Doctor of osteopathic medicine

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

If you’re like most people, you’ve been going to physicians ever since you were born, but you’re unaware that some or all of them could have been osteopathic physicians, also known as DOs. You may not even be aware that there are two types of complete physicians in the United States—DOs and MDs.

The fact is that both DOs and MDs are fully qualified physicians licensed to prescribe medication and perform surgery. One of he major differences between the two is the way the osteopathic physician approaches treatment.

A DO sees the body as a “whole” and strives to get to know the patient and understand their lifestyle in effort to correct the root of the problem. Rather than rely on surgery or quickly prescribing medicine, a DO will work with a preventative approach in mind. This type of individualized treatment helps osteopathic physicians provide customized and quality care to their patients.

DOs and MDs are Alike in Many Ways

  • Students entering both DO and MD medical colleges typically have already completed four-year bachelor’s degrees with an emphasis on scientific courses.
  • Both DOs and MDs complete four years of medical school.
  • After medical school, both DOs and MDs obtain graduate medical education through internships, residencies and fellowships. This training lasts three to eight years and prepares DOs and MDs to practice a specialty.
  • Both DOs and MDs can choose to practice in any specialty of medicine—such as pediatrics, family medicine, psychiatry, surgery or ophthalmology.
  • DOs and MDs must pass comparable examinations to obtain state licenses.
  • DOs and MDs both practice in accredited and licensed health care facilities.
  • Together, DOs and MDs enhance the state of health care available in the U.S.
DOs and MDs
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