June 12, 2024


Indianapolis Dennis J. Dowling, DO, MA, FAAODist of Baldwin, NY received The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) John E. Thornburg, DO, PhD, National Faculty Leadership Award at its recent Board of Directors meeting on June 7, 2024. Dr. Dowling is currently the Secretary-Treasurer for the American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO), elected by the AAO membership in 2022, served as the AAO President from 2003-2004, and was on the Board of Trustees from 1998-2003.

As described by the NBOME, “[t]he Thornburg Award is bestowed periodically to National Faculty leadership members who have distinguished themselves by their longstanding contributions to examination development, committee work, or related activities. It is named for longtime National Faculty Chair John E. Thornburg, DO, PhD, who has diligently served the NBOME in numerous capacities for five decades, and continues to serve today.”

Dr. Dowling is a 1972 graduate of Mater Christi Diocesan High School (St. John’s Prep), a cum laude graduate in 1976 of St. John’s University and a 1978 Master’s graduate of Long Island University (Zeckendorff campus). Both the undergraduate and the graduate degrees are in the field of psychology. He worked as a Master’s level psychologist with children and adults with developmental disabilities until 1984 when he entered osteopathic medical school. Prior to 1978, he worked as a case worker, group home staff, special education counselor and coordinator in the same field.

Dr. Dowling is a 1989 graduate of the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of the New York Institute of Technology. He was a contributing author and illustrator for all editions of An Osteopathic Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment and an editor on the third edition and has illustrated journal articles and textbooks, most notably The Encyclopedia of Osteopathy and Easy EMG and has authored or co-authored several articles and book chapters, including on Progressive Inhibition of Neuromusculoskeletal Structures (PINS), an OMT technique that he has developed. He is a co-author of a JAOA Northup writing award-winning article. Over the years, he has delivered the 2001 David Heilig, DO, FAAO Memorial Lecture at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, the 2004 Scott Memorial lecture at what is now known as the A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) in Kirksville, Missouri, the 2005 T.L. Northup Memorial Lecture at the American Osteopathic Association annual convention, the 2010 Harold A. Blood, DO, FAAO Memorial Lecture and the 2018 Turfler Family Memorial Lecture. Dr. Dowling is also the recipient of the 2015 Andrew Taylor Still Medallion of Honor award from the American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO).

Dr. Dowling is a former professor and chairman of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine and he holds the rank of Clinical Professor at the Midwestern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Western University College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine. He had been in private practice in Syosset, New York from 2003 to 2016. Since 2004, he has been a consultant and the Coordinator of OMM Assessment for the COMLEX-Level 2-PE examination and Chair of the POCKET Committee for the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners. Currently, he is Consulting Coordinator for the NBOME Core Competency Capstone for DOs (C3DO) project.

Dr. Dowling has supervised residents in a clinic at the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department at Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC) in East Meadow, Long Island since 1991 and has been whole-time in that department as well as the Family Medicine department since September 2016. During the months of April to August 2020, Dr. Dowling treated COVID-19 patients with osteopathic manipulative treatment in the NUMC ICUs, many of whom were on ventilator support. 

Dr. Dowling received certification in OMM in 1995 from the American Osteopathic Board for Special Proficiency in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (AOBSPOMM) and was recertified in 2004 and 2015 by the American Osteopathic Board for Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/OMM (AOBNMM). He was certified as an Osteopathic Family Physician in 1997 and recertified in 2005 and 2014 and is in the continuous certification process for that specialty. His FAAO fellowship was earned in 1999. He is the former chairman of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Committee on Osteopathic History and Identity (1999 - 2005), former vice-chairman of the Educational Council on Osteopathic Principles, a former member of the certifying board for Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (AOBNMM/OMM) and the current chairman of the New York State Osteopathic Medical Society (NYSOMS) delegation to the AOA House of Delegates.

Dr. Dowling has traveled several times with KCUMB faculty and students to Guatemala on medical missions as sponsored by DOCARE to treat patients with osteopathic manipulative medicine at rural clinics. He and his wife, Fran, have been married for 46 years and they participate in many road running events during the year and he has completed five marathons (Fran has completed six). His most important and gratifying roles are as a father and grandfather and he frequently gets to spend time with his four year old grandson and seven month old granddaughter.


For more information on the NBOME, contact Renee Cree, MA, NBOME Director of Communications, at [email protected].

For more information on Dr. Dowling, contact Sherri L. Quarles, Chief Executive Officer at the American Academy of Osteopathy at (317) 879-1881, ext. 214, or at [email protected].

The United States currently has more than 120,000 osteopathic physicians. Also known as DOs, osteopathic physicians are fully licensed physicians, as are MDs. The profession has grown 63% in the past decade and nearly 300% over the past three decades. Osteopathic physicians prescribe medicine and practice in all specialties, including osteopathic manipulative medicine, family medicine, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, and surgery. They are trained to consider the health of the whole person and to use their hands to help diagnose and treat patients.

The mission of the American Academy of Osteopathy is to teach, promote, and research the science, art and philosophy of osteopathic medicine, emphasizing the integration of osteopathic principles and practice in patient care. Founded in 1937, the Academy is the Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine specialty college of the American Osteopathic Association.


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