Growing up in a family full of DOs, I always knew I would become one, too. But when I made my aspirations known, my grandfather, the very first DO in the family, asked me whether I was serious. He told me I needed to show him I was serious so he would know without a doubt that I wanted to truly become an osteopathic physician. Was I someone who would incorporate osteopathic principles and practices into the care I provided to my patients? Did I have the commitment it would take to be a DO?
Today, osteopathic medical schools receive an average of 20 applications for every available spot and nearly 19,500 osteopathic medical students are working toward their DO degrees. Enrollment has almost doubled in size during the past decade, and we continue to grow. Now, it’s even more important that every member of the profession pledge to “think osteopathically,” to embrace the responsibility of advancing osteopathic medicine.
As DOs, each of us can play a role in advancing the profession. We can make time in our schedules for potential students to shadow us in our offices and talk about what the profession means to them. And just like my grandfather asked of me, let them show us how serious they are about becoming DOs and part of this great profession.