- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Regarded 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 focusing on his style of medicine based on the concept that the body’s systems are interrelated and dependent upon one another for health. Still promoted preventative medicine and believed physicians should focus on treating the whole patient and not just the disease.

There now are 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 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 can prescribe medication and practice in all specialty areas, including surgery. They also employ osteopathic manipulative treatment in which they use their hands to diagnose injury and illness and to encourage the body’s ability to heal. Osteopathic physicians 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 new inductees were selected this past December, including two chosen through a public nomination and voting process. Still was the leading vote-getter, collecting nearly 38 percent of the more than 34,000 votes cast.

Induction ceremonies have not yet been announced for the others newly selected for the hall.