I went to the annual meeting of the American Academy of Osteopathy this past month at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. It is a convention that meets every three years here in Colorado and other years on either coast. I have attended all but two over the past 13 years.
Osteopathic medicine is one steeped in tradition and art. We follow lineages of teachers and are apprentices of masters. At the Broadmoor in years past I had coffee with some of the "greats" in my profession while they attended the conference in their 80s and 90s: the late Viola Frymann D.O. FAAO and Stanley Schiowitz D.O. FAAO to think of a few.
The quintessential component of the conference is always the enthusiasm and participation of the students. When I was a first year medical student 2 people from my class at Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Vallejo, CA attended. Now, annually 50-75 students from Touro attend. The students are in awe of the magic of our hands on art, they are seeking expertise and kernels of treatment recommendations. There are nights when "stars and stripes" get together and Osteopaths practice manipulation of each other until the wee hours of the night, hand over hand with the great minds and hearts in our field.
This year the conference changed for me. It is the first year in my career that I have given more to students than I have received myself in teaching from mentors. I attended a few great sessions as usual. However, I also assisted as a "table trainer" in two sessions and spoke on a panel to students about "how to start your own practice". I returned to Denver energized and rejuvenated just as I have each year. Though the energy was flowing out to students, as always, it flows back in.
Osteopaths listen to and seek the Health. Our founder, AT Still D.O. is famous for saying "To find health should be the object of the doctor. Anyone can find disease". Isn't it true, that imbalance in our lives or our health is often more obvious than balance? As Osteopaths we do not simply focus on the aspects of western medicine that lend to the "find it, fix it, make it go away" approach. While we want our patients to feel better, we seek sustainable solutions, the root cause or as traditional Osteopaths call it, the "key lesion" from which the imbalance arises that blocks true Health from flourishing.
Another year has passed and this year a new tradition has started. It is time that Dr Brie Seefeldt walked the two way part of the path where giving and receiving flow together. May all the students that walk after me see the light of my teachers in me.