What Is the Difference Between a DO and MD?

A Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, or D.O., and a Doctor of Medicine, or M.D., both are licensed medical doctors. However, a D.O. receives specific training regarding the skeletal system and spinal manipulation that an M.D. does not.

The educational program for a D.O. and M.D. are nearly identical, but a D.O.,or osteopath, receives training in osteopathic manipulative medicine, which focuses on the musculoskeletal system as an underlying cause of many symptoms of disease. Osteopathic training teaches physicians to focus on the spectrum of wellness rather than specific disease entities. Nevertheless, both types of doctors diagnose and treat most common illnesses in the same way.