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Medical Education  |   November 2020
DERMS DO 5: A Proposed Curriculum for Dermatologic Training in 5 Osteopathic Competencies
Author Notes
  • From the Department of Dermatology, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. 
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Rachel Giesey, DO Department of Dermatology, 27100 Chardon Road, Richmond Heights, OH 44143-1116.Email: Rachel.Giesey2@UHHospitals.org
     
Article Information
Medical Education   |   November 2020
DERMS DO 5: A Proposed Curriculum for Dermatologic Training in 5 Osteopathic Competencies
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, November 2020, Vol. 120, 740-748. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2020.118
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, November 2020, Vol. 120, 740-748. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2020.118
Abstract

Dermatology programs seeking osteopathic recognition under the new single graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system are required to demonstrate osteopathic competencies within their teaching curriculum. Although the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education has put forth guidelines to obtain osteopathic recognition, ambiguity lingers regarding specialty-specific content that would fulfill these requirements. To date, there are no set curriculum guidelines addressing osteopathic principles within the field of dermatology. In this article, we review the existing literature surrounding key competencies and propose a dermatology-focused educational model, “DERMS (Direct, Empathy, Restore, Mobilize, Senses) DO 5,” to encourage the teaching of osteopathic competencies within GME training programs. Our proposed curriculum model addresses the 5 osteopathic care models and applications of osteopathic manipulative treatment within the realistic realm of dermatology.

Osteopathic medicine was first formally taught in the United States in 1892.1 Since its inception, osteopathic medicine has evolved and integrated its teachings into multiple medical specialties. Dermatology, within the osteopathic realm, began in 1957 with the start of the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. To date, the board has certified over 600 dermatology doctors of osteopathic medicine. Under the new 2020 single graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system, the American Osteopathic Association's (AOA's) dermatology training programs will be transitioned to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Dermatology training programs under the single GME accreditation system are eligible to apply and become osteopathically recognized by demonstrating the osteopathic recognition (OR) requirements set forth by ACGME guidelines.2 Although the 2018 guidelines addressed several osteopathic principles, they lacked specialty-specific content. To address this gap, we discuss the integration of dermatology into a training curriculum to fulfill requirements for OR, to preserve the identity of the osteopathic dermatology profession, and to focus on the unique skills and value that osteopathic physicians have to offer patients with cutaneous conditions. In support of this program, we also provide evidence from a narrative literature review performed using PubMed, including the following keywords: osteopathic recognition, dermatology, OMT, osteopathic principles and practices (OPP), residency, continuing medical education, educational model, ACGME, AAO, curriculum, competencies, osteopathy, and empathy. 
Osteopathic Tenets
Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is part of the practice of osteopathy, which is guided by 4 tenets: the person is a unit composed of body, mind, and spirit; the body is capable of homeostasis, self-healing, and health maintenance; structure and function are interrelated; and rational treatment is based on an understanding of the above principles.1 The goal of OMT is to combine an understanding of anatomy and pathophysiology of disease to decrease somatic dysfunction, referring to the impaired or altered function of related components of the somatic system: skeletal, arthroidal, and myofascial structures and their related vascular, lymphatic, and neural elements.3 Additionally, there are 5 conceptual models for osteopathic care that directly relate to the former 4 treatment principles: the biomechanical-structural model, metabolic-nutritional model, the respiratory-circulatory model, the neurologic model, and the behavioral-biopsychosocial model.1 Treating physicians should be conscious of contraindications to performing OMT, including osseous fractures, thrombotic events, certain stages of carcinoma, and bacterial infections with a temperature over 102° F.4 
Some argue that the trend toward specialized medicine has compromised osteopathic principles and practice; significantly fewer osteopathic specialists use OMT in their practices as compared to osteopathic primary care physicians, with time constraints being a commonly cited reason.5,6 However, this does not negate OMT's potential applicability and benefits for cutaneous diseases, and OMT is a billable service reimbursed by most insurance companies using proper ICD-10 and current procedural terminology (CPT) codes.7 In this article, we consolidate 5 key osteopathic competencies, the “DERMS DO 5” (with DERMS standing for Direct, Empathy, Restore, Mobilize, and Senses), encompassing the osteopathic care models as they relate to dermatologic conditions that providers can efficiently employ to stay proficient, benefit patients, and implement even in the setting of a bustling practice (Figure 1). These types of concise, focused models - like the recently published digital toolkit, “DERM (describe, evaluate, recognize, and manage)” – can help direct educational efforts enhance dermatology education and comfort in primary care residents.8 
Figure 1.
DERMS DO 5 training framework. Structural: biomechanical-structural model; metabolic: metabolic-nutritional model; neurologic: neurological model; respiratory-circulatory: respiratory-circulatory model; behavioral: behavioral-biopsychosocial model.
Figure 1.
DERMS DO 5 training framework. Structural: biomechanical-structural model; metabolic: metabolic-nutritional model; neurologic: neurological model; respiratory-circulatory: respiratory-circulatory model; behavioral: behavioral-biopsychosocial model.
We also detail examples of specific cutaneous conditions and principles in dermatology that model the 4 osteopathic tenets (Table 1). 
Table 1.
Application of Osteopathic Tenets and Related Cutaneous Conditions in Dermatology
Osteopathic principle Dermatology emphasis Examples in dermatology
I: The person is a unit composed of body, mind, and spirit. A. Skin disease can have profound psychosocial implications.
B. Psychological disease can cause or exacerbate skin disease.
A. Vitiligo; acne; rosacea; atopic dermatitis; psoriasis; alopecia; hyperhidrosis; bromohidrosis; scars
B. Delusions of parasitosis; neurotic excoriations; prurigo nodularis; trichotillomania; pruritus
II: The body is capable of homeostasis, self-healing, and health maintenance A. Some skin diseases can be prevented.
B. Some skin diseases are self-limited.
C. Immunologic basis of some skin disease.
A. Skin cancer; vaccination-preventable diseases (eg, herpes zoster, measles, mumps, rubella, small pox); drug reactions
B. Viral exanthems; pityriasis rosea; granuloma annulare; pityriasis rubra pilaris; lichen striatus; allergic contact dermatitis
C. Atopic dermatitis; psoriasis; autosensitization; graft-versus-host disease; lichen planus, cutaneous B/T cell lymphomas; mastocytosis; urticaria; vasculitis; neutrophilic dermatoses; morphea; lupus erythematosus; dermatomyositis
III: Structure and function are interrelated. A. Defects in skin structure invariably affect skin function and lead to skin disease.
B. Defects in skin structure/function can lead to global body disease.
C. Principles of dermatologic surgery.
A. Genodermatoses (e.g. epidermolysis bullosa, porphyrias; disorders with photosensitivity, pigmentation, immunodeficiency, cornification); vesiculobullous diseases; atopic dermatitis
B. Anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia; Stevens-Johnson syndrome; toxic epidermal necrolysis; toxic shock syndrome; burns; hypothermia
C. Langer's lines of skin tension; flap designs
IV: Rational treatment is based on an understanding of the above principles. A. Osteopathic manipulative therapy may be a beneficial adjunctive therapy for certain skin diseases.
B. Cutaneous signs of internal disease.
C. Treat the patient as a whole.
A. Lymphedema; stasis dermatitis; atopic dermatitis; dysesthesia syndromes; pruritus vulvae/scroti/ani; hyperhidrosis; postherpetic neuralgia
B. Perforating disorders; eruptive xanthomas; pruritus; anthracosis nigricans; pseudoxanthoma elasticum; erythema nodosum; yellow nail syndrome; sign of Leser-Trélat
C. Pregnancy dermatoses; nutritional disease; allergic contact dermatitis; irritant contact dermatitis; occupational disease; dermatoses due to plants; cosmetic dermatology
Table 1.
Application of Osteopathic Tenets and Related Cutaneous Conditions in Dermatology
Osteopathic principle Dermatology emphasis Examples in dermatology
I: The person is a unit composed of body, mind, and spirit. A. Skin disease can have profound psychosocial implications.
B. Psychological disease can cause or exacerbate skin disease.
A. Vitiligo; acne; rosacea; atopic dermatitis; psoriasis; alopecia; hyperhidrosis; bromohidrosis; scars
B. Delusions of parasitosis; neurotic excoriations; prurigo nodularis; trichotillomania; pruritus
II: The body is capable of homeostasis, self-healing, and health maintenance A. Some skin diseases can be prevented.
B. Some skin diseases are self-limited.
C. Immunologic basis of some skin disease.
A. Skin cancer; vaccination-preventable diseases (eg, herpes zoster, measles, mumps, rubella, small pox); drug reactions
B. Viral exanthems; pityriasis rosea; granuloma annulare; pityriasis rubra pilaris; lichen striatus; allergic contact dermatitis
C. Atopic dermatitis; psoriasis; autosensitization; graft-versus-host disease; lichen planus, cutaneous B/T cell lymphomas; mastocytosis; urticaria; vasculitis; neutrophilic dermatoses; morphea; lupus erythematosus; dermatomyositis
III: Structure and function are interrelated. A. Defects in skin structure invariably affect skin function and lead to skin disease.
B. Defects in skin structure/function can lead to global body disease.
C. Principles of dermatologic surgery.
A. Genodermatoses (e.g. epidermolysis bullosa, porphyrias; disorders with photosensitivity, pigmentation, immunodeficiency, cornification); vesiculobullous diseases; atopic dermatitis
B. Anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia; Stevens-Johnson syndrome; toxic epidermal necrolysis; toxic shock syndrome; burns; hypothermia
C. Langer's lines of skin tension; flap designs
IV: Rational treatment is based on an understanding of the above principles. A. Osteopathic manipulative therapy may be a beneficial adjunctive therapy for certain skin diseases.
B. Cutaneous signs of internal disease.
C. Treat the patient as a whole.
A. Lymphedema; stasis dermatitis; atopic dermatitis; dysesthesia syndromes; pruritus vulvae/scroti/ani; hyperhidrosis; postherpetic neuralgia
B. Perforating disorders; eruptive xanthomas; pruritus; anthracosis nigricans; pseudoxanthoma elasticum; erythema nodosum; yellow nail syndrome; sign of Leser-Trélat
C. Pregnancy dermatoses; nutritional disease; allergic contact dermatitis; irritant contact dermatitis; occupational disease; dermatoses due to plants; cosmetic dermatology
×
“DERMS DO 5”
Direct
OMT can be classified as direct, engaging the pathologic restrictive barrier, or indirect, moving away from the restrictive barrier. One of the most frequently used OMT techniques is muscle energy, a direct treatment that has been shown to alleviate chronically contracted restrictor muscles that compromise the body's normal range of movement9,10 (Table 2). The mechanism is thought to involve the effect of the Golgi tendon reflex on the agonist and antagonist muscles, the pair of muscles that cause and inhibit a movement, respectively.11,12 Specifically, Golgi tendon organ activation results in direct inhibition of agonist muscles, and a reflexive reciprocal inhibition occurs at the antagonistic muscles. As the patient relaxes, agonist and antagonist muscles remain inhibited, allowing the joint to be moved further into the restricted range of motion. 
Table 2.
Useful OMT Techniques for Dermatology
OMT technique Dermatologic applications Mechanism of action
Muscle energy Following Mohs micrographic surgery or any prolonged procedure in which the patient is in a non-neutral position for an extended period of time; dysesthesia syndromes 1) Patient performs an isometric contraction against a physician counterforce, holds for 3-5 seconds
2) Patient relaxes for 3-5 seconds
3) The restrictive barrier is further engaged by the physician
4) Steps 1-3 are repeated 2-4 times
Rib-raising Primary hyperhidrosis; dysesthesia syndromes; herpes zoster; postherpetic neuralgia 1) Patient lies supine or lateral
2) Physician applies anterior, superior, and lateral pressure with finger pads on rib angles
3) Physician holds until release of tissues is felt
4) Physician repositions hands to treat subsequent ribs (typically treating 5 or 6 at a time)
Thoracic inlet release Stasis dermatitis; lipodermatosclerosis; lymphedema; chronic wounds; atopic dermatitis 1) Physician's thumbs are placed on the transverse process of T2 and the head of the second rib, and the fourth and fifth fingers are placed between the clavicle and the first rib
2) The thoracic inlet is moved in the direction of restriction (direct) or of ease (indirect) until a release of the tissues is appreciated
Effleurage Stasis dermatitis; lipodermatosclerosis; lymphedema; chronic wounds; atopic dermatitis 1) Physician applies rotatory strokes of the palm and/or fingers on the tissue in a distal-to-proximal (towards the heart) direction, acting as a mechanical pump to encourage venous and lymphatic return
Pedal pump Stasis dermatitis; lipodermatosclerosis; lymphedema; chronic wounds; atopic dermatitis 1) Physician applies a pumping motion to the bilateral feet in a rhythmic fashion while patient is supine
Table 2.
Useful OMT Techniques for Dermatology
OMT technique Dermatologic applications Mechanism of action
Muscle energy Following Mohs micrographic surgery or any prolonged procedure in which the patient is in a non-neutral position for an extended period of time; dysesthesia syndromes 1) Patient performs an isometric contraction against a physician counterforce, holds for 3-5 seconds
2) Patient relaxes for 3-5 seconds
3) The restrictive barrier is further engaged by the physician
4) Steps 1-3 are repeated 2-4 times
Rib-raising Primary hyperhidrosis; dysesthesia syndromes; herpes zoster; postherpetic neuralgia 1) Patient lies supine or lateral
2) Physician applies anterior, superior, and lateral pressure with finger pads on rib angles
3) Physician holds until release of tissues is felt
4) Physician repositions hands to treat subsequent ribs (typically treating 5 or 6 at a time)
Thoracic inlet release Stasis dermatitis; lipodermatosclerosis; lymphedema; chronic wounds; atopic dermatitis 1) Physician's thumbs are placed on the transverse process of T2 and the head of the second rib, and the fourth and fifth fingers are placed between the clavicle and the first rib
2) The thoracic inlet is moved in the direction of restriction (direct) or of ease (indirect) until a release of the tissues is appreciated
Effleurage Stasis dermatitis; lipodermatosclerosis; lymphedema; chronic wounds; atopic dermatitis 1) Physician applies rotatory strokes of the palm and/or fingers on the tissue in a distal-to-proximal (towards the heart) direction, acting as a mechanical pump to encourage venous and lymphatic return
Pedal pump Stasis dermatitis; lipodermatosclerosis; lymphedema; chronic wounds; atopic dermatitis 1) Physician applies a pumping motion to the bilateral feet in a rhythmic fashion while patient is supine
×
This quick, concise technique can be used to optimize the skin's biomechanical-structural relationship. Patients undergoing excisions, especially Mohs micrographic surgery of multiple layers, are often contorted in unnatural positions for extensive periods of time, likely leading to somatic dysfunctions. A brief application of muscle energy to the regions involved following the procedure would likely be appreciated by and beneficial to these patients. It is also particularly applicable for dysesthesia syndromes, characterized as an unpleasant and/or abnormal sense of touch, which have been linked to nerve impingements. The sensation of pruritus is transmitted to the central nervous system through unmyelinated C-fibers and thinly myelinated Aδ nerve fibers.13 Numerous neuropathic conditions are known to cause dysesthesia and pruritus, such as notalgia paresthetica, classically presenting as macular amyloidosis on the medial scapula. Although the exact pathophysiology is unclear, a recent study showed that 61% of patients with the condition had underlying vertebral pathology.14 One proposed mechanism is that the spinal nerves of vertebrae T2 to T6 emerge from the multifidus muscle at right angles, leaving them susceptible to chronic injury.15 Other dysesthesia syndromes by region include burning mouth syndrome involving the oral mucosa, trigeminal trophic syndrome involving the nasal ala, cheiralgia paresthetica involving the hand, brachioradial pruritus involving the dorsolateral forearm, meralgia paresthetica involving the anterolateral thigh, pudendal neuralgia and pruritus ani/scroti/vulva involving the perineal area, and postherpetic neuralgia, typically unilateral and involving 1 to 3 unilateral dermatomes.16 These cutaneous conditions may all benefit from muscle energy directed at the appropriate cord levels of the spine that correspond to the involved dermatome; however, further research is needed to investigate this.17 Other techniques such as soft tissue, myofascial release, and rib raising may also be adjunctive to muscle energy, as demonstrated in a case report of a patient with sustained improvement in her notalgia paresthetica following a single 20-minute treatment session with these techniques.18 Burning mouth syndrome in particular may be treated with a direct technique known as sphenopalatine ganglion release. The sphenopalatine ganglion's parasympathetic innervation derives from the facial nerve and contains sensory fibers from the trigeminal nerve.19 Stimulation of the ganglion may reduce xerostomia and pain by normalizing the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system and sensory components of the trigeminal nerve. To perform this technique, the 5th finger is used to manually massage and stimulate the sphenopalatine ganglion in the superior, posterior, lateral aspect of the patient's pharynx. 
Empathy
In order to appreciate and approach a patient as a unit of mind, body, and spirit, the osteopathic physician must strive to understand his or her experiences, perspectives, and concerns. Empathy is the vehicle to achieve this level of insight. Interestingly, empathy has been shown to decline over time among allopathic physicians during medical school and residency.20-22 Whether this same trend is observed among osteopathic medical students is unclear,23-25 although higher empathy scores have been directly correlated to those who embrace the osteopathic philosophy and provide more frequent OMT.26 Additionally, a recent survey found patients reported more favorable perceptions of osteopathic physicians than allopathic physicians on interpersonal manner and empathy.27 It is well-known that the connection between the skin and the mind is a powerful one. Examples include the impact of stress on psoriasis, acne, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and scars.28,29 Also noted are high rates of depression, body dysmorphic disorder, and suicide in acne patients.30 Additionally, the negative consequences of smoking on the integumentary system are well characterized.31 Further illustrating this observation are various psoriasis comorbidities, including sleep disorders, metabolic syndrome, and erectile dysfunction32 (Table 1). 
Dermatologists can embody empathic skills by exploring these psychosocial comorbidities that frequently accompany cutaneous conditions and how they impact the patient as a whole, exemplifying the metabolic-nutritional osteopathic model. Counseling or referring patients to a psychiatrist may be considered when there are signs of psychologic distress. Healthy lifestyles with a balanced diet and exercise should routinely be encouraged. Scars should be approached with treatments to help improve cosmetic outcomes (eg, employing Mohs surgery appropriate use criteria, or considering how a facial scar will look not only at rest but with dynamic movements).33 Educating patients can be very influential, such as explaining how and when to apply topical products for maximum results or the importance of keeping scars covered from the sun and applying sunscreen after surgery. Numerous resources exist to help dermatologists simplify and achieve this task.34 Nonverbal communication can also play a role in empathy. Making eye contact improves communication and trust and understanding of the patient. Respect for personal space by sitting at the same level as the patient increases the physician's ability to move closer in a nonthreatening manner, rather than standing close and talking down to convey superiority. When performing OMT, communication is essential and achieved by clarifying objectives, answering questions, asking permission, and describing intentions with each movement and position. All of these factors can make the patient more receptive to treatment if the physician is culturally competent and recognizes the unique perspectives of physician-patient relationships among different cultures. 
Restore
The neurologic model of osteopathy emphasizes the close relationship between the somatic and autonomic nervous systems, connected through neuro-reflex pathways and allowing manipulation of sympathetic and parasympathetic functions.1 OMT serves in the neurologic model to balance neural outputs, eliminate nociceptive drive, and restore autonomic function, which can be especially important in disorders with over- and underactivation of these systems.1 Rib raising is a quick, efficient articulatory technique that encompasses this model. It is designed to decrease sympathetic tone, decrease afferent nerve signals, attain autonomic balance, and achieve pain relief. It can easily be implemented for dermatologic complaints.35 Because the thoracic sympathetic ganglia lie anterior to their corresponding rib, gentle pressure on these ganglia initially produces a short-lived increase in sympathetic activity, followed by long-lasting sympathetic inhibition. This may be useful for cutaneous conditions with hypersympathetic activity such as hyperhidrosis or “burning mouth syndrome.” Hyperhidrosis can be a challenging condition to treat in dermatology and is thought to be due to localized hyperfunctioning of sympathetic fibers passing through the T2 and T3 ganglia. The rib raising technique may also be beneficial for patients with acute herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia, which is caused by the nerve inflammation leading to chemical and anatomical coupling between sympathetic postganglionic and primary sensory neurons.36 Rib raising may therefore be a valuable supplement before or in addition to pharmacologic or surgical therapy for these conditions. 
Mobilize
Complaints related to lymphatic dysfunction are common in dermatology, including stasis dermatitis, lipodermatosclerosis, lymphedema, chronic wounds, and atopic dermatitis.19,37,38 Lymphatic pumps have been shown to have positive effects on the B- and T-cell components of the immune system.39 Improving fluid imbalance can be very beneficial, especially in low-pressure venous and lymphatic states, by increasing total leukocyte count, interleukin-8, keratinocyte-derived chemoattractant, and other immune factors in lymphatic flow following treatment.40 Lymphatic dysfunction can also play a role in pruritus, because the reduction of lymphatic drainage causes a build-up of inflammatory mediators in the skin.15 
The respiratory-circulatory model emphasizes normalization of a patient's pulmonary and cardiovascular functions, as well as the circulation of fluids such as lymph, blood, and cerebrospinal fluid. The first step in any lymphatic treatment is to open diaphragmatic restrictors. This reopens proximal lymphatic pathways so that fluid mobilized distally can flow unimpeded back to the heart. Next, a lymphatic pump technique such as effleurage may be applied. The treatment location should be selected based on the distribution of the skin complaint, such as the area involved in an atopic dermatitis flare. Leone et al37 proposed having atopic dermatitis patients and/or their parents perform this technique at home while applying emollients and creams in order to actively involve them in their care and ensure that an adequate amount of time is spent applying medications so that the medications are fully absorbed into the skin; Leone and colleagues created a sample patient handout to take home for this task.37 
These techniques can also be valuable when applied to the lower extremities for venous stasis dermatitis and ulcers. A recent meta-analysis showed the healing benefits of exercise in venous leg ulcers because of the importance of calf muscle contraction during ambulation.41 After opening proximal lymphatic pathways, the pedal pump technique can be used to contract the gastrocnemius muscle, mimicking ambulation. To perform this technique, apply a pump motion to the bilateral feet in a rhythmic fashion while patient is supine. The pedal pump is a simple bedside technique that can mobilize venous and lymphatic drainage back to the circulatory system. Various other lymphatic techniques applicable in dermatology have also been discussed by McIlwee et al.38 
Senses
The most obvious sense used during evaluation of the skin is sight. The other senses, however, are certainly not trivial. Even smell can offer insight into the clinical picture, such as the characteristic “grape juice” odor associated with Pseudomonas infections.42 Palpation of skin lesions may assist in identifying pathologies that would otherwise be missed by visual examination alone. Osteopathic physicians are wholly suited for this, with the art of palpation at the root of osteopathy. All osteopathic medical students are required to complete at least 200 hours of hands-on training in OMT, often starting on the first day of medical school.43 Physicians should take full advantage of their palpatory skills during skin examinations to detect lesions that might otherwise go unnoticed. For example, an early actinic keratosis, a precancerous squamous cell carcinoma, may be detected more easily by palpation than by visual examination.44 Physical palpatory examination findings can provide clues to the diagnosis, such as the dimple sign, Nikolsky sign, and dermatographism. Furthermore, palpatory skills can aid in identifying the depth of a lesion, which can then help in selecting the appropriate diagnostic test (eg, shave biopsy versus punch biopsy). 
Touch supports a verbal-tactile interaction that is both diagnostic and therapeutic, offering meaningful and powerful potential to strengthen the physician-patient interaction.45 Touching a patient's skin with intention complements the behavioral-biopsychosocial osteopathic model, providing reassurance that a rash (where appropriate) is not contagious, identifying tenderness, and assessing texture and temperature changes.46 Therapeutic touch has been shown to promote relaxation of newborns in the intensive care unit, with reduction in their vital signs and basal metabolic rates, and to decrease pulse and respiration rates of patients before surgery.47,48 
Discussion
DERMS DO 5 is a practical model for residency programs to support osteopathic principles and osteopathic recognition. ACMGE programs are required to perform semi-annual evaluations of residents based on 6 core competencies and milestones, and DERMS DO 5 may facilitate a similar means to evaluate osteopathic residents.49 For example, under the category “Patient Care and Procedural Skills,” the evaluation of OMT application could range from Level 1 (resident demonstrates ability to interpret and apply findings to select the appropriate OMT treatment based on the cutaneous complaints, with guidance) to Level 5 (resident performs at the level of someone with advanced training in OMT and teaches correlation of palpatory findings with clinical cutaneous findings). These competencies could relate to recognizing when lymphatic techniques are applicable (the M for mobilize DERMS) and also when they are contraindicated, as in the case with malignancy. “Medical knowledge” may assess the resident's general understanding of osteopathic principles and tenets and how they relate to dermatology. To facilitate this, each DERMS DO 5 component could individually serve as a subject of journal group discussion. “Practice-based learning and improvement” could evaluate how well a resident monitors practice and proficiency of osteopathic principles and treatments, with goals for improvement. Didactics and clinics are ideal situations for residents to practice their skills under supervision to solicit feedback and self-reflection. “Interpersonal and communication skills” may evaluate a resident's implementation of nonverbal communication and the 5 senses, highlighting the S in DERMS. “Professionalism” closely correlates with empathy, the E in DERMS. Finally, “systems-based practice” may focus on evaluating residents on their ability to adapt OMT principles and practice in various healthcare delivery settings and systems; for example, performing the rib raising technique (the R for restore in DERMS) with the patient sitting, lateral recumbent, or supine, depending on the type of table available. 
Many of the dermatologic conditions previously discussed that may benefit from application of OMT have not yet been the focus of OMT clinical research. Thus, another suggested application for DERMS DO 5 in an osteopathic recognition dermatology residency program is to encourage future resident scholarly research in these areas. We have implemented these applications at the dermatology residency program at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, but further research is needed on the outcomes of DERMS DO 5 in programs longitudinally in order to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum. 
Conclusion
The suggested DERMS DO 5 training curriculum represents a focused approach for addressing osteopathic recognition requirements and resident evaluation in ACGME-accredited dermatology training programs. It also provides an opportunity to advance research in osteopathic recognition in many specialties involved in ACGME residencies. The exact criteria for each osteopathic milestone shall remain at the discretion individual residency programs, but DERMS DO 5 may serve as a guideline and framework. Furthermore, it is a tool that can be used by clinicians to implement the principles of osteopathy and to offer efficient, cost-effective, billable treatments to benefit patients. Through DERMS DO 5, physicians and those in training will have a renewed focus for the osteopathic tenets, core competencies, and their applications in dermatology. 
Author Contributions
All authors provided substantial contribution to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; all authors drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content; all authors gave final approval of the version of the article to be published; and all authors agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. 
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Figure 1.
DERMS DO 5 training framework. Structural: biomechanical-structural model; metabolic: metabolic-nutritional model; neurologic: neurological model; respiratory-circulatory: respiratory-circulatory model; behavioral: behavioral-biopsychosocial model.
Figure 1.
DERMS DO 5 training framework. Structural: biomechanical-structural model; metabolic: metabolic-nutritional model; neurologic: neurological model; respiratory-circulatory: respiratory-circulatory model; behavioral: behavioral-biopsychosocial model.
Table 1.
Application of Osteopathic Tenets and Related Cutaneous Conditions in Dermatology
Osteopathic principle Dermatology emphasis Examples in dermatology
I: The person is a unit composed of body, mind, and spirit. A. Skin disease can have profound psychosocial implications.
B. Psychological disease can cause or exacerbate skin disease.
A. Vitiligo; acne; rosacea; atopic dermatitis; psoriasis; alopecia; hyperhidrosis; bromohidrosis; scars
B. Delusions of parasitosis; neurotic excoriations; prurigo nodularis; trichotillomania; pruritus
II: The body is capable of homeostasis, self-healing, and health maintenance A. Some skin diseases can be prevented.
B. Some skin diseases are self-limited.
C. Immunologic basis of some skin disease.
A. Skin cancer; vaccination-preventable diseases (eg, herpes zoster, measles, mumps, rubella, small pox); drug reactions
B. Viral exanthems; pityriasis rosea; granuloma annulare; pityriasis rubra pilaris; lichen striatus; allergic contact dermatitis
C. Atopic dermatitis; psoriasis; autosensitization; graft-versus-host disease; lichen planus, cutaneous B/T cell lymphomas; mastocytosis; urticaria; vasculitis; neutrophilic dermatoses; morphea; lupus erythematosus; dermatomyositis
III: Structure and function are interrelated. A. Defects in skin structure invariably affect skin function and lead to skin disease.
B. Defects in skin structure/function can lead to global body disease.
C. Principles of dermatologic surgery.
A. Genodermatoses (e.g. epidermolysis bullosa, porphyrias; disorders with photosensitivity, pigmentation, immunodeficiency, cornification); vesiculobullous diseases; atopic dermatitis
B. Anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia; Stevens-Johnson syndrome; toxic epidermal necrolysis; toxic shock syndrome; burns; hypothermia
C. Langer's lines of skin tension; flap designs
IV: Rational treatment is based on an understanding of the above principles. A. Osteopathic manipulative therapy may be a beneficial adjunctive therapy for certain skin diseases.
B. Cutaneous signs of internal disease.
C. Treat the patient as a whole.
A. Lymphedema; stasis dermatitis; atopic dermatitis; dysesthesia syndromes; pruritus vulvae/scroti/ani; hyperhidrosis; postherpetic neuralgia
B. Perforating disorders; eruptive xanthomas; pruritus; anthracosis nigricans; pseudoxanthoma elasticum; erythema nodosum; yellow nail syndrome; sign of Leser-Trélat
C. Pregnancy dermatoses; nutritional disease; allergic contact dermatitis; irritant contact dermatitis; occupational disease; dermatoses due to plants; cosmetic dermatology
Table 1.
Application of Osteopathic Tenets and Related Cutaneous Conditions in Dermatology
Osteopathic principle Dermatology emphasis Examples in dermatology
I: The person is a unit composed of body, mind, and spirit. A. Skin disease can have profound psychosocial implications.
B. Psychological disease can cause or exacerbate skin disease.
A. Vitiligo; acne; rosacea; atopic dermatitis; psoriasis; alopecia; hyperhidrosis; bromohidrosis; scars
B. Delusions of parasitosis; neurotic excoriations; prurigo nodularis; trichotillomania; pruritus
II: The body is capable of homeostasis, self-healing, and health maintenance A. Some skin diseases can be prevented.
B. Some skin diseases are self-limited.
C. Immunologic basis of some skin disease.
A. Skin cancer; vaccination-preventable diseases (eg, herpes zoster, measles, mumps, rubella, small pox); drug reactions
B. Viral exanthems; pityriasis rosea; granuloma annulare; pityriasis rubra pilaris; lichen striatus; allergic contact dermatitis
C. Atopic dermatitis; psoriasis; autosensitization; graft-versus-host disease; lichen planus, cutaneous B/T cell lymphomas; mastocytosis; urticaria; vasculitis; neutrophilic dermatoses; morphea; lupus erythematosus; dermatomyositis
III: Structure and function are interrelated. A. Defects in skin structure invariably affect skin function and lead to skin disease.
B. Defects in skin structure/function can lead to global body disease.
C. Principles of dermatologic surgery.
A. Genodermatoses (e.g. epidermolysis bullosa, porphyrias; disorders with photosensitivity, pigmentation, immunodeficiency, cornification); vesiculobullous diseases; atopic dermatitis
B. Anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia; Stevens-Johnson syndrome; toxic epidermal necrolysis; toxic shock syndrome; burns; hypothermia
C. Langer's lines of skin tension; flap designs
IV: Rational treatment is based on an understanding of the above principles. A. Osteopathic manipulative therapy may be a beneficial adjunctive therapy for certain skin diseases.
B. Cutaneous signs of internal disease.
C. Treat the patient as a whole.
A. Lymphedema; stasis dermatitis; atopic dermatitis; dysesthesia syndromes; pruritus vulvae/scroti/ani; hyperhidrosis; postherpetic neuralgia
B. Perforating disorders; eruptive xanthomas; pruritus; anthracosis nigricans; pseudoxanthoma elasticum; erythema nodosum; yellow nail syndrome; sign of Leser-Trélat
C. Pregnancy dermatoses; nutritional disease; allergic contact dermatitis; irritant contact dermatitis; occupational disease; dermatoses due to plants; cosmetic dermatology
×
Table 2.
Useful OMT Techniques for Dermatology
OMT technique Dermatologic applications Mechanism of action
Muscle energy Following Mohs micrographic surgery or any prolonged procedure in which the patient is in a non-neutral position for an extended period of time; dysesthesia syndromes 1) Patient performs an isometric contraction against a physician counterforce, holds for 3-5 seconds
2) Patient relaxes for 3-5 seconds
3) The restrictive barrier is further engaged by the physician
4) Steps 1-3 are repeated 2-4 times
Rib-raising Primary hyperhidrosis; dysesthesia syndromes; herpes zoster; postherpetic neuralgia 1) Patient lies supine or lateral
2) Physician applies anterior, superior, and lateral pressure with finger pads on rib angles
3) Physician holds until release of tissues is felt
4) Physician repositions hands to treat subsequent ribs (typically treating 5 or 6 at a time)
Thoracic inlet release Stasis dermatitis; lipodermatosclerosis; lymphedema; chronic wounds; atopic dermatitis 1) Physician's thumbs are placed on the transverse process of T2 and the head of the second rib, and the fourth and fifth fingers are placed between the clavicle and the first rib
2) The thoracic inlet is moved in the direction of restriction (direct) or of ease (indirect) until a release of the tissues is appreciated
Effleurage Stasis dermatitis; lipodermatosclerosis; lymphedema; chronic wounds; atopic dermatitis 1) Physician applies rotatory strokes of the palm and/or fingers on the tissue in a distal-to-proximal (towards the heart) direction, acting as a mechanical pump to encourage venous and lymphatic return
Pedal pump Stasis dermatitis; lipodermatosclerosis; lymphedema; chronic wounds; atopic dermatitis 1) Physician applies a pumping motion to the bilateral feet in a rhythmic fashion while patient is supine
Table 2.
Useful OMT Techniques for Dermatology
OMT technique Dermatologic applications Mechanism of action
Muscle energy Following Mohs micrographic surgery or any prolonged procedure in which the patient is in a non-neutral position for an extended period of time; dysesthesia syndromes 1) Patient performs an isometric contraction against a physician counterforce, holds for 3-5 seconds
2) Patient relaxes for 3-5 seconds
3) The restrictive barrier is further engaged by the physician
4) Steps 1-3 are repeated 2-4 times
Rib-raising Primary hyperhidrosis; dysesthesia syndromes; herpes zoster; postherpetic neuralgia 1) Patient lies supine or lateral
2) Physician applies anterior, superior, and lateral pressure with finger pads on rib angles
3) Physician holds until release of tissues is felt
4) Physician repositions hands to treat subsequent ribs (typically treating 5 or 6 at a time)
Thoracic inlet release Stasis dermatitis; lipodermatosclerosis; lymphedema; chronic wounds; atopic dermatitis 1) Physician's thumbs are placed on the transverse process of T2 and the head of the second rib, and the fourth and fifth fingers are placed between the clavicle and the first rib
2) The thoracic inlet is moved in the direction of restriction (direct) or of ease (indirect) until a release of the tissues is appreciated
Effleurage Stasis dermatitis; lipodermatosclerosis; lymphedema; chronic wounds; atopic dermatitis 1) Physician applies rotatory strokes of the palm and/or fingers on the tissue in a distal-to-proximal (towards the heart) direction, acting as a mechanical pump to encourage venous and lymphatic return
Pedal pump Stasis dermatitis; lipodermatosclerosis; lymphedema; chronic wounds; atopic dermatitis 1) Physician applies a pumping motion to the bilateral feet in a rhythmic fashion while patient is supine
×