Business Profile
  • South Central Wisconsin
  • May 2013
Written by 

Madison Manual Medicine – The story of Madison Manual Medicine as told by Jed Downs, MD, MPH

The medical model of the 1990s, when I first started practice in occupational medicine, did not explain the majority of neck, back and upper extremity pain. I knew my patients were hurting and that their symptoms weren’t all in their heads. Frustrated that I couldn’t understand what was wrong, why some patients got better and others did not, and how best to direct their care, I floundered with the literature of the time for six years before taking my first course in osteopathic principles and treatment. My mind opened and my hands became progressively skilled. My career path since then has included roughly 25 courses in varying aspects of osteopathic treatment and diagnosis, a five-month sabbatical with an instructor at Michigan State University’s continuing osteopathic education program in 2001, and currently finds me attending the Canadian College of Osteopathy-Toronto.

Osteopathy emphasizes assessing the whole body to search for issues that may be responsible for pain or for suboptimal function and health. As medicine is currently practiced, time is not allowed for such pursuits. I recall a patient I had referred to a sports medicine physician in a different community for evaluation after a fall, coming back frustrated. The physician she saw asked what she was being seen for; she began to tell him of her fall with subsequent elbow, shoulder and knee pain. The physician cut her off and then corrected himself by saying, “For what ONE problem do you want to be seen?” The message was that each injury was separate and additional appointments would need to be made to evaluate each region in question. In my opinion, this reflects a common business model in medicine: reducing problems to speed patient turnaround, while ignoring interrelatedness of symptoms and functional limitations, enabling simple interventions to be applied. The best family practitioners, internists and physiatrists do not necessarily apply this model, but they lag behind their peers in terms of their production.

Adopting the osteopathic approach requires honoring the continuity and interrelatedness of all components of the human body and condition. My commitment to osteopathy has made me a poor fit for institutionalized medicine. Madison Manual Medicine is the result of my seeking to optimize my ability to care for patients. I do a comprehensive examination and spend enough time with patients to treat them adequately at each visit. I defer, but suggest, imaging or laboratory testing, when judged to be necessary for diagnosis or safety, to the patient’s primary care physician.

It is with integrity and a glad heart I seek to uphold the osteopathic tenets.

  • Recognition that form follows function and function governs form.
  • The body is a unit, and the person represents a combination of body, mind and spirit.
  • The body is capable of self healing, self regulation and maintenance.
  • Rational treatment is based on an understanding of these principles.
  • The role of the artery is supreme, meaning that fluid flow occurring in the body is essential for tissue nutrition, waste clearance and health.

If you are ready to try a whole body approach to decreasing pain and increasing function, contact me today!

Madison Manual Medicine

Jed Downs, MD, MPH

1709 Monroe St., Madison


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