Osteopathic physicians, or DOs, work in all specialties, so you can practice medicine anywhere in the country. Like other physicians, you can prescribe drugs and perform surgeries, but what gives you an added edge in healing your patients is your knowledge of osteopathy. Those who practice osteopathy believe that the body can heal itself, so you’ll also use a hands-on approach in helping your patients. According to studies by the American Osteopathic Association, in 2011, about 33 percent of the DOs practicing medicine were women.
When you interview for a job as an osteopathic physician, some of the first questions you’ll answer are about your reasons for pursuing a career in osteopathy. Your interviewers also might present a case scenario and ask you what you would do. For example, they might ask you how you’d help a patient who complains of back pain. Osteopaths are trained to look at the patient’s condition as a whole. For example, during the course of your treatment you might find that the patient has injured her ankle in the past and now walks with a slight limp that puts a strain on her back. So, you would address the gait problem to help the patient with her back pain.
Your interviewers need to know about your past experiences in working with people. You can provide details about your experiences while working in a medical care facility, internships and any other volunteer work you’ve done. For example, if you’ve worked with asthmatic patients, you can describe the cases and explain how you helped them. Osteopaths manipulate muscles in the proper way and can induce the body to produce the same chemicals that are prescribed to patients to open their airways and help them breathe.
Job Skill Questions
You need to prepare for various questions about the skills you possess. These might include questions about detecting and treating illnesses and injuries by touch alone. Osteopaths work with their patients' muscles and joints using stretching, light pressure and resistance methods. Your interviewers also might test your communication and interpersonal skills. That’s because they need to know if you’re a good listener and are sensitive to your patients’ problems. So, talk about what you can do to put your patients at ease and how your training in hand-eye coordination can help ease pain.
Interview questions might be related to the specialty or field you chose. For example, if you're an osteopathic pediatrician, you might help children who have structural problems because of difficult births or accidents. Your interviewers might need to know how well you can work with young people who need to be handled with the utmost patience and care. If you're after a job in cranial osteopathy, you'll likely answer questions about stress-related and other disorders arising from emotional trauma.
- American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine: What is Osteopathic Medicine
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Deformity Or Dysfunction? Osteopathic Manipulation …
- Osteopathic Center For Children and Families: Osteopathic Treatments Effective in Managing Childhood Asthma
- Soothe: Why Osteopathy Works
- Port Hacking Osteopathic Clinic: Osteopathy and Children
- The Kansas Association of Osteopathic Medicine: About Osteopathic Medicine
- American Osteopathic Association: 2011 Osteopathic Medical Profession Report
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images