What is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine?

A Doctor of Osteopathic (DO) medicine is similar to a Medical Doctor (MD). In fact, you may have been to a DO without realizing it!

Family PracticeOsteopathic doctors prescribe medication and perform surgery, but their practice considers the patient as a whole instead of just treating an illness or symptoms. Osteopaths believe the body has the ability to heal itself. Proper diet, regular exercise, preventive health care, and lifestyle are important.

Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) sets DOs apart from other medical doctors and chiropractors. Unlike chiropractic manipulation to realign joints, osteopathic manipulative techniques diagnose and treat structural and functional problems using manual force. Osteopathic doctors believe that some spinal problems affect nerves and contribute to disease. OMT is a key to helping the body's healing systems to freely work.

Osteopathic doctors treat people of all ages - infants, children, and adults. Many osteopathic doctors specialize in areas such as family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics.

Updated on: 10/26/15
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Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Education and Training
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Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Education and Training

Osteopathic doctors may specialize in and become board certified in many difference fields. DOs are licensed by the state in which they practice.
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