What is a D.O.?
D.O. stands for Doctor
of Osteopathic Medicine, also known as an Osteopath.
D.O.s and their allopathic counterparts, M.D.s (Doctor of Medicine), are
both fully qualified physicians licensed to perform surgery and
These are the
only two professions considered complete physicians.
practice a "holistic" approach to medicine, regarding your body as an
integrated whole. Osteopathic physicians focus on preventive health care. D.O.s
also receive additional training in the musculoskeletal system, which is the body's
interconnected system of muscles, nerves, bones and blood vessels. This training provides
osteopathic physicians with a better understanding of the ways that an injury or
illness in one part of your body can affect other areas of the body. Osteopathic
manipulative medicine or treatment (OMM or OMT) is incorporated in the
training and practice of osteopathic physicians. With OMT,
osteopathic physicians use their hands to diagnose injury and illness and to
encourage your body’s natural tendency toward healing. By combining all
available medical procedures with OMT, D.O.s offer their patients the most
comprehensive care available in medicine today.
large majority of D.O.s practice in the primary care areas of family practice,
internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and pediatrics.
The remaining minority choose other fields of specialty, one of which is
osteopathic manipulative medicine. Many
D.O.s practice in small towns and rural areas, often taking care of entire
families and whole communities.