The DO Difference

Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) refers to the philosophical and practical approach to patient care, including osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). OPP is centered on developing conceptual understanding and practical application of clinical practice through the tenets of osteopathic medicine:


The body is a unit, the person is a unit of the body, mind, and spirit.

The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance.

Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.

Rational treatment is based on an understanding of the basic principles of body unity, self-regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function.

Want to learn more about OMM and the osteopathic philosophy? Visit our FAQs page.


Osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) coursework helps students understand osteopathic principles, while OMM labs allow them to see these principles in action. In the labs, students observe the interrelationship between structure and function and the importance of holistic patient care.


Each week, students watch OMM lectures (at their own pace) and then attend in-person labs. In lab, a variety of small group and large groups of students are led by our faculty and practice the OMT techniques they learned that week. (Assessment in OPP consists of written exams, practical exams, and “practice practicals”—situations where students receive formative feedback in a low-stake, low-stress environment.)

Learning is enhanced by our “customizable” lab, which has mounted TVs that can be moved to a student’s preferred area and used to review lab content (or work in small or large groups).

Supplementary (optional) OMM resources include:

  • Attending weekly, faculty-led “open labs”, for extra practice
  • Receiving tutoring from peer teaching assistance
  • Enrolling in the OMM Teaching Assistant Elective
  • Digital resources, such as osteopathic ebooks, an OMT video library, and other databases to support students’ learning or research needs