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Center for Research in Osteopathic Manual Medicine education

Use of Models to Assess the Accuracy of Positional Asymmetry Tests within osteopathic medical school curricula. 


SRI Scientists

  • Brian Degenhardt, DO
  • Eric Snider, DO
  • Ken Pamperin, MS
  • Vanessa Pazdernik, MS

Purpose and Aims

Six consecutive years of 1st-year students at KCOM have participated in testing using these lumbar and pelvic models.  The first, 2 years consisted of pilot testing the models and procedures to assure calibration was accurate, testing ranges were appropriate, and coordination of testing sessions were successful.  For the following 2 years, models were used as an objective assessment of skill development secondary to the current curricular model.  In year 4, 2nd- and 3rd-year students were also tested.  In this current academic year (Year 7), models are being integrated within the curriculum to see if the regular use of models impact the accuracy of skills obtained within the first year of medical school.


  1. Snider EJ, Pamperin K, Johnson JC, Shurtz NR, Degenhardt BF. Assessing palpation thresholds of osteopathic medical students using static models of the lumbar spine. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2014;114(6):460-469.
Presentations and Abstracts
  1. Heath DM, Chen AI [student], Pazdernik V, Kirsch J, Chun LR, Snider EJ, Degenhardt BF. Relationship of lumbar spine calibrated model performance and traditional osteopathic practical examination performance in first-year osteopathic medical students. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2014;114(8):e90.
  2. Snider EJ, Pamperin KL, Johnson JC, Shurtz NR, Degenhardt BF. Assessing palpation thresholds using static lumbar spine models. Poster presented at: 2012 American Osteopathic Association Research Conference; October 7-9, 2012; San Diego, CA. Published in J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2012;112(8):534-535.