What is an osteopathic physician? What do they believe in and how do they differ from a traditionally trained physician? I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Joshua Trinidad, DO to discuss this topic. 

Dr. Trinidad specializes in gynecologic malignancies at Novant Health (surgery and chemotherapy for example) and works to provide comprehensive cancer care to women in the Triad. He is also board certified as an obstetrician prior to his current role in gynecologic oncology. 

Osteopathic medicine has been around since the 1870s and is one of the fastest growing branches of medicine in the United States. Trinidad explains that osteopathic medicine began with physicians using no medicine or surgery, relying on the body’s ability to cure itself from disease. Simply put, if we can maximize health the person will be better able to heal themselves. 

The term osteopathic is also derived from the connection to the musculoskeletal system. Doctors of osteopathic medicine receive additional training in manipulative medicine: bone and connective tissue manipulation to ease pain and optimize health. 

What can a patient expect with treatment under the care of an osteopathic physician? Trinidad explains that DOs (and now a growing number of traditionally trained MDs)  use a whole person and patient centered approach to their care. He goes on to explain that care will not vary much between DOs and MDs with regards to cancer treatments. For example, he prescribes chemotherapy interventions when necessary. 

Lymphedema is a common condition that can result from certain cancer treatments (see our previous posts on our blog and on social media for more information). Dr. Trinidad sees lymphedema in 25-40% of his patients and refers patients to a lymphedema specialist when this occurs. He does note a correlation between the number of lymph nodes dissected or removed and the onset of lymphedema: more lymph nodes being correlated to more likely onset of swelling. During our interview we also discussed the importance of early detection and risk reduction strategies to help treat and even prevent lymphedema. 

Interested in knowing your lymphedema risk? Visit https://taylorptandwellness.com/lymphedema to learn more


Special thank you to Dr. Trinidad for taking time to educate us on osteopathic medicine!

For more information about Dr. Trinidad visit Novanthealth.org