Most people have been vising physicians ever since they were born. What you do not know is that some of the physicians you visited might be osteopathic physicians, perhaps working on a failed rotator cuff surgery – or perhaps someone is experiencing shoulder pain; they are also called DO’s. There is a great chance that you do not know there are two distinct physician types in USA. They are called DO’s and MDs. They are all qualified physicians and they all have government licenses to practice what they do.

Osteopathic medicine and its approach were first used in 1800s in Kirksville, Missouri. This was done by a medical doctor who was able to observe that the current medical practices caused more harm than good. He went ahead to concentrate on coming up with a medical approach that would boost the body’s own ability to heal itself – he called this approach medicine osteopathy. This is the modern osteopathic medicine.
Osteopathic physicians do not work alone. They have a philosophy where they work together with their patients. They put into consideration the impact that is caused by the community and lifestyle on their health. They then help their patients break down all the barriers that are keeping them from attaining optimum good health. All DOs are licensed and they can practice on all the 50 states. They are also found on a lot of fields – military, surgery etc.
There are a number of similarities that exists between MD’s and DO’s. Students have to successful finish a 4-year bachelor’s degree before they can join a MD or DO College. Their study is more inclined to science courses. After attaining their bachelor’s degree, they have to attain experience in the field through residencies, internships and man_shoulder_painfellowships – this period takes 3-8 years.
There are similarities between DO’s and MD’s, but osteopathic is a parallel medical branch that has its own medical and philosophy approaches to patient care. DOs can bring a new experience because their use unique medical methods and they also have special skills.
For over a century now, osteopathic physicians have been working hard to bring medical care to where it most needed. Roughly 60% of DO’s are practicing in the primary care – general internal medicine, family medicine, gynecology, obstetrics and pediatrics. They are able to fill the demand for physicians by practicing their skills in rural areas and other parts that are lacking immediate medical care.
These pioneers also work on the edges of medicine, using some of the best approaches and technologies to deal with medical conditions. DO’s are trained to combine the available medical technology and their hearing ears to come up with an approach that is most effective. They also have the ability to see the patient as a whole person. They also dedicated their special hands to effectively diagnose and treat the conditions.
Osteopathic physicians have a theory that a patient physical trauma and illness are encoded in their body’s structure. The DO’s have a high sense of touch and with their sensitive hands they are able to feel the human “living anatomy”. This is a word that is used to refer to motion, flow of fluids. Structure, tissue textures and makeup.
A DO’s is able to practice in all medicine fields. There are osteopathic physicians in emergency rooms and also there are cardiovascular surgeons. Most approaches that are used by these physicians are also used by other common physicians and medical doctors.
All osteopathic physicians go through an extensive learning sessions. They are taught how they can teach their patient on how to prevent themselves from injury and illness – this is possible by adopting a healthy lifestyle. They are also taught on how to use an approach that focuses on the whole person and not only on the symptoms.
The DO’s also uses an approach that allows the body to heal on its own using its own immune system. They also believe that all the body organs work together in a unique way. They also claim that one organ can influence the other. An osteopathic physician has extensive knowledge of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. You may be wondering how it would feel vising a DO’s office. You should know that the visit is composed of four main parts: interview – exam – diagnosis – treatment.
Not All Surgeries are Successful.
As an example, failed shoulder surgeries are quite common. You should check with past patients or read your doctor’s reviews on HealthGrades or ZocDoc.

Here are some more tips to avoid a failed surgery:
1. Interview – the DO will engage you in a conversation and they will enquire a lot about your medical history. You will be needed to give detailed information about your work, home and family life.
2. Exam – he or she will have to do a physical exam on you. In some cases, they may order some more tests to be done on you. There is also a structure test that is done. It involves physical examination of your spine, posture and body balance. They use their bare fingers to feel your hands, back and feet. They also check your ligaments, tendons, muscles and joints.
3. Diagnosis – the osteopathic physician will access the collected information and the tests done and try to come up with the main cause of your problem.
4. Treatment – they will then come up with a treatment plan that will work with your condition. Treatment may include surgery and/or drugs. If your conditions are severe, you might need more than one OMT session.
Beside all the general physician lessons and subjects, an osteopathic physician has additional 200 hours to train and understand the art that is used in manipulating medicine the osteopathic way. Their hands-on skills are able to relieve pain that some patients could be experiencing. The technique is able to restore motion and other natural body functions.
DO’s are taught that structure influences function greatly. If one body’s structure is experiencing a problem, the area’s function is also affected. It is also possible for this to affect another part of the body. DOs uses approaches that give the body a chance to heal itself. Approaches and medicines used in osteopathic medicine are aimed in removing all structural problems and pave way for the body to heal itself.
In addition to providing medical care, DO’s are involved in extensive clinical researches and studies. These are studies that are aimed in improving the already existing medical solutions. There are a lot of organizations that have invested greatly on osteopathic research.
The main dilemma that they face is whether to apply to a MD, DO or both schools. If you find yourself here, here are a few tips that can help you know which school you should attend. You should know all the differences between MDs and DOs. Both the schools teach all the necessary things you require to be a qualified doctor.
However, what you should know is that both the schools have different medical approaches and admission methods. When you hear the word medical school you only think of allopathic schools. It is the same thing when you call someone doctor. You should know that MD schools use a different medical approach and their curriculum is different.
With osteopathic schools, they have their own mode of teaching too. They have an overlapping curriculum, where you are able to learn allopathic and osteopathic concepts. DO students also learn other approach in medical and philosophy fields. You will also have the chance to learn the benefits that are associated with osteopathic approach.
For you to practice medicine in USA, you have to pass an exam called NBOME COMLEX. This is an exam that is controlled by a body called National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners. There is no a program that supports osteopathic medicine outside of United States.
For more information please see our TOS