What is a D.O.?
You know what an M.D. is, but have you ever been treated by a D.O.? While
both degrees mean your doctor is a licensed physician, their training differs
slightly, and each has a unique perspective on care.
A D.O. follows osteopathic methodology and an M.D. is trained in an allopathic
method. While these doctors attended different medical schools, they hold the
same licensure, take the same board exams, and practice at the same hospitals
and clinics in the same specialties. Today, patients are unlikely to notice major
differences in treatment.
What is Osteopathy?
Doctors of osteopathic medicine regard the body as an integrated whole rather
than treating for specific symptoms only, according to the American Osteopathic
Association. Allopathic (M.D.) medicine focuses on specific disease states,
symptoms and treatments whereas Osteopathic (D.O.) medicine addresses
conditions from both a medical and lifestyle perspective, taking into account the
whole body, general health and environment of the patient.
Although both M.D.s and D.O.s receive similar education, D.O. programs require
300-500 hours of additional training focused on the musculoskeletal system.