What is a DO?
A DO, or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, is one of two types of fully licensed physicians and surgeons in the United States; MD, or Doctor of Medicine being the other type. Osteopathic physicians are found in every medical specialty in the nation and are trained in the same modern diagnostic and therapeutic tools that allopathic (MD) physcians use. DOs are also trained to incorporate a holistic approach to healthcare and receive advanced training in manual medicine - also called osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). While taking the same courses and spending the same number of years in medical school as MDs, DOs receive additional training in OMT, and this advanced training is the primary difference between the two types of physicians.
OMT is an additional tool used by DOs in the treatment of many disorders that affect the musculoskeletal system. DOs partner with their patients to maintain health and prevent disease. Many of the primary care doctors in the United States are osteopathic physicians, and many fill the healthcare needs of under-served and rural areas.