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Nicette Sergueef: An Author’s Tale

Nicette Sergueef, Associate Professor at the Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University and author of Osteopathy for the Over 50s writes about her experience of writing for publication from getting out of the starting blocks to the finished product.


As a professor of osteopathy, the need of students for a textbook discussing clinical applications has been apparent to me for some time.

My career has provided a great opportunity to be able to practice osteopathy, to teach and to write. These three activities complement each other beautifully. Patients pose challenges to resolve; these cases can be explained to students who ask pertinent questions that need answers. As such, it seems logical to organize everything in a formal text.

Once the idea of a book is decided upon, a difficulty arises: to find a publisher who accepts the challenge of publishing the book. Handspring Publishing is a young company that makes this kind of investment, encourages and supports their authors exceptionally.

At the beginning of the adventure of writing a book, the project is exciting; the book seems to correspond to a need so much! Osteopathy is now well accepted throughout the world and the concepts of its therapeutic approach have appeared in many different media. For Osteopathy for the Over 50s, our project was to demonstrate how Osteopathy can help patients who are aging, allowing them to augment their inherent ability for self-healing. This matter has not yet, been developed in a textbook, although the ‘baby-boomers’ are aging and experiencing more and more complaints.

As the project of writing gradually progresses, phases alternate. Phases of happiness upon seeing the book taking shape oscillate with phases of feeling overwhelmed in front of the amount of work that remains to be done. Knowing this process from past experience, I started this book with the attitude of a quilter. In front of a large project such as making a quilt, it is best to keep in mind; today a small piece, tomorrow the next piece, trying to focus on today: ‘carpe diem’.

My co-author’s experience and knowledge, as an osteopathic physician and educator, has been a great contribution. Kenneth Nelson’s understanding of the philosophy and principles of Osteopathy applied to the care of patients is remarkable. Discussions and exchanges have resulted in a more complete text and our hope is that it will contribute to the understanding and intelligent use of osteopathic principles in the provision of healthcare for this most important demographic of the population.

SERGUEEF Nicette headshot2 - website Nicette Sergueef, Chicago, February 2014

Osteopathy for the Over 50s published March 2014. Click here for full details.