Andrew Taylor Still, M.D., founded Osteopathic Medicine in 1874. After working as a surgeon for the Union Army in the Civil War, Dr. Still realized that traditional methods were ineffective for his patients. He saw the body as being an interrelated system. He concluded that there needed to be an approach to medicine that treated the body a whole instead of by parts. Osteopathic physicians are taught to practice medicine from a “whole person” approach – instead of treating specific illnesses or sicknesses, they regard the body as an integrated whole. D.O.s have a better understanding of how an ailment in one part of the body can affect other parts of the body as well.
Just like M.D.’s (allopathic physicians), D.O’s attend medical school, but they receive 200+ hours of training in manipulating the musculoskeletal system. This extra training also known as Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) allows D.O.’s to use their hands to diagnose and treat injury and illness, facilitating the body's natural tendencies to repair itself. The osteopathic philosophy of treating the whole person is also applied to prevention of disease as well. By educating the community, osteopathic physicians are able to help individuals prevent and/or control diseases.
Pre-SOMA is the undergraduate division of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA), a national organization of students pursuing a degree in Osteopathic Medicine. Through networking, shadowing, and workshops students get hands-on experience that allows them to become a part of the medical community before entering medical school.
The purpose of Pre-SOMA is to promote and inform the public about osteopathic medical education, to increase the number of applicants to osteopathic medical schools, and to prepare our members for entrance into these schools.