Dennis Barraco, DO, PhD
General Medicine & Urgent Care
My formative years were spent in Michigan. Born, raised, and ultimately attended, taught, and completed neurological research at Michigan State University. During this important time I received a Bachelor Degree in Psychology, a Master Degree in Physiology, a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Physiology, and most assuredly a Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine. Doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) practice a “whole person” approach to health care. Instead of just treating specific symptoms I concentrate on treating the whole person.
In 1985 I moved to Arizona were I worked mostly as an Emergency Physician and served as Medical Director. Over time I began to miss the connection established between the patient and primary care provider, so in January 2014 I began practicing Family Medicine at the Community Hospital Clinic in Wickenburg, Arizona. The majority of my patients are adults. I perform wellness examinations, bio-identical hormone therapy, gynecology, geriatric medicine, dermatological care, and minor surgical procedures. I am Board Certified in Anti-aging and Regenerative Medicine.
Osteopathic medicine is a distinct form of medical practice in the United States
Osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention.
Osteopathic physicians, also known as DOs are trained to look at the whole person from their first days of medical school, which means they see each person as more than just a collection of organ systems and body parts that may become injured or diseased. This holistic approach to patient care means that osteopathic medical students learn how to integrate the patient into the health care process as a partner. They are trained to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds, and they get the opportunity to practice these skills in their classrooms and learning laboratories, frequently with standardized and simulated patients.
Strong Foundation in Primary Care
The osteopathic medical profession has a proud heritage of producing primary care practitioners. In fact, the mission statements of the majority of osteopathic medical schools state plainly that their purpose is the production of primary care physicians. Osteopathic medical tradition preaches that a strong foundation in primary care makes one a better physician, regardless of what specialty they may eventually practice.
Today, when the challenge of ensuring an adequate number of primary care physicians extends to osteopathic medicine, the majority of most osteopathic medical school graduates choose careers in primary care. Osteopathic medicine also has a special focus on providing care in rural and urban underserved areas, allowing DOs to have a greater impact on the U.S. population’s health and well-being than their numbers would suggest. While DOs constitute 7 percent of all U.S. physicians, they are responsible for 16 percent of patient visits in communities with populations of fewer than 2,500.