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Toledo, OH 43623

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National Osteopathic Medicine Month

separator If there’s a D.O. after your doctor’s name and not an M.D., what does that mean? 

D.O stands for “Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.” The D.O. and M.D. degrees have many similarities. Both require graduation from a 4-year medical school plus 2 to 6 years of additional training, depending on what type of doctor the person becomes. 

According to the American Osteopathic Association, about 65 percent of all osteopathic physicians practice in primary care areas such as family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology and internal medicine. They also specialize in all the same fields that M.D.s do. 

D.O.s emphasize caring for the whole person, not just a symptom or an illness. They receive extra training in the body’s musculoskeletal system—the nerves, bones and muscles. This training, they believe, helps them understand how one illness or injury affects the entire body. D.O.s also learn “osteopathic manipulative treatment,” using their hands to help diagnose injury and illness. 

It’s highly possible that somewhere along the line, you have received medical care from a D.O., because D.O.s practice in the same settings as M.D.s and they are licensed to perform the same kind of care.

The American Osteopathic Association.
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