When you are choosing a new physician as a care provider you might be presented with a D.O. doctor as an option, but not know whether a D.O. would be right for you.
As in any case, you need to do your homework on each individual physician you are considering, and understanding the physician's degree is important.
This article follows the organization of the "Could you choose a D.O. doctor" survey.
Would you rather be treated by a physician or by a nurse practitioner?
If you would prefer to be seen by a physician rather than a nurse practitioner or other midlevel provider, then either a D.O. or M.D. is a good option for you. D.O.s, like M.D.s, go to medical school, do residency training, and are physicians licensed by the state.
Would you consider being treated by a chiropractor?
Chiropractors study the musculoskeletal system with a primary focus on the spine, but chiropractors are not physicians. D.O.s are physicians who have an additional focus on the musculoskeletal system. If you have a medical issue and have considered using a chiropractor, you might seriously consider going to a D.O.
In what sort of practice does the D.O. work?
D.O. physicians often work together with M.D. physicians in the same practice: covering for each other, consulting each other, and trusting each other.
Did the D.O. physician do an allopathic residency?
M.D. physicians are required to do a residency in an allopathic medical field (for example, internal medicine, general surgery, neurology, and so forth). D.O. physicians can either do osteopathic residencies or allopathic residencies. Those that train in allopathic residency programs have the same qualifications and clinical training as M.D.s.
Does the physician have disciplinary actions on their record?
When considering any physician, you should determine whether they have a disciplinary record. The vast majority of physicians do not, but you can easily find out whether a particular physician does by looking up their profile in their state's online registry. There are also several companies that provide information about physicians; such sites include healthgrades.com and vitals.com, among others.