Staff and students at LECOM’s four campuses have joined community leaders in recognizing the contributions doctors of osteopathic medicine make in the everyday lives of their patients during National Osteopathic Medicine (NOM) Week, April 18-24.
NOM Week, promoted annually by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), brings the osteopathic medical profession together to focus on one common goal: increasing awareness of osteopathic medicine and doctors of osteopathic medicine. Similar to the more commonly known allopathic Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), osteopathic medicine takes a “total-person” approach to health care, encompassing the mind, body and spirit of the patient as the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) becomes a partner with the patient on a pathway to health and well-being.
LECOM has trained more than 7,600 osteopathic physicians since the college welcomed its first class in 1993. Today, over 2,300 students are enrolled in the school’s College of Osteopathic Medicine program at campuses in Erie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Bradenton, Florida, and Elmira, New York, making LECOM the largest medical school in the U.S.
In Erie, LECOM is the core of LECOM Health, the nation’s only osteopathic academic health center. LECOM Health physicians, many of whom are LECOM graduates, work diligently every day to provide a compassionate, “whole-person” approach to medicine to members of the Erie community.
To recognize the role osteopathic physicians play, City of Erie Mayor Joe Schember, City of Elmira Mayor Daniel Mandell Jr., City of Greensburg Mayor Robert Bell and City of Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston issued official proclamations recognizing NOM Week in their respective communities.
“Osteopathic physicians are dedicated members of the medical community who are committed to championing and delivering improved patient outcomes through education and quality care across all specialties. Their distinctive medical training makes a difference in the everyday lives of the patients they treat,” said LECOM President and CEO John M. Ferretti, D.O. “LECOM takes great pride in training the next generation of these physicians and is thankful our communities have celebrated their service to mankind.”
Statistics show that the interest in osteopathic medicine continues to increase dramatically. According to the AOA’s 2019 Osteopathic Medical Profession Report, the osteopathic medical profession has grown 63% since 2010 and nearly 300% over the last three decades. A record number of new osteopathic physicians – nearly 7,000 – graduated in 2019, and an estimated 1 in 4 medical students currently attends an osteopathic medical school. The AOA estimates there are currently more than 151,000 osteopathic physicians and students in the U.S. and that by 2030 more than 20% of all practicing physicians will be Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine.