Women’s History Month: Osteopathic Pioneer Dr. Viola Frymann

Viola Frymann

Born in England in 1921, Dr. Viola Frymann became an internationally recognized osteopathic physician and founder of the Osteopathic Center for Children in California.

Dr. Frymann grew up wanting to become an osteopathic physician after being treated by osteopathic physicians as a child.  This goal, however, was interrupted by World War II, and instead, she earned an MBBS degree from the University of London.  After the war, she immigrated to the United States where she earned her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons in Los Angeles.

Dr. Frymann became a practitioner and teacher of cranial manipulation and taught these techniques all over the world.  During the 1970’s, she helped establish the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific and became the first chair of their department for Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. In 1982, she founded the Osteopathic Center for Children (OCC), a facility that provided osteopathic treatment for children from many countries.  A decade later, she founded Osteopathy’s Promise for Children, a non-profit foundation to support the OCC and to facilitate ongoing research, training, and medical education.

Dr. Frymann continued her work with cranial manipulation particularly in the field of pediatrics, conducted research, wrote and published extensively, and continued teaching until her death in 2016.

Contributed by Adrian Clark, Diversity and Inclusion Officer

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