Mayo Clinic Health Library Article

 Back to Health Library
Osteopathic medicine: What kind of doctor is a D.O.?

Osteopathic medicine: What kind of doctor is a D.O.?

You know what M.D. means, but what does D.O. mean? What are the differences and similarities between these two types of doctors?

QWhat kind of doctor is a D.O.? Does a D.O. have the same training as an M.D.?

,

AAnswer Section

A doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) is a fully trained and licensed doctor who has attended and graduated from a U.S. osteopathic medical school. A doctor of medicine (M.D.) has attended and graduated from a conventional (allopathic) medical school.

The major difference between osteopathic and allopathic doctors is that some osteopathic doctors provide manual medicine therapies, such as spinal manipulation or massage therapy, as part of their treatment.

After medical school, both M.D.s and D.O.s must complete residency training in their chosen specialties. They must also pass the same licensing examination before they can treat people and prescribe medications.

2013-02-01

Find a physician

or Need Help Finding a Physician

Upcoming Events

Darkness to Light's: Stewards of Children
Tue, Dec 12, 2017 - 05:30 PM - 08:00 PM More
Blood Pressure Screening
Thu, Dec 14, 2017 - 09:00 AM - 11:30 AM More
Body Awareness
Thu, Dec 14, 2017 - 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM More
View all Events >>