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STILL RELEVANT?  |   January 2018
Discovering Osteopathic Antiquity in Historical Osteopathic Pamphlets
Author Notes
  • From the D'Angelo Library at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Missouri. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Lori Fitterling, MLS, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, 1750 Independence Ave, Kansas City, MO 64106-1453. Email: lfitterling@kcumb.edu
     
Article Information
Preventive Medicine / Being a DO
STILL RELEVANT?   |   January 2018
Discovering Osteopathic Antiquity in Historical Osteopathic Pamphlets
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, January 2018, Vol. 118, 5. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2018.001
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, January 2018, Vol. 118, 5. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2018.001
In the early 20th century, information about the osteopathic profession was circulated by way of pamphlets, leaflets, and brochures (Figure). These publications exhibited striking illustrations and explanations of the benefits of osteopathic medicine. To preserve these iconic sources of osteopathic history, the D'Angelo Library at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences has begun a digitization project that includes 23 osteopathic pamphlets, originally published from 1910 to 1928.1 
Figure.
Covers of osteopathic pamphlets published in the 1920s.
Figure.
Covers of osteopathic pamphlets published in the 1920s.
These eye-catching pamphlets were produced by 3 publishers: Williams Publishing Co, Bunting Publishing Co, and the American Osteopathic Association. The pamphlets were marketed as literature that would explain the benefits of maintaining good health and inform people about osteopathy. The Bunting Publishing Co had a unique pamphlet distribution method. They solicited patient mailing lists from osteopathic physicians and offered patients a 1-year subscription to the pamphlet. Physicians paid a fee to have their professional cards inserted into the pamphlets sent out to the recipients on the list they provided.2 
The pamphlets covered various subjects, including taking care of one's liver and the ways in which osteopathy could benefit women.3,4 A prevalent theme was the broad scope of osteopathy. One pamphlet, Health at PAR: Osteopathy for the Business Man, exemplified how the osteopathic principle of maintaining one's health was regarded. Treleaven explains,

The field of Osteopathy is limited only by those comparatively few diseases in which the pathologic destruction of the tissues has gone so far that regeneration is physically impossible and for which there is no known cure. Its practice actually includes all of mankind's ailments which the general practitioner of any system is called on to treat. It is common sense, combined with the application of physiologic laws, in the correction and prevention of abnormal influences which cause human illness and suffering.5(p15)

 
This common sense, combined with the application of physiologic laws, illustrates an early osteopathic emphasis on using good judgement coupled with science in the prevention of disease, which resonates in osteopathic practice today. 
The osteopathic medical field is in great debt to the resolve of these early promotors for inspiring the profession. By preserving these historical pamphlets, members of the osteopathic medical community can better understand the osteopathic approach to patient care today. 
References
Early osteopathic literature. D'Angelo Library Digital archive website. http://kcumb.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16788coll3. Accessed November 28, 2017.
Gevitz N. The DOs: Osteopathic Medicine in America. 2nd ed. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press; 2004:64.
Bunting HS. Osteopathy the haven for suffering women. Osteopath Health. 1926;19(3).
Walmsley AG. How is your liver? Osteopath Health. 1928;53(6):3-8.
Treleaven H. Health at PAR Osteopathy for the Business Man. 1924:1-15.
Figure.
Covers of osteopathic pamphlets published in the 1920s.
Figure.
Covers of osteopathic pamphlets published in the 1920s.