There are two types of physicians: A Medical Doctor (M.D.) and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). M.D.s also are known as allopathic physicians, D.O.s as osteopathic.
What follows is a look at the differences and similarities between the two.
While both M.D.s and D.O.s may use all accepted methods of treatment, including drugs and surgery, D.O.s place special emphasis on the body's musculoskeletal system, preventive medicine, and holistic patient care.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education the only major differences are that D.O.s:
- Use osteopathic manipulative treatment
- Take a more holistic approach to treat patients compared to allopathic physicians
- Tend to practice as primary care physicians
Like allopathic medical schools, student enrollment at osteopathic medical schools has increased partly because of the national shortage of physicians. The need for doctors, along with the nontraditional approach of osteopathic medicine, has attracted more students.
M.D. vs D.O. degrees
MCAT, GPA differences for D.O. vs M.D. degrees
Understanding the basics of osteopathic schools
College of osteopathy enrollment on the rise
Overview on M.D. vs D.O. doctors