Effect of a Mandatory Third-Year Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment Course on Student Attitudes

Katherine L. Heineman, DO; Drew D. Lewis, DO; Edward P. Finnerty, PhD; Shannon V. Crout, DO; and Craig Canby, PhD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: December 14, 2015

Accepted: December 21, 2015

Published: April 1, 2016

J Osteopath Med; 116(4): 207-213

Context: Despite interest by osteopathic medical students in learning and incorporating osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) techniques into their future practices, most students indicate that OMT is rarely or never taught during many clinical rotations.

Objectives: To determine whether a mandatory OMT course taken during the third year of medical school would influence students’ exposure to OMT, confidence in OMT, intent to continue developing OMT skills, and plan to provide OMT as practicing physicians.

Methods: A mandatory pilot OMT course was implemented in the 2014 third-year curriculum. A survey was then developed to assess students’ attitudes toward OMT. Surveys were administered to students whose third year was in 2013 and thus had not taken the course (group 1) and to students who had taken the course in 2014 (group 2).

Results: Of the 223 students in group 1, 143 (64%) responded. Of the 213 students in group 2, 112 (53%) responded. Students in group 2 reported greater exposure to OMT compared with students in group 1, higher confidence levels in practicing OMT (61 [54%] vs 71 [50%]), greater intent to continue developing OMT skills, and plan to provide OMT as practicing physicians (91 [81%] vs 94 [66%]).

Conclusions: A pilot course in OMT increased students’ levels of confidence in and intent to provide OMT in their future practices.

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