Tenets of Osteopathic Medicine
First, do no harm. A thoughtful diagnosis should be made before exposing the patient to any potentially harmful procedure.

Look beyond the disease for the cause. Treatment should center on the cause, with effect addressed only when it benefits the patient in some tangible way.

The practice of medicine should be based on sound medical principles. Only therapies proven clinically beneficial in improving patient outcome should be recommended.

The body is subject to mechanical laws. The science of physics applies to humans. Even a slight alteration in the body’s precision can result in disorders that overcome natural defenses.

The body has the potential to make all substances necessary to insure its health. No medical approach can exceed the efficacy of the body’s natural defense systems if those defenses are functioning properly. Therefore, teaching the patient to care for his own health and to prevent disease is part of a physician’s responsibility.

The nervous system controls, influences, and/or integrates all bodily functions.

Osteopathy embraces all known areas of practice.

Excerpted from A Historical Perspective on the Philosophy of Osteopathic Medicine, by Robert E. Suter, D.O., based on the writing of A.T. Still.

The Osteopathic Oath

This modern version of the Hippocratic Oath for administration to osteopathic college graduates began a suggestion by Frank E. MacCracken, DO, of California to his state society. Within a year, the suggestion went from the state to the national association, and a committee was formed under the Associated Colleges of Osteopathy to prepare the text. Members of that committee included Dr. MacCracken, as chairman, and Drs. R.C. McCaughan, Walter V. Goodfellow, and Edward T. Abbott. The first version was used from 1938 until 1954, at which time minor amendments were adopted. This version has been in use since 1954.

I do hereby affirm my loyalty to the profession I am about to enter. I will be mindful always of my great responsibility to preserve the health and the life of my patients, to retain their confidence and respect both as a physician and a friend who will guard their secrets with scrupulous honor and fidelity, to perform faithfully my professional duties, to employ only those recognized methods of treatment consistent with good judgment and with my skill and ability, keeping in mind always nature’s laws and the body’s inherent capacity for recovery.

I will be ever vigilant in aiding in the general welfare of the community , sustaining its laws and institutions, not engaging in those practices which will in any way bring shame or discredit upon myself or my profession. I will give no drugs for deadly purposes to any person, though it may be asked of me.

I will endeavor to work in accord with my colleagues in a spirit of progressive cooperation and never by word or by act cast imputations upon them or their rightful practices.

I will look with respect and esteem upon all those who have taught me my art. To my college I will be loyal and strive always for its best interests and for the interests of the students who will come after me.I will be ever alert to further the application of basic biologic truths to the healing arts and to develop the principles of osteopathy which were first enunciated by Andrew Taylor Still.