Richard A Bernstein, DO, received his Osteopathic medical degree from the University of Osteopathic Medicine & Health Sciences in Des Moines, IA in 1991. He completed his post-graduate specialty training in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Washington University in St. Louis, MO in 1995 and is board qualified. His undergraduate degrees include a B.A. in Psychology from Antioch University and a B.A. in Biology from UCSC. He has been in private practice in Santa Cruz County since 1995 and gratefully, a resident of Santa Cruz since 1977.
Dr. Bernstein has been deeply committed and involved in the healthcare field for over 30 years. Starting his career as a massage therapist and yoga instructor he became a student of Ayurvedic Medicine and a Holistic Health Educator and Consultant. After suffering severe injuries from a cycling accident in 1979 he came under the care of an Osteopathic physician who helped him heal from his injuries and introduced him to the magic of Osteopathic Medicine. Upon completing medical school and his post-doctoral training he returned to Santa Cruz in 1995 and partnered with Watsonville Hospital to create the Wellness and Rehabilitation Center. The WRC was the first hospital based Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) Clinic on the Central Coast of California and brought together a team of Santa Cruz County’s finest clinicians under one roof. He has continued a close working relationship with a large network of Western and Traditional healthcare providers to offer his patients the finest and broadest spectrum of diagnostic evaluation and care available.
In 2001, Dr. Bernstein established Spinemed Medical Associates in Seascape Village, located in Aptos, CA. Specializing in the areas of Spine, Joint, and Sports Medicine his clinic offers the finest in Physical Rehabilitation Medicine including; Osteopathic Manual Medicine, Sports Medicine, Electrodiagnostic medicine (EMG/NCS), Prolotherapy, physiotherapy (including Monitored Rehab Systems), massage therapy, Rolfing, Yoga Therapy, non-surgical spinal decompression therapy, stress management, acupuncture, and nutritional counseling to name a few. His unique background, training, experience, and skills allow him to offer his patients an opportunity to fully understand their diagnosis and explore all appropriate treatment options.
What is a D.O.?
There are two types of physicians licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the Western Hemisphere – MD’s (Doctor of Allopathic medicne) and DO’s (Doctor of Osteopathic medicine). In addition to receiving all the same medical and surgical training as MD’s, DO’s also receive extensive training with hands-on care (Osteopathic Manual Medicine, or OMM). OMM involves using the hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury. Using OMT, your osteopathic physician will move your muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance. As a result of this training, Osteopathic physicians tend to be somewhat more “holistic” in their approach of diagnosis and treatment with their patients. DO’s practice in all aspects of medicine and surgery including Internal Medicine, Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Neurology, Emergency Medicine, Pain Medicine, OB/GYN, Family Practice, & Pediatrics to name just a few.