Feb. 29, 2012
New England Journal of Medicine
10 Shattuck St.
Boston, MA 02115
Rohrhoff’s astute observation that “no amount of studying can replace asking people what their lives are like”  is similar to the philosophy upon which osteopathic medicine was founded more than 130 years ago. From day one of medical school, osteopathic physicians (DOs) are taught to treat people, not just their symptoms. DOs learn how to combine their medical knowledge with their ears, to listen carefully to their patients, and with their eyes, to see their patients as a whole person.
I grew up watching my father and grandfather, both DOs, “think osteopathically” by asking their patients about lifestyle factors, home and work environments. They explained these components help shape patients’ overall health, which is why I ask my patients these questions today.
By taking the time to ask questions about all aspects of patients’ lives, physicians will become better equipped to provide the highest standard of care to their patients. Visit www.osteopathic.org to learn more about the osteopathic medical philosophy.
Martin S. Levine, DO
American Osteopathic Association
Rohrhoff N. Becoming a Physician What Life is Like. N Engl J Med 2012:366:683-685