American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

American Osteopathic Association Names Kendi L. Hensel, DO, PhD, Associate Editor of The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association

July 30, 2014

(CHICAGO) — The American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the national professional membership organization for the nation’s more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students, announces the appointment of Kendi L. Hensel, DO, PhD, as associate editor of The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA).

As associate editor, Dr. Hensel will work with the JAOA’s editor in chief and other associate editors to advance the AOA’s strategic agenda toward the advancement of osteopathic medical research by establishing editorial policies with high standards for the integrity of the JAOA’s content and promoting the JAOA to shareholders by encouraging faculty and students to enhance the evidence base for osteopathic medicine.

“Dr. Hensel is one of the fresh faces of osteopathic medicine and the first woman to become associate editor of the JAOA,” says AOA Editor in Chief Robert Orenstein, DO. “As a federally funded researcher and nationally recognized educator, she excels in patient care, research and education. The JAOA will surely benefit from her expertise and fresh perspectives in research.” 

As one of the fastest-growing segments of health care professionals in the nation, the number of DOs has grown more than 200% over the past 25 years. With more than 50% of DOs in active practice specializing in one of the primary care areas of medicine, the osteopathic medical profession also has a strong tradition of serving in rural and medically underserved areas.

Professional Background

Dr. Hensel is AOA board certified in family medicine and neuromusculoskeletal medicine/osteopathic manipulative medicine. In addition to her position with the JAOA, she will continue to serve as an associate professor of osteopathic manipulative medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC/TCOM) in Fort Worth.

Her research background includes serving on the AOA’s Bureau of Osteopathic Clinical Education and Research since 2010 and being a peer reviewer for the JAOA since 2009. Dr. Hensel has served as principal investigator and co-investigator of several research projects focusing on the use of osteopathic manipulative treatment in pregnancy, elderly pneumonia patients and pain. Her work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed scientific journals, including the JAOA, The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and American Academy of Osteopathy Journal. She has also served as a peer reviewer for The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the Osteopathic Family Physician, and The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Dr. Hensel has been UNTHSC/TCOM’s representative to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine’s Educational Council on Osteopathic Principles (ECOP) since 2004, and currently serves as its vice chair. ECOP, comprised of representatives from all osteopathic medical schools, is charged with maintaining the profession’s glossary and standardization of language in the schools’ curricula.  

“As associate editor, I hope to encourage authors to use standardized terms so that our osteopathic literature is better understood and codified both within our profession and outside it,” Dr. Hensel says. “Another goal is to encourage more evidence-based research within the osteopathic medical profession.”

Additionally, Dr. Hensel serves on the American Academy of Osteopathy’s (AAO) Board of Trustees, and has served on committees within the AAO, the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians & Gynecologists, and the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.  

After receiving her undergraduate degree from Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches, Dr. Hensel earned her osteopathic medical degree from the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine, and was one of the first graduates from an integrated family practice/neuromusculoskeletal medicine residency. After completing her residency, Dr. Hensel returned to her native Texas where she completed her doctorate degree in OMM clinical research and education at UNTHSC/TCOM in 2009.  

What is a DO?

DOs are licensed physicians who can prescribe medication and practice in all specialty areas, including surgery, in the United States. They complete four years of medical school followed by graduate medical education through internship and residency programs typically lasting three to eight years. In addition, DOs receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system, providing them with an in-depth knowledge of the ways that illness or injury in one part of the body can affect another. As one of the fastest-growing segments of health care professionals in the nation, the number of DOs has grown more than 200% during the past 25 years.

About the American Osteopathic Association

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at  


Media Contacts:

Vicki Martinka
(312) 202-8159

Nicole Grady
(312) 202-8038   

Twitter: @AOAforMedia


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