Andrew Taylor Still, M.D., D.O. founded the osteopathic medical profession in 1874.
Dr. Still was dissatisfied with the effectiveness of 19th century medicine. He believed that many of the medications of his day were useless or even harmful.
Dr. Still was one of the first in his time to study the attributes of good health so that he could better understand the process of disease. In response, he developed a philosophy of medicine based on ideas that date back to Hippocrates, the father of medicine. That philosophy focuses on the unity of all body parts. Dr. Still identified the musculoskeletal system as a key element of health. He recognized the body's ability to heal itself and stressed preventive medicine, eating properly and keeping fit.
Dr. Still created a system of health care which emphasizes proper anatomic relationships as well as the spiritual and psychological components to health.
In today's terms, D.O.'s evaluate each patient's personal health risks-such as smoking, high blood pressure, excessive cholesterol levels, stress and other lifestyle factors. In coordination with prescribing appropriate medical treatment, osteopathic physicians act as teachers to help patients take more responsibility for their well-being and to change unhealthy patterns.