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What kind of doctor is a D.O.?

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Quick Answer

A D.O., or doctor of osteopathic medicine, is a licensed physician who specializes in manual medicine therapies, such as spinal manipulation, chiropractic care and massage therapy. A doctor of osteopathy attends an osteopathic medical school, as well as an optional specialized medical school.

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Full Answer

Although doctors of osteopathy have specialties in osteopathic medicine, many practice family, internal, pediatric, obstetric and gynecological medicine. Doctors of osteopathy are required to complete medical degrees, internships, residencies, fellowships and practice in accredited medical health facilities after passing state licensing examinations. Doctors of osteopathy are licensed to prescribe medicine and perform surgery. Approximately 60 percent of doctors of osteopathy practice in primary care, according to the American Osteopathic Association.

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