“It isn’t about doing a manipulation, it’s about helping the patient. I’m going to use whatever tools I can to get that job done.”
Combining Osteopathic Medicine & Direct Primary Care to Serve You
Dr. Richard Schuster chose to become a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) because it focuses on the whole person. It focuses on how one part of their body or life can impact another. We’re all interconnected, within our own bodies and as a community, and medicine should reflect that.
I don’t believe patients get the care they deserve from big health systems. These systems are forced into high overhead costs by insurance companies. They cannot provide personalized, focused care. It takes weeks or months to get an appointment that ends up being quick and generalized. None of that serves the patient’s best interest.
Direct Primary Care (DPC) affords me the time I really need to get to know a patient. I can figure out how to improve their overall health and well-being. That’s what primary care physicians should always strive to do. The issue is it takes quality time with patients to discover the root cause of an issue. We can’t just treat the symptoms. I’m always available to my patients and offer them same-day and next-day appointments when they seek immediate help.
DOs prioritize wellness and preventing health problems before they develop into disease, which is why so many of us go into primary care only to be disappointed by the current culture of mainstream health care. Integrating the osteopathic philosophy with a DPC practice makes perfect sense for me and for my patients.
Care Philosophy and Mission Statement
Osteopathy examines how all of the body’s systems interact together. It’s about looking at your life as a whole and getting to know you. My mission is to figure out how I can work with that information to help you grow as a person and improve your health. That’s why I got into osteopathic medicine. I really care about people and their improvement means a great deal to me. I want to help people achieve the best version of themselves.
Compassion, integrity and responsibility are the personal and professional values that drive my approach to treating patients. I want you to know that I truly care about you as a person. We are on the same team in this sometimes tumultuous journey toward achieving lifelong health. I coached swimming for 13 years and often teach medical students and residents. Life is about constantly learning new skills and pushing others to perform to the best of their abilities. I’ll make sure my goals for your care line up with your own personal goals so we can succeed together.
I feel blessed to be able to do what I do. As doctors, it’s a privilege to care for another human being and bring them comfort and relief in a time of need. We have a responsibility to our patients to do the best we can for them every day. We must act with integrity and communicate honestly, so patients can give us their full trust.
In my 20 years of practicing medicine, I’ve discovered there are many people who don’t know what osteopathy involves or misunderstand it on some level. As a DO, we receive the same amount of schooling and training as an MD, and are fully licensed physicians who can prescribe medications, perform surgery and administer the same treatments as an MD.
What differs is our approach to patient care. Osteopathic medicine is based on the principle that all systems in the body are interrelated and dysfunction in one part is likely to affect the rest. Just because you suffer from headaches, it doesn’t mean your brain is the culprit. If we address the root cause of the health problem and work to regain balance among the systems, the body will inherently heal itself from injury or illness.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatments (OMT) are a powerful tool for achieving that balance in a patient’s body. Using a hands-on approach, I focus on bones, joints, and muscles to identify and correct problems with manual readjustments, myofascial release and other physical manipulations of those systems.
I’m board certified in family medicine as well as neuromusculoskeletal medicine, a specialty in osteopathic medicine for those with expertise in musculoskeletal problems and related neurological issues. While I may work on your body’s outer layers during OMT, I’m always analyzing how it impacts the internal nervous system and other parts of the body you may not even realize play a role in your medical problem.
I treat all kinds of health complaints from chronic pain, arthritis and digestive issues to problems with the nervous and circulatory system. Manipulations are only one of many tools I use to treat my patients. Whether it be prescription medicine, surgery or a change in diet, everything’s on the table when I figure out how to get you functioning as well as possible.
I pride myself on knowing many long-forgotten osteopathic manipulation techniques and about medicine in general. My practice is more about the execution of that knowledge. I can do a manipulation to address virtually any health problem, but I want to figure out what’s causing the problem in the first place. A diagnosis must come before deciding treatment. It isn’t about doing a manipulation, it’s about helping the patient. I’m going to use whatever tools I can to get that job done.
It’s also my job to prioritize what’s important when evaluating treatment options. There are some things that require fixing first, or the rest doesn’t even matter. We can’t change everything at once. There are no quick solutions. Partner with me and we’ll take it one step at a time to achieve health and wellness, so you can fully enjoy your life.