Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Applied Anthropology

Major Professor

Michael V. Agrosino, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jay Sokolovsky, Ph. D.

Committee Member

Nancy Romero-Daza, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Gregory Paveza, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael Weitzner, MD.


Complementary and alternative medicine, Holistic medicine, Applied anthropology


The purpose of this study was to investigate the co-optation of the heterodox medical system of osteopathic medicine by the hegemonic medical system of biomedicine and its impact on the practice of osteopathic medicine in America. The study particularly explored students (n=20), practitioners (n=5), and faculty (n=5) regarding their views of osteopathic medicine. The process of professionalization of osteopathic medicine has caused DOs to become more akin to MDs, which may have led to an identity crisis within the profession. This case study took place at a private osteopathic medical school in the Southeastern U.S. A content analysis of the interviews, direct observations, and curriculum analysis was conducted to answer the qualitative research questions in this study. The qualitative research questions required in-depth interviews, direct observation, survey questionnaires and analysis of curriculum. The quantitative analysis portion was done using Chi-square analysis. Statistical findings from the quantitative research questions of the analysis supported the qualitative conclusions. The results of the supported study related literature on students, practitioners, and faculty views of osteopathic medicine. However, overall the sample was equally divided regarding the view that osteopathic medicine was not distinctive from allopathic medicine.