By Jeff Malet

The College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific at Western University of Health Sciences has appointed Michael Seffinger, DO, chair of the Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.

Dr. Seffinger, who came to COMP in 1999, is a tenured associate professor of Family Medicine, Neuromuscoloskeletal Medicine, and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.

His plan is to improve the opportunity for students to learn, train future teachers in OMM, and develop physical, mechanical and rehabilitation departments.

"We are going to advance our research mission, which is to research efficacy and mechanisms of OMM," Dr. Seffinger said. "I look forward to continuing to provide services for the community and interact with other colleges with research and other endeavors."

"Dr. Seffinger has an extensive background in primary care. Having trained and practiced as a family physician, he found great professional satisfaction and healing power in using a comprehensive osteopathic approach to the treatment of his patients," said COMP Dean Clinton E. Adams, DO, FAAFP, FACHE.

"This has led him to carefully evaluate osteopathic manipulative practice in the terms of clinical outcomes, which has led to his recently published book in conjunction with the former chair, Dr. Ray Hruby, titled ‘Evidence-Based Manual Medicine: A Problem-Oriented Approach,’" Adams said.

"We are extremely proud to have such an experienced leader who understands our mission of graduating not only competent, but caring, compassionate physicians who are lifelong learners with the distinctive osteopathic philosophy," Dr. Adams said.

Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) is the application of osteopathic philosophy, structural diagnosis and use of OMT in the diagnosis and management of the patient, according to Dr. Seffinger.

Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) is the therapeutic application of manually guided forces by an osteopathic physician to improve physiologic function and/or support homeostasis that has been altered by somatic dysfunction.

Dr. Seffinger’s passion for healing grew while traveling overseas. He lived in Japan for five years, where he taught English while studying traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine, including manipulation. He returned to the U.S. to complete his bachelor’s degree at the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1983, and then his medical training at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

After graduating with honors from MSU-COM, Dr. Seffinger served a traditional osteopathic rotating internship at Pacific Hospital of Long Beach, followed by a family medicine residency at the University of California at Irvine.

He is certified in the following areas:

  • Fellow, American Academy of Family Physicians
  • Diplomate – American Board of Family Physicians, 1992, 1999
  • Diplomate -American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians, 2000, 2008
  • Diplomate- Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine/Neuromuscular Medicine, 1999
  • Certification- Cranial Academy Instructor, 1999