Christina M. Ciraco, DO (left), speaks with a patient while on a DOCARE clinical rotation in Guatemala. Dr. Ciraco completed the rotation during her fourth year of medical school in 2016.
Loud and proud

10 reasons to be proud to be a DO

As the nation recognizes National Osteopathic Medicine Week (April 15-21, 2018), these pride points will have you ready to celebrate DOs.

As the nation celebrates National Osteopathic Medicine Week (April 15-21, 2018), DOs and osteopathic medical students are raising awareness of the profession via social media and local government proclamations. They’re also embracing DO pride—and so are we! Learn more about how to participate in NOM Week here, and read about these 10 reasons to be proud to be a DO:

David Wartinger, DO, displays a piece of a renal model. (Photo provided by The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.)

1. DOs conduct cutting-edge research.
Did you know that Joel Weisman, DO, was one of the first physicians to detect the AIDS epidemic, and Earle Haas, DO, invented the modern-day tampon in 1929? More recently, research by David Wartinger, DO, on kidney stone passage on roller coasters was one of the media’s top-covered studies of 2016; research by Kevin Hoffman, DO, and Michelino Mancini, DO, on physician knowledge of procedure costs in the emergency room was also widely covered by the media last year.

(Image by Getty Images--MicrovOne)

2. The DO family is six-figures strong. There are now more than 108,000 DOs and nearly 29,000 osteopathic medical students in the U.S.

Vania Manipod, DO, uses her Instagram account, @freudandfashion, to promote osteopathic medicine and raise awareness of various health issues, including mental illness. (Image provided by Dr. Manipod)

3. DOs support one another. Hala Sabry, DO, started the Physician Moms Group in 2014 to create a network and forum for doctors who are also moms. Vania Manipod, DO, has shared her experience with burnout on Instagram and news sites in an effort to help other physicians.

4. DOs are trained to treat the whole patient—mind, body and spirit. It’s a concept that has recently become more in-demand in the health care world, but DOs have been doing it for over 100 years.

The first class of the American School of Osteopathy in Kirksville, Missouri, pictured here circa 1893 with Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO. (Image provided by the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine—Kirksville, Missouri [2007.09.01]; Image has been altered)

5. A.T. Still, MD, DO, the father of osteopathic medicine, was ahead of his time: In addition to being a health care pioneer, he allowed women students in the first class at the American School of Osteopathy in 1892. Learn more about the history of women in osteopathic medicine by watching “The Feminine Touch: The Struggle for Equality in Medicine,” a 2017 PBS documentary that won a regional Emmy.

J.D. Polk, DO (left), and Shannon Moynihan, MD, work the console during a space shuttle mission. (Photo provided by Dr. Polk)

6. Across the country, DOs serve in high-profile leadership roles in health care and government. These are just a few of the many DO leaders out there:

  • J.D. Polk, DO, is the chief health and medical officer of NASA.
  • Lauri Hicks, DO, is a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the director of the CDC’s Office of Antibiotic Stewardship.
  • Leonard Calabrese, DO, is an internationally recognized HIV/AIDS researcher at the Cleveland Clinic.
  • Ellen Provost, DO, directs the Alaska Native Epidemiology Center in Anchorage.
  • Humayan “Hank” Chaudhry, DO, is the CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards, which represents the nation’s state medical licensing boards.
  • And in 2016, 10 DOs were elected to serve in state or local government positions.
Julia Minasian, OMS III, of Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, practices an osteopathic manipulative treatment technique at OMED 2016.

7. DOs know the musculoskeletal system inside out. Via extra training in the MS system and osteopathic manipulative medicine, many DOs treat the muscles and joints to relieve pain and promote healing.

(Photo by Getty Images)

8. Osteopathic medicine is one of the fastest-growing professions in health care. The number of DOs practicing in the U.S. has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The number of osteopathic medical students has grown exponentially as well—there has been an 85% increase in DO students since 2007. Roughly one in four medical students is now attending an osteopathic medical school.

Natalie Nevins, DO, at a 2015 Care Harbor event.

9. DOs serve their communities. These are just a few examples of the many DOs who have made a difference where they live:

  • Lt. Col. Natalie Nevins, DO, has served as a medical director for Care Harbor, a health care nonprofit organization that holds free clinic events where thousands of uninsured, underinsured and at-risk patients receive care.
  • Erik Szeto, DO, founder of the Asian Health and Service Center in Portland, has provided free health care screenings for local residents at the center’s annual Asian Community Health Fair.
  • Rebeccah R. Rodriguez, DO, founded the Latina Strong Foundation to promote health and wellness in Latinas.
Christina M. Ciraco, DO (left), speaks with a patient while on a DOCARE clinical rotation in Guatemala. Dr. Ciraco completed the rotation during her fourth year of medical school in 2016. (Photo by Alexis Curtis)

10. DOs also serve abroad. Through DOCARE International, DOs and osteopathic medical students participate in international medical mission trips and rotations, serving an estimated 10,000 patients per year. DOCARE has established relationships with four continuity of care clinics in Guatemala, Nicaragua and Kenya, partnering with local organizations to provide medical services to underserved populations.


  1. Hello, I am the medical student seen in the photo above #7 (Julia Minasian). I’m now a 3rd yr medical student and an OMM fellow teaching at my college (WesternU in Pomona, CA). So fun to see this photo! You can add my name under it, that would be nice and my school could also post your article on our social media page. More exposure!

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