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The Revisions of the First Autobiography of AT Still, the Founder of Osteopathy, as a Step towards Integration in the American Healthcare System: A Comparative and Historiographic Review

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Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment

Healthcare (Basel). 2024 Jan 6;12(2):130. doi: 10.3390/healthcare12020130.

Authors:

Silvia Clara Tuscano, Jason Haxton, Antonio Ciardo, Luigi Ciullo, Rafael Zegarra-Parodi

Abstract.

Introduction: Osteopathy was originally introduced in rural America in 1874 as a comprehensive therapeutic approach aimed at promoting health. This approach was distinct and often conflicting with conventional/allopathic therapeutic methods available at that time to fight disease. We argue that, in struggling to achieve recognition within the American healthcare system and within the educational academic field that was about to be structured, the American osteopathic profession tried to protect itself from the charges of sectarism by starting to embrace principles of the biomedical paradigm. Methods: A comparative and historiographic review of the second version of the autobiography of AT Still (1908), the founder of osteopathy, against the first (1897) was chosen as an example of the adaptation of the American osteopathic profession to its evolving academic environment. Results: Although there were only a few substantial variations, we argue that they aimed to dampen the non-biological components of osteopathy, namely, its philosophical, spiritual, religious, emotional, and Native American roots, in an effort to gain respect and recognition within the emerging gold standard of the Western medical system. The shift towards a distinct, fully integrated profession within regulated Western healthcare systems was perceived by many professionals as a threat to AT Still's original ideas, and the trend started when he was alive. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that a crucial conversation regarding the future of the professional identity must take place within the osteopathic community. Keywords: Western health systems; integrative care; osteopathic history; osteopathic medicine; osteopathy; professional identity.

Publication Date: 

2024 Jan

OEID: 

7084

Tuscano, CS., Haxton, J., Ciardo, A., Ciullo, L., Zegarra-parodi, R. (2024) 'The Revisions of the First Autobiography of AT Still, the Founder of Osteopathy, as a Step towards Integration in the American Healthcare System: A Comparative and Historiographic Review', Healthcare (Basel). 2024 Jan 6;12(2):130. doi: 10.3390/healthcare12020130.

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