Still’s Osteopathy – its roots and reasoning (4)

The Osteopath an Artist

In a very short chapter Still promotes the need for medical practitioners to have a thorough and profound anatomical knowledge, a knowledge he believed that in the medicos of the time had “become sloppy and haphazard’. He wants his new practitioners to be anatomical artists whose anatomical knowledge was so ingrained that they held a picture of all the bodily structures in their minds. Later in the text Still makes it clear that physiological, histology, biochemistry and pathology should be considered branches of anatomy.

This of course begs the question – how good is the anatomical knowledge of our medical practitioners now? Does Still’s critique that it is sloppy and haphazard is hold true.

Sadly as recently as 2015 the British College of Surgeon (RCS) revealed they could not fill their training places with medical graduates because not enough of them met the minimum standard for anatomical knowledge. According to Turney writing in the RCS Annals in 2007 anatomical knowledge in the medical profession as been on the decline for the last 30 years.

Whether Osteopaths’ anatomical knowledge is of a higher standard is a moot point. Certainly at we had access to a wet labs and I was taught anatomy, physiology, histology, embryology, biomechanics and advanced visceral anatomy during my time at university. I believe Dr Raymond Blaich Osteopath in doing his pHd on this very topic and I eagerly await his results.


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