FORCE was a founding partner of the landmark Empathy Project, which validated the benefit of an osteopathic medical education in improving clinical outcomes.

FORCE sponsors awards for Osteopathic Student & Resident Research Poster Competitions through the Louisa Burns Research Group of the American Academy of Osteopathy, and the Department of Research & Development of the American Osteopathic Association.


Since 2015, FORCE has been sponsoring the prizes for the Louisa Burns Research Group Student Poster Competition at Academy of Osteopathy’s Annual Convocation. Topics of Past LBORG Research Poster Competitions Winners include:

Clinical Research

  • Muscular Firing Patterns and Low Back Pain.
  • Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment in Cystic Fibrosis Distal Intestinal Obstructive Syndrome and Chronic Constipation: A Possible Preventative Measure.
  • Eulerian Video Magnification: Indirect Assessment of Physiological Rhythms.

Education and Public Health

  • The Use of Ultrasound to Assess Cervical Spine Segmental Rotation as a Component of Somatic Dysfunction.
  • The Effect of Ultrasound Imaging on Student Learning of Shoulder Anatomy and Landmarks.
  • SAAO Lunchtime Clinic Encourages Future Use of OMT.

Case Studies

  • OMT for Bilateral Meralgia Paresthetica and Peripheral Neuropathy.
  • Use of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment in the Pre-Surgical Management of Severe Strabismic Amblyopia: A Case Study.
  • Use of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment {OMT) to Treat Congenital Torticollis and Positional Plagiocephaly in an infant: A Case Report

Click on the link below to read the article:


Empathy in the Physician-Patient Relationship and Empathy in Clinical Practice

This project studied the relationship between physician empathy and the clinical markers of diabetic patients. Findings show the higher the empathy score of the physician, the more patients they had within normal clinical markers.

A second study compared the number of admissions into the hospital of diabetic patients as a result of complications in the management of their disease and the empathy score of their physician. The findings revealed the higher the empathy score of the physician, the fewer the admissions of their patients into the hospital.

These findings are compelling because the patient population has a chronic disease that requires the modification, control, and management of behavior by the patient over time. We contend it is the patient’s relationship with the physician, via empathy driven influence, that enhances the patient’s capacity to modify and manage their behavior over time to benefit their health and well-being.

Empathy in Medical Education

To do OMT properly and effectively, one must learn how to touch someone therapeutically with intent to provide comfort and help. One must further learn how to be touched in the same way and to converse with the patient to earn the privilege to influence them and their health. It is our contention that Empathy is the mechanism to creating influence with the patient.

Learning OMT may contribute to a competency in human engagement that enables the patient to grant the physician the privilege of influence with greater ease, and the physician to express a form of humility towards and an acceptance of the patient they translate as Empathy.

Notably, while each DO school has an organized curriculum to teach OMT, the teaching of how to converse with the patient during OMT is taught primarily through the apprentice model of learning by the OMM faculty. The Osteopathic apprentice model of teaching of “come with me and I will show you what to do” originated in the Osteopathic approach. The teacher shows his student where to place the hands, how to touch diagnostically and then therapeutically, and how to communicate with the patient in such a way that allows them to cooperate with the physician and heal themselves.

Click on the link below to read the article: