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The Story of Osteopathy Part Seven

On 1st November 1892 Andrew opened the American School of Osteopathy (later renamed the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, and now part of the AT Still University) in a two roomed timber framed building. Bill Smith taught anatomy and some chemistry and physiology. This first class consisted of five women and sixteen men, including former patients, family friends, three of Andrew’s children and his brother. At the time women were barred from US medical schools. The first graduation was in 1894. Andrew wished his graduates to be general practitioners, caring for patients with a wide variety of health problems, able to perform surgery, and deliver babies. The state of Missouri was willing to grant him a charter for awarding the MD degree, but he remained dissatisfied with the limitations of conventional medicine and instead chose to retain the distinction of the DO degree. An infirmary was opened in January 1896 and in that year Andrew and his students had performed thirty thousand osteopathic treatments. Andrew sanctioned the use of anaesthetics and antiseptics. By the late 1890’s his school, infirmary and new surgical hospital were increasingly successful both academically and financially. In 1897 two wings were added to the infirmary that more than tripled the size of the original building. The Wabash Railroad Company had to increase the number of passenger trains running to Kirksville to four a day to accommodate the 400 people traveling to the ASO every day for treatment. By 1902 the ASO was graduating 300 students a year. Andrew Taylor Still died on 12th December 1917 from the effects of a stroke he had sustained three years earlier.

January 30th 2019


Philip Bayliss, Registered Osteopath, 43 Thames Street, St Albans, Christchurch, NZ. ☎️03 356 1353