American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Technology Enhances Osteopathic Medical Education

​Annual education issue of The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association highlights ultrasonography and technology-enhanced active learning

CHICAGO—April 2, 2015 The April issue of The Journal of American Osteopathic Association (JAOA) highlights the innovative use of technology to increase student physicians’ understanding of the osteopathic approach to medicine.

A study from the A.T. Still University - School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona evaluated the success of technology-enhanced active learning for medical education, a growing trend in higher education that responds to the number of medical students who grew up in a video-game era.

By producing over 80 interactive electronic games related to clinical presentations, such as a mobile game challenging players to make patient prognoses, the professors were able to provide technology-based activities that actively engaged students in a self-learning environment.  

“With the introduction of electronic and simulation activities throughout the curriculum, we provide students opportunities for deliberate practice to test their medical knowledge and clinical decision making skills,” said Joy H. Lewis, DO, PhD. “The students we evaluated reported a deeper level of learning, which is always a goal in medical education.”  

In another report from A. T. Still University - Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, doctors found that by introducing ultrasonography into the curriculum of first and second year medical students, students could successfully demonstrate their understanding of the musculoskeletal system, the foundation of osteopathic manipulative medicine.

Currently, undergraduate education in imaging is mostly limited to passive experiences such as lectures, videos and observations. However, by introducing ultrasonography, an average of 98 percent of first and second year medical students were successful in visualizing anatomy and musculoskeletal structures of the body. 

“The skills gained through teaching ultrasonography added another dimension to student understanding of anatomy and osteopathic manipulative medicine,” said Michael Lockwood, DO. “This training seems to be a unique, noninvasive and safe tool that can provide students with external validation of anatomic structures.”

Both journal articles are accessible online until June 1, 2015.

Study: Developing Technology-Enhanced Active Learning for Medical Education: Challenges, Solutions, and Future Directions

Study: Innovative Approach to Teaching Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine: The Integration of Ultrasonography

About The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA) is the official scientific publication of the American Osteopathic Association. Edited by Robert Orenstein, DO, it is the premier scholarly peer-reviewed publication of the osteopathic medical profession. The JAOA’s mission is to advance medicine through the publication of peer-reviewed osteopathic research.


Media Contact:   

Lauren Brush
(312) 202-8161



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