Book Review  |   May 2008
Osteopathic Medicine Recall
Author Affiliations
  • Nicholas J. Caputo, DO
    Alliance Hospitalists Phoenix, Ariz
Article Information
Book Review   |   May 2008
Osteopathic Medicine Recall
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, May 2008, Vol. 108, 269-270. doi:
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, May 2008, Vol. 108, 269-270. doi:
Osteopathic Medicine Recall, edited by Andrew D. Mosier, DO, and Dai Kohara, DO, is yet another book in the “Recall” series of reference aids for physicians. This book, like many others in the series, assumes that the reader has a fundamental understanding of the material—in this case, osteopathic manipulative medicine. 
The book is arranged in a concise and logical question-and-answer format, similar to the methods used during daily rounding between instructors and students. This format challenges the reader in a systematic way that enables memory stimulation and information retention. The condensed format also allows for effective time management, helps the osteopathic physician quickly brush up on fundamentals, and fortifies existing knowledge. This text could easily be referenced before initiating an osteopathic rotation or examination. 
Osteopathic Medicine Recall is based on the osteopathic principle of understanding and treating the human body as a whole unit—rather than concentrating on isolated problems and incomplete solutions. Each topic in the text is discussed as it relates to the entire body, emphasizing that an osteopathic physician must understand the interactions among all the body systems with the ultimate goal of returning corporeal homeostasis and harmony. 
The book consists of 14 chapters. The first chapter is a review of the basic concepts of osteopathic medicine. Among the many topics covered are allostasis, TART (tissue texture abnormality, asymmetry, restriction of motion, tenderness), myofascial release, passive and active motion, and Fryette's laws. The text provides high-yield information on these concepts and discusses commonly tested data. Each chapter builds on the information presented in previous chapters. 
Chapters 2 through 5 delve into a review of the axial and appendicular spine, concepts that are unique to osteopathic medicine. General topics in these chapters include the spine, rib cage, and sacrum; the upper and lower extremities; the autonomic nervous system; and the lymphatics. Numerous questions and challenges are posed in regard to these topics. For example: 
  • What is the clinical significance of the articular pillars?
  • List the three components of the spinal reflex.
Chapters 6 through 12 are dedicated to specific manual techniques used in the delivery of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) with the intention of restoring the body's homeostasis. The OMT procedures covered include articulatory techniques and myofascial release; counterstrain; facilitated positional release; ligamentous articular strain; muscle energy; high velocity, low amplitude thrust; and craniosacral techniques. Examples of questions included in these chapters are: 
  • What are the indications for articulatory techniques?
  • When is a crossed extensor reflex used in muscle energy?
The book concludes with chapters on Chapman reflex points and the Travell trigger points. 
Each topic in the book is referenced in the event that the reader would prefer to examine a more in-depth explanation at a later time. The referenced materials are exquisite and include many of the osteopathic medical profession's “bibles”—the “classics” that should be on required reading lists at all osteopathic medical institutions. 
Another valuable feature of this book is that the editors have included a number of illustrations that can help the reader in comprehension and memory retention. There are clear, useful diagrams, for example, on the three types of rib motion and on the various tender points. 
I must admit that I sometimes felt as though I was cramming for an examination on OMT while reading this book. It jarred loose many memories of past times in the OMT lab, huddled around a table with a group of classmates to review key concepts of osteopathic medicine, reading through the steps to perform particular techniques, referencing illustrations, and then trying to perform the techniques correctly on an understanding and patient volunteer. 
Osteopathic Medicine Recall would be most effectively used as a quick reference aid to help an osteopathic physician review the core concepts and principles of osteopathic medicine. The book is very useful for refreshing one's understanding of these concepts and principles, but this text should not be used as a substitute for reading any of its referenced materials. 
The book does have some shortcomings. The information provided is rudimentary and, at times, has the feel of a drill sergeant by being too rote. Some information is presented in a disjointed manner within the chapters, with questions and answers on similar topics separated by other, unrelated questions and answers. In addition, the graphics on the book's cover are abstract and generic, providing no visual identity for osteopathic medicine. 
It is also disappointing that the editors are not listed as “DOs” on the front or inside cover of the book. Their academic degrees appear only on the book's back cover. I realize that this criticism may be considered “nit-picky” by some, but I am proud of my identity as an osteopathic physician. I believe that our profession does not receive enough publicity or recognition. Perhaps the editors can rectify this oversight in the next edition. 
Overall, Osteopathic Medicine Recall has many nice features, including its portability, the concise format it is written in, helpful references, high-yield information, and a logical presentation. The book is a manageable read, well organized, and comprehensive. Above all, the book focuses on core concepts in osteopathic medicine. I wish there had been such a resource available when I was in osteopathic medical school. 
 Edited by Andrew D. Mosier, DO, and Dai Kohara, DO. 176 pp, $36.95. ISBN: 978-0-7817-6621-0. Baltimore, Md: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2007.