Group of New York Tech College of Osteopathic Medicine students wearing New York Institute of Technology t-shirts

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CORK: Leading Osteopathic Research into the Future

July 3, 2024

Front row (left to right): Andrew Tsai, Ladan Kamalisarvestani, Naba Khan, Bao-An Mai
Back row: Olawale Afolabi, Abdul Wahid, Alvin Varghese, Thomas Ciccoielle

Osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) and scientists from around the world traveled to the Long Island campus, where they joined members of the College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) community for its inaugural Conference on Osteopathic Research and Knowledge (CORK). Throughout the two-day event, which took place on June 22 and 23, scholars exchanged insights and forged connections that will help propel osteopathic research into the future.

Just like allopathic (M.D.) physicians, D.O.s complete four years of medical school training and education and residencies after graduation in a chosen specialty or area of practice. In addition, while in medical school, they spend 200 hours learning osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT)—a set of hands-on techniques that only D.O.s are trained to use to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury. This additional skillset makes them uniquely positioned to help patients manage various health conditions, from structural issues in the joints, muscles, and tissues to poor circulation, among many others. However, some barriers to using OMT in clinical practice exist, including insurance reimbursement challenges and a lack of patient awareness about its benefits.

One critical step in overcoming these barriers is high-quality academic research demonstrating the safety and efficacy of OMT. This is precisely what led to the founding of CORK by NYITCOM Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Osteopathic Medicine Jordan Keys, D.O., and Associate Professor and Director of Pediatric OMM at Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine Kimberly Wolf, D.O., in collaboration with the nonprofit Osteopathy’s Promise to Children.

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Attendees participate in an OMT workshop.

Attendees, including NYITCOM students, actively participated in lectures, personalized mentoring breakout sessions, and hands-on OMT workshops. Sixteen established leaders and trailblazers in the field shared research findings suggesting how OMT may improve the lives of patients with heart conditions, long-term COVID-19, cancer, and many other pressing health issues.

Breakout sessions allowed researchers to receive direct feedback on presentations, as well as information on seeking research funding, writing manuscripts, and developing research protocols. Among other key points, OMT workshops provided opportunities and discussions on how to standardize osteopathic manipulative medicine research and integrate OMT into clinical trials. Select workshops also featured world-renowned researchers Raymond Perrin, D.O., Ph.D., a physician from the United Kingdom known for his OMT work with long COVID and chronic fatigue patients, and Francesco Cerritelli, D.O., Ph.D., a physician from Italy known for his work with OMT in the neonatal intensive care unit.

A cocktail reception was held on the evening of Junee 22 in honor of the 150th anniversary of osteopathic medicine, where special guest speaker Ira Monka, D.O., president of the American Osteopathic Association, among others, delivered remarks.

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Pictured from left: NYITCOM Professor and Chair of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Sheldon Yao, D.O.; American Osteopathic Association President Ira Monka, D.O.; Kimberly Wolf, D.O., of Touro University; New York Tech President Henry C. Foley, Ph.D.; NYITCOM Associate Professor Jordan Keys, D.O.; NYITCOM Dean Nicole Wadsworth, D.O.

Presentations by NYITCOM faculty included:

  • “OMT in Rodent Models – Evaluating Blood Glucose, HRV and Arrhythmias.” Jordan Keys, D.O.
  • “Mechanistic Exploration of Migraine Alleviation by OMT Preclinically.” Associate Professor Jennifer Xie, Ph.D. Earlier this year, Xie also published a study on this topic, which was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

NYITCOM student presentations included:

  • “Effects of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) on Lower Extremity Muscle Characteristics in Parkinson’s Disease Patients.” Alexa Finkelstein and Rachel Radigan, who were awarded the first place $1,000 prize for top student presentation.
  • “Reviewing the Efficacy of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Lymphatic Drainage Techniques on Peripheral Vascular Diseases.” Iya Agha.
  • “Osteopathic Medicine in Dermatology.” Therese Anne Limbana.

View the CORK event program, including the full list of presenters, sponsors, and more.