Appreciating 40 Years of NYITCOM

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This year, the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine celebrates its 40th anniversary. In those four decades, New York’s first school of Osteopathic Medicine paved the way that osteopathic medicine would be viewed. From the very beginning, NYITCOM tried to shape the future of their art, and their efforts and methods deserve recognition on this landmark.

Originally called the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, the school first opened back in 1977. Dr. W Kenneth Riland spearheaded the project along with a group of his peers. If his name sounds familiar to you, that’s because you’ve likely passed the W. Kenneth Riland Academic Health Center many times on campus. Dr. Riland and his fellow physicians believed that having a proper osteopathic school of medicine would help draw support for the previously obscure form of medicine.

It’s important to remember that it wasn’t just doctors and teachers who helped build NYITCOM, politicians and philanthropists aided as well. Being the first osteopathic medicine school in the state, it quickly drew interest from some influential figures. Most importantly, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller took special interest in the college. He donated a substantial $250,000 to the school in 1978, with his brother Laurance Rockefeller matching the amount a year later.

Today, NYITCOM prides itself on training the future of osteopathic medicine. According to their official mission statement, NYITCOM is dedicated to “training osteopathic physicians for a lifetime of learning and practice, based upon the integration of evidence-based knowledge, critical thinking, and the tenets of osteopathic principles and practice.” Those tenets and principles are called the Osteopathic Oath, a series of principles Osteopathic physicians dedicate themselves to. While the full details can be found on the American Osteopathic Association website, they focus on the physician’s loyalty to osteopathic medicine, their peers, teachers, students, and their clients. Physicians are also expected to keep the body’s natural ability to recover in mind while working.

One of the keys to osteopathic medicine is Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, hands on treatment that values touch and physical contact. Beyond just touching, OMT values actually feeling the differences in the human body, understanding the meaning behind different palpitations. OMT can also be used to treat issues such as asthma and migraines through the manipulations and movement of your muscles and joints.

Lastly, NYITCOM values a connection to their patients. Listen to them beyond simply demanding symptoms. Their bodies are capable of healing naturally, and it’s up to the osteopathic physician to help fix whatever issues the body may run into during the healing process. By helping patients to take care of their bodies and wellbeing, then you can protect their health beyond their checkups.

And now NYITCOM looks forward to another 40 years and more. NYITCOM broke the mold from the beginning, and continues to strive towards a better life for their patients. They uphold value of a true connection with their patients beyond just a face an insurance number. NYITCOM was New York’s first school of osteopathic medicine, and through their efforts it won’t be the last.

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