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A.T. Still University


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A.T. Still University (ATSU) is the founding institution of osteopathic healthcare, established in 1892 by Andrew Taylor Still. As a leading health sciences university, ATSU comprises two campuses (Kirksville, Mo., and Mesa, Ariz.) on more than 200 acres with six prestigious schools. Learning environments include private and online healthcare-related graduate degrees as well as community-based partnerships worldwide. ATSU has more than 700 employees dedicated to its not-for-profit mission and an average annual enrollment of over 3,100 students from 35 countries.
ATSU is renowned for its preeminence as a multidisciplinary healthcare educator. The University is focused on integrating the founding tenets of osteopathic medicine and the advancing knowledge of today's science. ATSU continually earns distinctions as the graduate health sciences university with a best-in-class curriculum and a community outreach mission to serve the underserved. The University has a rich history of leadership in both healthcare education and correlated research.
ATSU instills within students the compassion, experience, and knowledge required to address the whole person and shape healthcare in communities where needs are greatest. Inspired to influence whole person healthcare, ATSU graduates contribute to the future of integrated care while also leading with a selfless passion in the communities they serve.
A.T. Still University of Health Sciences serves as a learning-centered university dedicated to preparing highly competent professionals through innovative academic programs with a commitment to continue its osteopathic heritage and focus on whole-person healthcare, scholarship, community health, interprofessional education, diversity, and underserved populations.
A.T. Still University's (ATSU) integrated learning platform includes the principles of evidence-based medicine (EBM) alongside ATSU's founding tenets of whole-person healthcare. Students learn not only in the classroom but also in actual practice settings. The elements of evidence-based medicine can be applied to any patient treatment-oriented practice field, allowing medical and healthcare workers to provide each patient with current treatment options based on the latest, most clinically relevant research, including clinical trial results.
Evidence-based medicine is defined as "the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best medicine in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence-based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research," according to David L. Sackett, pioneer of evidence-based medicine, and his colleagues. Because EBM also is used in allied fields, including dentistry, nursing, and psychology, the healthcare industry is embracing a universal term: evidence-based practice (EBP).
Studies suggest our need for best evidence occurs twice in every three outpatient visits and up to five times per inpatient visit. The amount of new medical information formed daily is overwhelming. It is impossible to know everything. With this rapid formation of data, familiar sources such as textbooks are out of date by the time they reach the shelf. The development of online EBM tools and journals containing pre-analyzed articles help individual providers keep current. Most importantly, practicing evidence-based medicine leads to improved patient outcomes and offers the surest and most objective way to determine and maintain consistently high quality and safety.
Evidence-based medicine is not a new concept. The term evidence-based medicine was coined in 1992 by a group at McMaster University, but clinicians have always used evidence to make decisions about patient care. The evidence just may not have been the "best" evidence due to any number of reasons.
Some fear that EBM is an example of cookbook medicine, a way to cut costs of health care or keep patients from receiving the care they deserve. None of these fears is true. There will never be one recipe that fits all patients, and as stated clearly in the definitions above, EBM involves the integration of clinical expertise and individual patient values. In some cases, the results of EBM may cut costs by eliminating unnecessary procedures or treatments. However, they may also be situations where it is an expensive procedure or treatment that provides the best results for patients. Along that same line, practicing EBM is a way to eliminate unnecessary expenditure, which, in theory, would allow more money to decrease the treatment and diagnostic disparities present in today's society. Many can agree with EBM's concept but are unsure that it can be practiced in a busy clinic. In reality, it is those busy clinicians who can benefit the most from the growth of EBM. As the search engines become quicker and the number of secondary sources grows, it will be more comfortable than ever to find the answer to a clinical question that arises from a 15-minute office visit.
As a member of NC-SARA, ATSU complies with state guidelines that meet all current individual state mandates regarding online education. ATSU regularly reviews changes in state laws that may not be included in the SARA agreement and is unaware of any non-compliance. ATSU is committed to maintaining the required compliance. However, the variability of state processes and the lack of a formal notification system may result in unexpected delays.
Each student enrolled in any ATSU program, including online programs, signs a letter before matriculation that clearly states the program's cost and the refund policy. This letter has been reviewed by numerous state educational authorities and has been recognized as satisfying students' rights to understand program cost and their right to refunds.
Licensure requirements for virtually all ATSU professional programs are well defined by a set of national standards that are applied on a state-by-state basis. The University is unaware of any issues of non-compliance or challenges to a graduate's acceptability for licensure or practice. ATSU carefully tracks any proposed changes and is committed to ensuring that graduates are eligible for licensure regardless of location.

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