skills in the treatment of the musculoskeletal component of common patient problems. The second-year student will work as a teaching assistant during first-year OMM laboratory time.
20 credits
Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of OMED 1501, 1502, and 1503, and no schedule conflicts

Elective: Advanced Studies in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
This elective will combine cognitive data, psychomotor skills, and problem-solving skills in the evaluation and treatment of the musculoskeletal component of common patient problems. The problems will be studied in depth at an advanced level. All forms of manipulative treatment will be used.
20 credits
Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of OMED 1501, 1502, 1503

Electives: Osteopathic Clinical Research I and II
This independent study elective will allow the student to identify potential clinician-researchers; develop research questions in osteopathic health care; convert a question into a research protocol and plan; develop the resources for implementing the plan; and conduct a case study or small pilot study.
10 credits
Prerequisite: Instructor approval

Elective: Percussion Hammer
This elective focuses on the use of a mechanical percussion hammer as an adjunct to facilitate release of restrictions in the musculoskeletal system. Didactic material will cover the physiologic basis for the percussion hammer, relevant anatomy and function, diagnosis by observation, palpation and motion testing, treatment techniques, clinical correlation, and problem-solving.
20 credits
Prerequisite: Completion of cranial elective or advanced palpatory skills

Elective: Osteopathic Sports Medicine
This course will provide a foundation of knowledge in sports medicine covering diagnosis and treatment of common athletic injuries. The course emphasizes the use of osteopathic diagnostic and treatment skills in the management of sports injuries.
20 credits
Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of OMED 1501, 1502

Elective: Osteopathic Considerations in Systemic Disease
This course will provide additional training in the clinical utilization of osteopathic manipulative techniques for treatment of systemic problems, such as EENT, pulmonary, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary.
20 credits
Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of OMED 1501, 1502

Elective: Preventive Medicine I
This elective course is designed to expose students to a variety of preventive medicine issues. A series of lectures is given by clinical faculty as well as others from outside agencies. After this course, students will be able to identify the issues and needs related to health promotion and disease prevention; discuss the psychologic factors that may affect patient health and the relationship of a holistic approach by the physician; and identify resources available within the community and the interaction of various community support systems.
20 credits

Elective: Preventive Medicine II
This elective course is designed to expose and orient students to a variety of health care services available in most communities. It will also provide an opportunity for students to conceptualize their responsibility in providing health promotion/disease prevention in their future practice communities. Students observe and participate in a variety of health and social service agencies in order to develop an understanding of the roles and skills of non-physician health care professionals and the relationship of physicians to this group. Students will learn appropriate communication and referral skills that may be required of them as future physicians. This course involves experiences at clinical sites.
20 credits

Elective Clerkship in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
Medical students may participate in a four-week elective in osteopathic medicine to increase their osteopathic knowledge and skill in the clinical arena.

OMM Fellows' Clinic
In the fall of 1998, Dr. Robert Kappler created the OMM Fellows' Clinic as part of the Downers Grove Campus Wellness Center. The clinic was established to offer much-needed OMM services to the Midwestern University community. It was also created to provide first-hand clinical experience for the OMM Fellows. The OMM Fellows' Clinic is currently held in the OMM Skills Lab in the lower level of Alumni Hall. The clinic is staffed by the OMM Fellows who are on service that month under the supervision of Dr. Kappler and Dr. Heinking. Charts are kept on all patients, and in addition to the OMT, exercise/stretching prescriptions are a mainstay of treatment.


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