Viola M. Frymann, DO (1921-2016)

Viola M. Frymann, DO is nationally recognized for her vision and determination to see osteopathic licensure restored successfully in California and for the founding and establishment of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA, as well as her many contributions to the field of osteopathy.

Pioneering Pediatric Osteopathy

Dr. Frymann studied with William Garner Sutherland, DO, the founder of osteopathy in the cranial field, and became a specialist in cranial osteopathy. In 1982, she established the Osteopathic Center for Children (OCC), focused on the treatment of children including those for whom the primary consideration is prevention of suboptimal health, as well as those with deep and complex problems who seek to reach the optimum of their potential. This became her undying passion and the culmination of her life’s work.

She later founded Osteopathy’s Promise to Children (OPC) in 1992, which provides facilities for OCC and in partnership, offers continuing education courses for M.D., D.O., and D.D.S., and is a clinical training site for physicians and medical students interested in learning the unique approach to osteopathy as developed by Dr. Frymann.

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP)

She was instrumental in establishing the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in 1975 and was the first Chair of the Department and Professor of Osteopathic Principles and Practice at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Western University of Health Science (1978-­1999). Over the years, Dr. Frymann taught osteopathic principles and practice at many of the USA osteopathic medical schools. She also taught throughout the world, with emphasis on osteopathy in the cranial field, teaching courses regularly in France, Italy, Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, England, China, Japan, Latvia, Russia, Australia and Denmark.


Dr. Frymann served in leadership positions with state and national osteopathic societies and associations and was one of the leaders in re­-establishing the osteopathic medical licensing board in California in 1974 for which she received life membership in Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California (OPSC) for “the sacrifices and labor of love in bringing the osteopathic profession back from extinction.” She was a Fellow of the Osteopathic Cranial Academy (OCA), a Fellow of the American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO), and a member of the American Osteopathic Association’s (AOA) charter class of Great Pioneers in Osteopathic Medicine. She served as Past President of the Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California (OPSC). Past President of the OCA, a Sutherland Memorial Lecturer, an Honorary Life Member, and a recipient of the Exceptional Service Award. She also served on the Advisory Board of the Sutherland Cranial Teaching Foundation (SCTF).

“Dr. Frymann touched the lives of thousands of children and their families in her osteopathic clinical practice. In addition, her teaching and training of students, osteopaths, and physicians extended her influence to countless thousands more in the osteopathic profession. She was often referred to as a ‘living legend’ and will remain a legend in the history of osteopathy.”  Hollis King, DO, PhD, FAAO, FCA and Program Director, Osteopathy’s Promise to Children.

Dr. Frymann also authored many journal articles. The American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO) has published her collected works in a book (1998). Most noteworthy were her seminal research on evaluation and treatment of newborns, treatment of special needs children, and the nature of cranial bone motion.


Her many awards include the Andrew Taylor Still Medallion of Honor, the highest honor bestowed by the American Academy of Osteopathy, and the William G. Sutherland Award of the Cranial Academy. International recognition includes being named Docteur Honoris Causa by the L’Universite Europeenne D’Osteopathie, Paris, France; honored as the first Professeure Emerite by the Faculty of the College D’Etudes Osteopathiques, Montreal, Canada; and Professeure Emerite by the Centre d’Osteopathie Atman.