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News & Press: History of the Osteopathic Profession

Frank Trostel, DO - History of the Osteopathic Profession

Saturday, July 9, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: John Stiger, DO
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One of the challenges that all medical organizations face is finding people who will step forward and assume responsibility for various committees, special tasks, meeting coordination etc.  Further complicating the challenge is that persons who do volunteer sometimes fail to perform.  As a result those who do volunteer and perform are in the minority.  Dr. Frank Trostel was one who frequently volunteered and when he did so, leadership could rely on the fact that the job would be done!
Dr. Trostel was born in St. Joe, Indiana in 1936. An early recollection of the medical care he received was that provided by a local Osteopathic Physician, Dr. Dale Treadwell.  He so admired Dr. Treadwell that he decided at an early age to become a DO himself.  After premed at Manchester College, North Manchester, Indiana, he enrolled in the same osteopathic school that trained Dr. Treadwell, the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, graduating in 1961.  His assessment of the school is that it is one with a rigorous academic and clinical regimen, which assured the student of the latest and best Osteopathic Medical education possible.  After the second year he had a 10-week hiatus in which he was allowed to select his own externship.  He, along with fellow student Roland Schultheis, opted for a rotation at Portland Osteopathic Hospital.  Frank had not seen either coast, so when they received an offer to come to Portland OR, near the west coast, and were offered a travel allowance of  $50 and a stipend of $25 per week plus room and board they leaped at the chance.  Dr. Trostel said that for the first time he was treated as a sought-after member of the medical profession.  Upon graduation both the young DOs came to Portland for their internships.
The internship year was an eventful one for Dr. Trostel.  Early on, he exhibited the characteristics that would mark him for leadership roles later in his career.  He states that his knowledge of "Robert’s Rules of Order” and an understanding of the hospital bylaws caused him to speak up at staff meetings, often challenging votes on actions that were not permitted by the bylaws.
As an intern he also exhibited a competence and confidence that made him a prime prospect for doctors who were seeking associates. One such DO, Al Greenway, had recently arrived from the Chicago school, where he had been director of the large outpatient clinic.  Dr. Greenway invited Frank to join him. Frank married Dorothy Schrier in August 1962 and has two daughters, Lisa and Jill. After two months of locum tenens, in September he joined the clinic that Dr, Greenway had opened in January 1962. Almost from the start, the clinic was a success.  Both doctors worked five days a week and in addition did their own OB.  Their routine was hospital rounds in the early morning, then clinic from 9AM until 6PM, with call every other week.   Things were going smoothly until the sudden and unexpected demise of Dr. Greenway.  After that Dr. Trostel struggled to accommodate all of the patients he had suddenly inherited along with those in his own practice.  For a time, Robert Todd joined the practice, but after two years departed for Tillamook, leaving Frank with more patients.   
While running his busy practice, which included approximately 40 deliveries a year for ten years, Dr. Trostel also began to be active in medical staff responsibilities.  In less than a year into practice he was on the Medical Audit Committee.  Following this he was called to and served on virtually every medical staff committee, often as chairman.  He also served as chief of staff for a term. Because he was doing such a good job he was accepted for membership in the Oregon Osteopathic Association.  There he came under the mentoring of Dave Reed, DO, who was secretary/treasurer of the association and also represented the Osteopathic Profession on the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners for decades.  Dr. Reed asked Frank to be program chairman of the annual continuing education committee.   From 1967-1972 Dr. Trostel became secretary/treasurer of the Oregon Osteopathic Association.   Additionally, Dr. Trostel was appointed by governor McCall as the alternate member of the Oregon Board of Medical examiners, where he served for five years.  He also served on the Multnomah Foundation for Medical Care, Oregon Medical Practice Review Organization, Oregon Medical  PAC and other committees and boards.
 In 1975, after the abrupt departure of the hospital administrator Kit Castle, Frank found himself volunteering to be acting administrator of the hospital!  He rearranged his office schedule so that he saw patients in his office from 6:30 AM until noon, then spent the afternoon at the hospital.  He states that it was probably the most challenging two years of his career.  He had no experience dealing with labor unions, yet he was soon called upon to wrestle with union negotiations, the dismissal of an intern, political squabbling among staff members, and a host of other challenges.  Two years later he was asked to continue, but at that point informed the board that it was past time to hire a full time administrator!   He continued to hold responsible positions at the hospital, including medical director for a period of five years.
While representing the Oregon Osteopathic Association on a national level he and Jerry Lancaster, DO were instrumental in organizing a group called The Small States Federation, which voted as a block to fend off the political maneuvers of states with large concentrations of DOs. (At that time seven states controlled all the actions of the AOA). One such issue on the agenda was to expel every DO in the states of Oregon and Washington who joined state medical societies to obtain malpractice insurance.  After vigorous and heated debate, this motion was defeated.
Somehow, Dr. Trostel found the time to pursue his hobby of flying, and in short order was a member of the Civil Air Patrol, serving as Oregon Wing medical officer from 1966 to 1968, and commander of Oregon Senior Pilots Squadron.  He received the National CAP Citation for service to the CAP.
In 1966, Dr. Trostel and his wife Ariste moved to Bend, Oregon. He took a position at a struggling clinic in Sisters, Oregon. What he offered to the patients was the services of an experienced, caring, Osteopathic Physician.  To better serve the community he offered free sports physicals to the children of the community, which caused consternation among the MD’s practicing in the area.  A newspaper ad appeared in the local paper claiming that the MD mentioned was the best-trained doctor in the community.  Dr. Trostel states that this got his "competitive juices flowing”! He joined Sisters Rotary Club, wrote articles for The Nugget, the local newspaper, and instituted giving medical care to medically underserved citizens of the area through the Family Access Network. Needless to say, the practice prospered.
Dr. Trostel retired a second time in 2001.  He and his wife Ariste reside near Bend. Despite being retired, Dr. Trostel maintains a lively interest in the community and in the osteopathic profession.  He served four years as a caregiver at Volunteers in Medicine in Bend. He is very excited about the new Osteopathic School in Lebanon, Oregon and plans to support that effort in any way he can.
In addition to the honor of serving many families for four decades, one of his greatest satisfactions has been in volunteering to serve in so many capacities and then completing the tasks successfully.  One of his greatest disappointments was the closure of Eastmoreland Hospital, which served as a center for collegiality among the members of the medical staff. His advice to incoming students: learn all you can and when opportunity arises,don't be afraid to volunteer and when you do,  work with enthusiasm and be an asset to your profession and the community you will serve. Be sure to learn the skills necessary to incorporate manipulative medicine into your practice. Such a valuable diagnostic and treatment modality will set one apart from other practitioners in the community.

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