What is a DO?
In the United States, a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine is a fully licensed physician. There are two types of fully licensed physicians in the United States…MDs and DOs. The DO profession is a younger profession than the MD profession and is smaller in numbers in the U.S. DOs are practicing in all fields in specialties. DOs can train at both AOA (DO) accredited residency programs as well as ACGME (MD) accredited residency programs. In addition to traditional medical curriculum, all DO’s are trained in manipulative medicine and an approach that encompasses the entire patient rather than a collection of symptoms.
Although the track to become a DO is almost identical to the track to become an MD it is the differences that add to the health care community in bringing a separate yet equal license to the larger medical community.
All DO’s are trained in manipulative medicine and an approach that encompasses the entire patient rather than a collection of symptoms.
That being said… there are many DOs practicing without utilizing these tools.
It is my opinion that the additional manipulative training and alternative approach to the patient make the DO profession unique and valuable. As complements the DOs and MDs work together to advance patient health.
The AOA provides a great explanation of the DO profession.