Love Philly? Sign up for the free Billy Penn email newsletter to get everything you need to know about Philadelphia, every day.
The doctor whos been treating President Donald Trump for the coronavirus has roots in Philadelphia. Its where he trained in medicine.
Dr. Sean Conley, the 40-year-old whos been at the forefront of national health updates lately, has been the presidents physician for two years. He grew up in Doylestown, and graduated from Central Bucks High School East in 1998. His medical degree comes from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The Philly higher ed institution is not your average medical school. Turns out Conley doesnt actually have an MD degree.
Instead, hes a DO a doctor of osteopathic medicine. With that certification, Conley can do everything a regular doctor can do, like prescribe medicine and perform surgery in all 50 states.
The training is different in that it takes a more holistic look at the body than traditional medicine. It emphasizes primary care, and practices that encourage the body to heal itself rather than the immediate prescription of medicine or use of surgery to correct problems.
At first, the practice was highly controversial. During the first decade of PCOMs existence, it wasnt even legal in Pennsylvania. Over the next two centuries, debates over osteopathy continued, with traditional physicians critiquing its more controversial practices like the in the late 1800s idea to shake a child to cure scarlet fever.
In recent years, the stigma has mostly dissolved as the training and practice have themselves become more legit. Now, earning a DO degree requires the same training as an MD, plus extra coursework.
Conleys Philly alma mater is considered a pioneer in the field, and helped see it through to the modern day.
The first person to bring osteopathic medicine to Philadelphia was a woman named Clara Martin. In 1899, the city directory listed her as an osteopath, working from an office on 67th Street near the Cobbs Creek Parkway, just south of Mount Moriah Cemetery.
That same year, two physicians named Snyder and Pressly founded what would become PCOM, then called the Philadelphia College and Infirmary of Osteopathy.
Philly was experiencing a general boom in medical institutions right then, notes a published history of the school called To Secure Merit, by Carol Benenson Perloff. Episcopal Hospital, German Hospital (now Lankenau), Jewish Hospital (now Einstein Medical Center) and Presbyterian Hospital were all founded between 1849 and 1882.
PCOM first opened at 12th and Market, filling two rooms inside a 13-story office tower. Within a year, it outgrew that space and relocated to the Witherspoon building at Juniper and Walnut.
Enrollment kept growing. Many students were people inspired by seeing osteopathic doctors step in after traditional medicine had failed.
Alum Arthur Flack, who graduated in 1906, said he got interested when he saw osteopathic medicine helped cure cases of typhoid fever amid an epidemic in his hometown of Butler, Pa.
When I first became a studentmy marvel was as to the intense devotion manifested by the small group of physicians headed by you, Flack said in 1925, according to Perloffs book. Without such sincere devotion, Osteopathy today would be only a memory in Pennsylvania.
Thing is, osteopathy wasnt even legally recognized when PCOM first opened its doors.
The first attempt to legalize it in Pennsylvania passed through the state legislature in 1905, but was vetoed by then-Governor Pennypacker. It wasnt until 1909 that a Governor Stuart signed the bill to allow osteopathic doctors to apply for state licensure, 10 years after the Philadelphia college was first founded.
Licensing made the practice more popular, and PCOM continued to outgrow its facilities. The school moved to Spring Garden Street, then to 33rd and Arch, and eventually to North Broad Street.
Some drama: Before the legalization of osteopathy, the college had raised about $3,000. But the founders continued not to pay faculty with actual money for their teaching they compensated them only with stock in the school.
In 1904, faculty started demanding payment. The founders refused, and there was a theatrical back-and-forth in which the schools deans threatened to resign unless the two founders resigned. Shockingly, both founders did resign, and a board of trustees was established that still exists today.
By 1910, PCOM was considered a pioneer when it became one of the first to adapt to new statewide legalization requirements, and create a four-year program, which it maintains to this day.
After those gazillion relocations and expansions, PCOM landed at its current campus on City Avenue at the Bala Cynwyd border.
The school currently has almost 2,000 students, across areas of study like clinical psychology, biomedical sciences and forensic medicine. Like osteopathic medicine schools nationwide, its really tough to get in. In 2019, nearly 7k students applied for just 441 spots in the program.
Dr. Conley, Trumps doctor, has a degree that takes four years to complete. The first two are spent learning basic and clinical sciences, and the second two doing hands-on work in teaching hospitals.
While enrolled, the Bucks County native likely got plenty of Philly experience, since students spend four months working in city neighborhoods at PCOMs Community Healthcare Centers.
After their four years, some students declare a specialty and spend more time in school. PCOM reports that a majority of its grads end up in family medicine, general internal medicine, OB/GYN or pediatrics.
In general, osteopathic medicine has grown in popularity in recent years seen as a more hands-on version of health care. DOs work to understand how all parts of the body are connected, and take a major focus on preventative and primary care.
An osteopathic medicine student in New York told the New York Times in 2014 she became interested in the practice after a standard MD said shed need surgery to correct her chronic ear infections but then she went to a DO, who corrected the problem by stretching her neck, she said.
The infection happened because of fluid in the ear, said the student, Gabrielle Rozenberg, and the manipulations opened up the ear canal.
The practice has become widespread enough that PCOM has opened two more campuses, both in Georgia. According to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, about 25% of all medical students today are training at an osteopathic school.
See more here:
- UMass Medical School CIO Greg Wolf receives CIO of the Year award - UMass Medical School - July 1st, 2021
- Life changing moments during Match Week at the University of Massachusetts Medical School - WCVB Boston - July 1st, 2021
- Birding Their Way to the Clinic | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - July 1st, 2021
- TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine Reaches Another Milestone by Receiving Provisional Accreditation - TCU - July 1st, 2021
- AIIMS races ahead of Oxford, Cambridge in rankings for best medical schools in the world - India TV News - July 1st, 2021
- Summer School Is Here - The New York Times - July 1st, 2021
- How future physicians can make their medical research stand out - American Medical Association - July 1st, 2021
- 'I no longer think there's any chance he's alive': UC alum missing after Florida condo collapse - WCPO - July 1st, 2021
- Reflecting on LGBTQ mental health discrimination in NC - North Carolina Health News - July 1st, 2021
- Radiology ranks tops among specialties with physicians worth more than $5M - Health Imaging - July 1st, 2021
- Baxter Announces $1.2 Million in New Scholarships and Grant Funding to Support Students Pursuing Health and Sciences at Historically Black Colleges... - July 1st, 2021
- Medical Education Market Giants Spending Is Going To Boom | Harvard Medical School, Zimmer Biomet Institute, Medical Training College The Manomet... - July 1st, 2021
- David Cochran receives grant from Eagles Foundation to study biomarker-driven drug treatment for autism - UMass Medical School - July 1st, 2021
- Tokyo medical school won't pay staff over virus leave caused by 'inappropriate behavior' - The Mainichi - The Mainichi - February 10th, 2021
- ASU ranks 6th in research among US universities without a medical school - The State Press - February 10th, 2021
- U Of M Medical School Sees Increase In Student Applications - FOX 21 Online - February 10th, 2021
- Accreditation process of medical school in Tyler moves forward; first class likely set for 2023 - Tyler Morning Telegraph - February 10th, 2021
- Women now outnumber men in med school. And studies show thats good for patients. - Houston Chronicle - February 10th, 2021
- Medical school suspends study that would have tortured transgender people for science - LGBTQ Nation - February 10th, 2021
- Surge in African American medical school applicants drive to action by Covid - Yahoo News - February 10th, 2021
- [Full text] Is Asking Questions on Rounds a Teachable Skill?[Response to Letter] | AMEP - Dove Medical Press - February 10th, 2021
- Black doctors in white coats on a mission to cure racism and discrimination in the workplace - WCNC.com - February 10th, 2021
- UKZN sets the record straight on 'Operation Clever' probe into fraud at medical school - IOL - February 10th, 2021
- Giving health care heroes a voice on social media - American Medical Association - February 10th, 2021
- Study Reveals Anticoagulation Therapy in Intubated Covid-19 Patients Reduces Mortality | | SBU News - Stony Brook News - February 10th, 2021
- Half of Ontario's medical schools are now named after wealthy donors - The Conversation CA - December 17th, 2020
- Yes, It's Possible To Have a Baby In Medical School Here's How - Pager Publications, Inc. - December 17th, 2020
- California's medical school diversity "nowhere near where it needs to be" - State of Reform - State of Reform - December 17th, 2020
- Medical School Keeps Students on Track By Switching to Virtual and Back - The Roanoke Star - December 17th, 2020
- UT Health Austin and Dell Medical School among first facilities in Texas to receive COVID-19 vaccine - Community Impact Newspaper - December 17th, 2020
- Medical schools see spike in students inspired to apply by the pandemic - KBJR 6 - December 17th, 2020
- How to make the most of holiday time off as a medical student - American Medical Association - December 17th, 2020
- UT Austin's Dell Medical School Is The First Institution In Central Texas Receiving Shipment Of COVID-19 Vaccine - KUT - December 17th, 2020
- Degrees of Protection | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - December 17th, 2020
- The Pandemic Thrusts Telepsychiatry to the Fore | NYU Langone News - NYU Langone Health - December 17th, 2020
- Two-phase Infection | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - December 17th, 2020
- Texas A&M To Grow Medical Education In Round Rock, Surrounding Area - Texas A&M University Today - December 17th, 2020
- Pitt cardiologist sues school after backlash to his article on affirmative action - TribLIVE - December 17th, 2020
- At a Crossroads: Medicine and the Movement - Columbia University Irving Medical Center - December 17th, 2020
- Jameson's term extended as head of Penn Health System and Perelman School of Medicine - Penn Today - December 17th, 2020
- Touro University Nevada's College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2021 Achieves the Highest COMLEX Exam Pass Rate in the Country - PRNewswire - December 17th, 2020
- Hear what the experts from Houston Fights COVID have to say about a new vaccine - KTRK-TV - November 30th, 2020
- Medical Education Research and Innovation Conference set for Dec. 8 - The South End - November 30th, 2020
- 2 Corning-area natives experience COVID-19 pandemic battle on the frontlines - Star-Gazette - November 30th, 2020
- Three Yalies honored for their impact on and beyond Yale with 2020 Yale-Jefferson Awards | Yale Alumni - Yale News - November 30th, 2020
- Medical Education Market Will Hit Big Revenues In Future | Zimmer Biomet Institute, Medical Training College, Harvard Medical School - Murphy's Hockey... - November 30th, 2020
- Immelman, Griebie have mutual admiration for each other - CSB/SJU - November 30th, 2020
- Lobe Sciences Announces Launch of Preclinical Study in Collaboration with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine - Investing News Network - November 30th, 2020
- Physicians' Role in Addressing Racism in-Training, the online peer-reviewed publication for medical students - Pager Publications, Inc. - November 30th, 2020
- So You Traveled Over Thanksgiving. Now What? : Coronavirus Updates - NPR - November 30th, 2020
- Safely celebrating the holidays during a pandemic - KHOU.com - November 30th, 2020
- 2020 AAAS Fellows approved by the AAAS Council - Science Magazine - November 30th, 2020
- 5 ways the pandemic may transform medical education - American Medical Association - October 8th, 2020
- Students Share Medical School Details You Won't Find Anywhere Else | University of Michigan - Michigan Medicine - October 8th, 2020
- In a First, New England Journal of Medicine Joins Never-Trumpers - The New York Times - October 8th, 2020
- Brown University Medical School Dean to Lead Second Session of Five-Part Virtual Future of Medicine Summit : SF STAT! - South Florida Hospital News - October 8th, 2020
- Human brain dissected live in front of medical school students - The Argus - October 8th, 2020
- After 40 years in medicine, here's what a Maine addiction expert has learned about alcohol, opioids and public health - Bangor Daily News - October 8th, 2020
- Trumps Lying Personal Physician And Dr. Umar Johnson Went To The Same Med School - News One - October 8th, 2020
- Study Finds Older Adults Using Cannabis to Treat Common Health Conditions - UC San Diego Health - October 8th, 2020
- U of M Medical School Researchers Found Traces Of COVID-19 On Beaches - FOX 21 Online - October 8th, 2020
- My Body, Whose Choice? - The Regulatory Review - October 8th, 2020
- American Sign Language and the Power of Communication - Pager Publications, Inc. - October 8th, 2020
- Experimental COVID-19 Treatment Given To President Trump Part of Study At U of M Medical School - FOX 21 Online - October 8th, 2020
- Trump Returns Home After Downplaying Disease, but Doctor Says He Isnt Out of the Woods - The New York Times - October 8th, 2020
- Texas doctor, 28, dies of Covid: 'She wore the same mask for weeks, if not months' - The Guardian - October 8th, 2020
- Nobel awarded to Charles Rice for hepatitis C discoveries at Washington University School of Medicine Washington University School of Medicine -... - October 8th, 2020
- Warrior M.D. Chat: What to Expect - School of Medicine - Wayne State University - The South End - October 8th, 2020
- Hershey Medical Center: Celebrating 50 years of people helping people - Penn State News - October 8th, 2020
- UMass Medical School-affiliated study finds federal rule will negatively impact immigrant health care - Worcester Business Journal - October 1st, 2020
- Medical school class writes own Hippocratic Oath acknowledging racism, Covid-19 deaths and the killing of Breonna Taylor - CNN - October 1st, 2020
- Just what the doctor ordered - Isaac accepted to med school - Jamaica Gleaner - October 1st, 2020
- These medical students just wrote their own Hippocratic oath. Here's what it says. - The Daily Briefing - October 1st, 2020
- Maryland researchers identify what works to help children avoid obesity - WTOP - October 1st, 2020
- Call It What It Is in-Training, the online peer-reviewed publication for medical students - Pager Publications, Inc. - October 1st, 2020
- Medical Education market seeking excellent growth | Stanford University School of Medicine, GE Healthcare Institute, Zimmer Biomet Institute, Olympus... - October 1st, 2020
- Political newcomer Cameron Webb looks beyond party in 5th District bid - Fauquier Times - October 1st, 2020
- Irregular periods linked to a greater risk of an early death, study suggests - CNN - October 1st, 2020
- This biologist helped trace SARS to bats. Now, he's working to uncover the origins of COVID-19 - Science Magazine - October 1st, 2020
- How This NYC Bill Would Address Harassment And Discrimination In Healthcare - Forbes - October 1st, 2020