MD vs DO

Let’s explore the key similarities and differences between an MD degree and a DO degree – and talk about what it means for your healthcare journey.

M.D. Explained

An M.D., or Doctor of Medicine, is a physician trained in allopathic medicine, a term coined in the early 19th century to differentiate homeopathy from science-based medicine. Traditionally, allopathic medical schools primarily focused training on the use of medication and surgery to treat symptoms and manage conditions. To obtain a medical degree, physicians must complete four years of medical school, undergo rigorous training and examination, and can practice in any specialty.

Although the focus of an allopathic trained physician is more disease-based and places an emphasis on medications and surgery to treat symptoms, many allopathic physicians like Dr. Stacey choose to pursue additional training that takes a more holistic approach to patient care.

D.O. Explained

A D.O., or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, is a physician who is trained to treat patients holistically as opposed to isolating and treating a specific symptom or disease. D.O.s take a whole-person approach to patient care, often offering preventative solutions in addition to curative ones. Like an M.D., a D.O. must complete four years of medical school, undergo rigorous training and examination, and can practice in any specialty.

During medical school, D.O.s complete an extra 300-500 hours of training on the musculoskeletal system. This equips D.O. physicians to consider and treat structural issues that may be contributing to a patient’s symptoms. This is one of the ways D.O.s help their patients naturally maintain equilibrium in their bodies and achieve holistic wellness.

D.O. Explained

A D.O., or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, is a physician who is trained to treat patients holistically as opposed to isolating and treating a specific symptom or disease. D.O.s take a whole-person approach to patient care, often offering preventative solutions in addition to curative ones. Like an M.D., a D.O. must complete four years of medical school, undergo rigorous training and examination, and can practice in any specialty.

During medical school, D.O.s complete an extra 300-500 hours of training on the musculoskeletal system. This equips D.O. physicians to consider and treat structural issues that may be contributing to a patient’s symptoms. This is one of the ways D.O.s help their patients naturally maintain equilibrium in their bodies and achieve holistic wellness.

Similarities Between M.D.s and D.O.s

Both MDs and DOs must meet and exceed the most rigorous standards of training in order to practice medicine. This includes:

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Premedical courses at university

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Taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

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Four years of medical school

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Licensing Exam (USMLE or COMLEX)

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Residency (specialty) training

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Specific licensing examination for their specialty

Both DO and MD physicians are licensed to practice medicine in all 50 states and can choose any sub-specialty in the medical field. DOs and MDs are equally qualified to treat patients with any illness or condition in their specialty.

What That Means For You

At Robinson MD, your holistic wellness comes first. Whether you are treated by Dr. Stacey, an M.D., or Dr. Emily, a D.O., you’ll be working with a fantastic physician who genuinely cares about your long-term health.

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