JEFFERSON CITY — Known as the father of osteopathic medicine, Andrew Taylor Still was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians during a ceremony Wednesday at the state Capitol.
The physician founded the American School of Osteopathy, now called A.T. Still University, in Kirksville in 1892. It was the nation's first institution to focus on a style of medicine that emphasizes the interconnectedness of the body's nerves, muscles, bones and organs affect on overall health.
There are now more than 80,000 osteopathic physicians and about 30 schools in the U.S.
Still began looking for new medical methods after the deaths of his first wife and several children and his experiences during the Civil War as a doctor, according to the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine. He adopted a comprehensive approach to medicine that focused on the body, mind and spirit.
"What was a radical idea at the very beginning and a new way of looking at the healing process when he first brought it forth, today is a tried and true path to better health and a better life for millions of people in all 50 states and in more than 60 countries around the globe," said Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones.
Relatives, medical students, physicians and leaders in osteopathic medicine attended the induction ceremony in a crowded House chamber.
Osteopathic physicians focus on trying to prevent illness rather than just fighting symptoms. They can prescribe medication and practice in all specialty areas, including surgery. They complete medical school and graduate medical education through internships and residency programs.
The Hall of Famous Missourians is a collection of bronze busts that generally honor people chosen by the House speaker. Busts are displayed between the House and Senate chambers. Among those already included in the hall are President Harry Truman, Walt Disney, George Washington Carver, Walter Cronkite and Betty Grable.
Four inductees were selected this past December, including two chosen through a public nomination and voting process. Still had the most votes, collecting nearly 38 percent of the more than 34,000 votes cast.
Induction ceremonies have not yet been announced for the others selected for the hall.