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How is a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) similar to a medical doctor?

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DOs and MDs are doctors who can practice in any area of medicine. Many are primary care doctors, but both can specialize in other fields. Both can also prescribe medication and train to do surgery.

Both have 4 years of medical school. After that, MDs and DOs work as interns, residents, and, for some, as fellows in their chosen field for 3-8 more years.

DOs and MDs also have to pass state exams for a license to practice medicine. Both can practice medicine in all 50 states.

SOURCES:

American Osteopathic Association: “What Is a DO?” “Fast Facts About Osteopathic Medical Education.”

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine: “What Is Osteopathic Medicine?”

Des Moines University Osteopathic Medical Center: “Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Normal Structure & Function of the Musculoskeletal System.”

American Osteopathic Association: “Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment.”

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Chiropractic, Spinal Manipulation, and Osteopathic Manipulation.”

American Chiropractic Association: “Education Requirements,” “Chiropractic Qualifications.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Osteopathic Manipulation for Back and Pelvic Pain.”

Health Affairs: "Doctor Of Osteopathic Medicine: A Growing Share Of The Physician Workforce."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on January 11, 2019

SOURCES:

American Osteopathic Association: “What Is a DO?” “Fast Facts About Osteopathic Medical Education.”

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine: “What Is Osteopathic Medicine?”

Des Moines University Osteopathic Medical Center: “Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Normal Structure & Function of the Musculoskeletal System.”

American Osteopathic Association: “Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment.”

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Chiropractic, Spinal Manipulation, and Osteopathic Manipulation.”

American Chiropractic Association: “Education Requirements,” “Chiropractic Qualifications.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Osteopathic Manipulation for Back and Pelvic Pain.”

Health Affairs: "Doctor Of Osteopathic Medicine: A Growing Share Of The Physician Workforce."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on January 11, 2019

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How is a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) different from a medical doctor (MD)?

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