A Degree of Difference: The Origins of Osteopathy and First Use of the “DO” Designation

Norman Gevitz, PhD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: January 23, 2012

Accepted: August 6, 2012

Published: January 1, 2014

J Osteopath Med; 114(1): 30-40

This article is the first installment in a series of 6 articles on the history of and controversies related to the DO degree. Four questions about the origins of osteopathy and the initial use of the DO designation will be addressed in this particular article. First, did Andrew Taylor Still earn an MD diploma?—he being invariably described as an MD in current osteopathic periodical literature. Second, what was the importance of “magnetic healing” in the evolution of Still’s thought? Third, how did the principles and practice of “bonesetting” complete his new system? Finally, when did he originate the term osteopathy and first devise and employ the DO designation? Future articles will examine episodically the history of the DO degree from Still’s establishment of the American School of Osteopathy in 1892 up through to the present debate over its significance and value.

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