Area residents and students at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) will get an opportunity to be of service to one another at the school’s Student Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) Clinic, which will take place in two separate sessions starting Jan. 9 and Feb. 13, respectively.
The annual clinic allows community members to be seen and treated free of charge while giving first- and second-year medical students supervised, hands-on experience in osteopathic manipulative medicine. Used to assist in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal problems and medical illnesses, OMM is a technique that involves stretching, placing pressure on or otherwise manipulating a person’s muscles and joints.
Jessica Smith-Kelly, D.O., a WVSOM graduate and assistant professor who coordinates the clinic, said it provides a valuable service to patients and students.
“Community members get the benefit of receiving osteopathic manipulation at no cost. Several patients have been attending the clinic since it started almost 20 years ago, and they say it helps,” Smith-Kelly said. “And for students, it gives them exposure to actual patients in a real-life setting. They’ve had the chance to practice on each other in labs, but because most of them don’t have true somatic dysfunctions, the clinic gives them something they can’t get in class.”
The clinic will take place at WVSOM’s Clinical Evaluation Center at 400 Lee Street North in Lewisburg. The first session runs each Wednesday from Jan. 9 to Feb. 6, and the second runs each Wednesday from Feb. 13 to Mar. 13. Appointments are available at 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m., and each patient can attend all five Wednesdays in his or her session.
Community members who wish to participate may sign up by calling 304-647-6286. To be eligible, a patient must have a written referral from a doctor, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner and must not have an open workers’ compensation case, motor vehicle accident claim or litigation involvement.
Patients should avoid wearing restrictive clothing and jeans to their appointment and should arrive 15 minutes early. Those who arrive more than 10 minutes late may be asked to reschedule. Cancellations should be made at least 24 hours in advance.