FORT WORTH, Texas—The University of North Texas Health Science Center will be the primary site for the new Osteopathic Research Center (ORC), according to an announcement by several osteopathic organizations.
Officials from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), the American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) made the announcement October 22, in San Diego during the annual AOA convention.
“UNTHSC excelled in all aspects of the selection process, and it has the faculty, facility, and financial resources to support the ORC,” said John B. Crosby, J.D., AOA and AOF executive director.
As the primary site for the ORC, the health science center will collaborate with other colleges of osteopathic medicine to investigate the clinical efficacy of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM). Research prototypes planned include a study of OMM in moderately severe osteoarthritis, as well as the effect of OMM on outcomes of pregnancy.
Scott Stoll, D.O., Ph.D., chair of the department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine and director of the Physical Medicine Institute, will direct the ORC. Osteopathic research is nothing new to the health science center. The institution first offered pre-doctoral fellowships in OMM in the 1970s. In the early 1990s, the institution began providing additional training to physicians through post-doctoral fellowships in OMM.
In 1998, philanthropic contributions allowed the program to expand, doubling the number of pre-doctoral fellows.
Currently, 12 pre-doctoral fellows are receiving training in the fundamentals of OMM research while working toward dual-degrees in medicine, public health, and biomedical sciences. Physicians also continue to receive residency training in neuro-muscular skeletal medicine and osteopathic manipulative treatment.
The fellowships are now supported through a $1.35 million grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a component of the National Institutes of Health.
“We have a tradition here of developing future leaders and researchers capable of successful and competitive clinical and basic science research in OMM,” Stoll says. “The ORC will allow us to expand upon that tradition.”
The ORC is another step toward establishing the clinical efficacy of manipulative medicine through scientific research.
“The establishment of the Osteopathic Research Center is a milestone in the history of the osteopathic medical profession,” said Douglas L. Wood, D.O., AACOM president. “The Center will provide us with a unique opportunity to establish osteopathic manipulation as a therapeutic modality based on excellent research.”
Other organizations that played an instrumental role in the selection process include the American Osteopathic Healthcare Association/Association of Osteopathic Directors of Medical Education, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Osteopathy.
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