|Martin Levine, D.O., the American Osteopathic Association President, spoke to LECOM students at Erie and Seton Hill.|
Dr. Levine talked about the need for more primary care physicians in the United States and reminded the student physicians to incorporate osteopathic principles into their practices.“The osteopathic profession – whether it’s the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine or any of the other colleges – produces the best-trained physicians in the world,” Dr. Levine said. “I asked them (the students) to provide osteopathic manipulation to every patient on every visit,” he said. Osteopathic physicians use their hands to manipulate the musculoskeletal system and to diagnose and treat patients and often find dysfunctions that are missed by other health care providers. They take a whole-person approach to health care encompassing mind, body, and spirit.
|Martin Levine, D.O., AOA President (left), had a lunchtime conversation with student government leaders at LECOM Erie and LECOM at Seton Hill. Nikhil Mohan, LECOM Erie SGA President listens in.|
Dr. Levine said the AOA is pushing for more osteopathic graduate medical education programs needed for medical school graduates to finish their training. These postdoctoral residency programs are funded through Medicare. He has testified before Congress on the need for more primary care physicians and surgeons. He said primary care physicians can save the American healthcare system money. “The American Academy of Family Physicians did a study,” Dr. Levine explained. “They found that patients who go to a family physician can typically save a third of their total cost for healthcare. It also increases the quality of care by 19 percent.”
Dr. Levine also talked about health care reform and the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. While the law is controversial and there are parts of the law the AOA does not support, he said the basic tenets of the law are acceptable. “The parts that we really wanted went into law last year,” Dr. Levine explained. He said the AOA wanted pre-existing conditions covered, wanted children with congenital deformities covered, and the right for people under age 26 to be covered by their parents’ health plan. “Students having the ability to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26 from 23 – that makes a huge difference for a lot of the students that are in this school,” Dr. Levine exclaimed. “What we didn’t want – they didn’t put into law right away.”
|Tyler Travis, M.A., Executive Director of the LECOM Medical Fitness & Wellness Center, (left) gives AOA President Martin Levine, D.O., a tour of the facility during his visit to LECOM Erie.|
Finally, he told the students to make the most of their osteopathic medical education. He recommended they practice osteopathic manipulation on as many patients as possible. He said it’s up to the students to make sure they keep up with their studies to pass the licensing boards. He said the hard work will pay off for them in the future when they’re seeing patients.
The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, LECOM School of Dental Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine, dentistry and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.