How is a DO like an MD?
A DO, or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, is in many ways like an MD and in many ways they are different. Many people have been to the doctor and seen a DO without even realizing the difference. Due to more osteopathic medical schools opening every year than allopathic medical schools, the profession is growing a rapid pace.
There are many similarities between the two professions, even though they have different names. Some of the similarities between an MD and a DO are that both are licensed to write prescriptions, both understand pathology of the human body and how to treat it, and both practice the full scope of Western medicine in all 50 states of the US, Including surgery and specialties.
What separates a DO from an MD?
What really separates the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine apart from an MD is the use of hands-on manipulative medicine and the view that the body is a single unit, rather than organ systems that work independently of each other. The DO looks at the body and the health of a person in a more holistic way than an MD
A DO uses his or her hands for diagnosing maladies and for curing them. OMT, or Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy, has been used to treat lots of disease successfully for over 100 years. It has been proven in studies to help tremendously with low back pain, neck pain, and other musculoskeletal problems.
One of the biggest differences between a DO and an MD is their view of the human body and physiology. A DO believe that structure and function are interrelated, and if one is not working then the other can not work at full capacity. This is the idea behind OMT; To straighten out the anatomy so the body's natural healing properties can work at optimal rates.
A DO also views the body as a system of connected organs, including mind, body, and spirit. They believe that a headache can be caused by neck problems which is caused by hip problems. A DO looks at the whole system when diagnosing a disease. This is a fundamental difference in views that is different than any other medical field.
How is a DO Different From a Chiropractor?
While a DO can, and does, use his or her hands to straighten out the anatomy of the body, they are nothing like a chiropractor. A chiropractor believes that the spinal and nerves are all that needs to be adjusted to be fully health. They also believe that it is a life-long problem, so you have to keep coming back to see them for adjustments.
A DO knows how to adjust the spell like a chiropractor, but they do not believe that all problems arise from the spine being out of place. They also manipulate the muscles, the joints, hands and feet, and makes sure that the anatomy of the whole body is functioning at full capacity. A DO can usually fix a problem in 2-5 visits, if not the first time, and you do not have to keep coming back to get adjusted.
Why Should I See A DO?
You should search out a DO the next time you have back pain or neck pain. Actually you should search for one the next time you need to see a doctor about any problem. A DO looks for a cure to a problem, they do not just cover the problem up with medicine. Therefore, the next time you need to see a doctor, look up a local DO to see the difference.