Osteopathic medicine is a branch of the medical profession in the United States. Osteopathic physicians are licensed to practice medicine and surgery in all 50 states and are recognized in fifty-five other countries, including most Canadian provinces. Frontier physician Andrew Taylor Still founded the profession as a radical rejection of the prevailing system of medical thought of the 19th century. Still's techniques relied heavily on the manipulation of joints and bones to diagnose and treat illness, and he called his practices "osteopathy". By the middle of the 20th century, the profession had moved closer to mainstream medicine, adopting modern public health and biomedical principles. American "osteopaths" became "osteopathic physicians", gradually achieving full practice rights as medical doctors in all 50 states, including serving in the U.S. armed forces as physicians.
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