National Osteopathic Medicine (NOM) Month is celebrated each September to raise awareness about osteopathic medicine. NOM Month focuses on educating the public that osteopathic physicians, more widely known and seen as D.O, are one of only two fully licensed physicians in the United States able to prescribe medicine and perform surgery.
Dr. Jeremy Hoff, specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation with HROSM, is a doctor of osteopathic medicine and has been practicing with HROSM since 2012. In honor of NOM we wanted to sit down with Dr. Hoff and ask him a few questions pertaining to being a D.O.
Why did you choose to become a D.O?
I was fortunate to work with an osteopathic sports medicine physician during my college athletic career. The way he approached both patients as individuals and whatever their problem may have been really fell in line with my own personal opinions and values. My exposure through him to the tenants and philosophies of osteopathic medicine led me to pursue an osteopathic medical education. The focus on health and finding overall physical, mental, environmental and social health as well as trying to cure or fix disease states was very important to me.
As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, what does it mean to practice a “whole person” approach to health care?
When I evaluate someone for the first time I always include questions about their social and family life as well as environmental questions that would relate to their functional complaints and limitations as well as their pain complaints. Often times the whole answer does not lie in one simple explanation. There are multiple factors that contribute and multiple things that need to be addressed in order to have someone be at optimal health and function.
As a D.O specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, what type of patients do you see?
I see a wide variety of individuals in my clinic. Basically anyone with functional complaints where they have lost some vital element of their daily functional activities. Whether this is through pain, prior injuries or disease, prior surgery or other factors. My goal is to find and promote the healthiest and most functional version of everyone who comes in the office. This includes high school athletes all the way up through retirees who are just looking to improve their quality of life and occasionally their golf swing.
What role do you play in the large framework of modern medicine?
As a specialist in the field of physical medicine and pain management I often do not see and evaluate people for their initial complaints but have contact with them much later on when the complaints don’t resolve on their own. I pride myself on being a diagnostician and working hard to find the appropriate diagnosis for an individual’s pain or functional complaints where maybe they have not had a complete answer before. This takes time and effort which requires me to spend additional time with each individual in my clinic.
Since becoming a D.O, what has been the most rewarding part of your career in osteopathic medicine?
It may sound corny but my reward comes every day. I love what I do and I love helping people and this is my ideal profession and I believe my ideal position in the medical world. I enjoy going to work every day and I’m very thankful that I have an opportunity to affect people in a positive way and improve their function and quality of life every day.