MD vs DO

What is the real difference between an M.D. and a D.O.?

Ever ponder the difference between an M.D. and a D.O.?

An M.D. stands for a Doctor of Medicine.

When we typically think of going to a doctor, it is usually an M.D. we see.

A D.O. stands for Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.

D.O.s focus on seeing the patient as a “whole person” to reach a diagnosis.

A D.O. goes beyond treating symptoms alone.

A physician can be both an M.D. and a D.O.

(Actually, a D.O. takes on extra training for manipulating the musculoskeletal system).

Currently here in the States, there are FAR more M.D.s than D.O.s (although the ratio is beginning to even out).

Their educational requirements are similar, too.

Both get four years of medical school.

And both enter a residency program of three to seven years.

Both get licensed based on the same requirements.

And both have the same or comparable examinations.

The medical school track taken is virtually identical for both.

M.D.s and D.O.s train side by side in rotations and residencies… in the same hospitals, too.

They take the same exams before coming out as full-fledged doctors.

Both D.O. and M.D. physiciansutilize scientifically-accepted methods of diagnosis and treatment. This includes the use of prescription drugs and surgery.

Both types of physicians are licensed to practice all phases of medicine in every state in America.

And both are found in every specialty of medicine.

D.O.s perform surgery, child delivery, treat patients – even prescribe medications in hospitals.

Salaries between a D.O. and an M.D. are comparable.

So with all these similarities between an M.D. and a D.O., what are the differences?

Most agree it is easier to gain admission to a D.O. school.

In the past, some students choose a D.O. school, because they did not qualify to attend an M.D. school. (But this is no longer the case.)

Most D.O.’s apply and get accepted into M.D. schools. But they choose to go the D.O. route, because they agree more with the overall philosophy.

An M.D. is trained to treat symptoms.

For example, if we have high-blood pressure, they give us a prescription to lower it.

A D.O. treats the problem directly. For example with high blood pressure, their first priority is to find out what is causing it. After applying alternative corrective actions, a D.O. might prescribe a drug for a fix.

Most (not all) D.O.s perform O.M.T. (Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy).

D.O.s use their hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury.

These manipulations improve circulation, which in turn, creates a normal nerve and blood supply. This enables the body to heal itself.

An M.D. tends to be less “hands on.”

A D.O. gets more training on the bones and muscles than an M.D.

An M.D. focuses on treating a chronic migraine headache.

A D.O. might try manipulating your neck (much like a chiropractor would).

So which trained physician is the right choice?

Consider this – medical school is all about memorization.

Ask any student, and they will confirm they have never been required to use serious brain power to get through school.

So having good grades in medical school has little to do with providing good health care.

Many patients complain that M.D.s are always busy.

D.O.s tend to invest more time with their patients.

The bottom line is physicians are people just like us.

In the end, it is about the person, not the diploma.

Which type of doctor should we trust?

Personally, I do not trust D.O.s or M.D.s.

Doctors mistakes are now the #3 killers of Americans.

Instead, I play my own doctor using these natural remedies for my ills.

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Markus Allen

Family man. Truth seeker. Life hacker... more about me here...


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