The Osteopathic Way

Maria T. Gentile, D.O.

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Treatment of Pain and Injury

D.O. or M.D. - What’s the difference? Which do I choose?

D.O.s ( Doctors of Osteopathy or Osteopaths) and M.D.s (Doctors of Medicine or Allopaths) are the only two professions considered complete Physicians.  Our education is almost identical.  We both attend a four-year, fully accredited medical school with academic and clinical emphasis on medical education. After medical school both D.O.s and M.D.s can choose to practice in any specialty area of medicine after completing a residency program in their particular chosen field.   A majority of D.O.s choose a career in Family Practice. Both D.O.s and M.D.s must pass state licensing examinations and both practice in fully accredited and licensed hospitals or medical centers. 

D.O.s, however, bring something extra special to medicine. We have a Philosophy that we are founded on and we practice a holistic, "whole person" approach to medicine. Instead of treating specific symptoms or illnesses, we regard your body as an integrated whole. Osteopathic physicians also focus on preventative healthcare.

A D.O.'s training includes, beyond the normal medical curriculum, extensive training in manual manipulation as a treatment to improve body function through addressing body structure.   Osteopathic physicians receive additional training in the musculoskeletal system, your body's interconnected system of muscles, nerves, bones and blood vessels. This training provides them with a better understanding of the way in which an injury or illness in one part of the body can affect another area of the body. We believe it also gives D.O.s a therapeutic and diagnostic advantage over those who do not receive extra training.

Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine or Treatment (OMM or OMT) is incorporated in the training and practice of all osteopathic physicians. With OMT, osteopathic physicians use their hands to diagnose injury and illness and encourage your body's natural tendency towards good health. By combining all other medical procedures with OMT, D.O.s offer their patients the most comprehensive care available in medicine today.

FUN FACT:  It is recorded in the  literature that 21,000,000 people died worldwide in the flu epidemic of 1917-18. Medical hospitals in America reported a 30 to 40 percent mortality rate. However, osteopathic patients had a mortality rate of less than one percent.


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