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November 25, 1983

The D.O.'s: Osteopathic Medicine in America

Author Affiliations

Westfield (Mass) State College

JAMA. 1983;250(20):2861-2862. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340200093041

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Back in 1971, the history of homeopathy, the largest unorthodox sect of the 19th century, was examined by this reviewer. Now, more than a decade later, osteopathy, homeopathy's 20th-century counterpart, has been studied by Norman Gevitz, a medical sociologist trained at the University of Chicago. Gevitz provides what may well be the definitive study of the early development of osteopathy, beginning with the ideas and actions of its founder, Andrew Taylor Still. The book has two distinct themes. First, it describes the transition in the philosophy and practice of osteopathy from a radical system to one similar to that of orthodox medicine. By the beginning of the 20th century, osteopathic leaders had accepted a multidimensional conception of disease, and osteopathic educational standards began to improve. Osteopaths sought to upgrade their colleges, intending to improve their graduates' chances of passing licensing examinations, and thereby raising the status of America's osteopaths. This