Not many students are aware of the two different types of medical degrees that exist. Traditionally, people are most familiar with the M.D degree. Graduates with an M.D degree attend allopathic medical schools. There is also a second less known medical degree, the doctor of osteopathic medicine or D.O. which is the degree offered by osteopathic medical schools.
So what is a D.O? DO is doctor of osteopathic medicine, not to be confused with MD – the degree conferred on those who graduate from an allopathic medical school. Both are doctors who can enter residency programs and practice medicine. Graduates from D.O schools can practice medicine just like those who graduate from M.D schools and go into whatever speciality they like. The major difference in the training is that DO schools incorporate a holistic approach to healing and incorporate Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) into their model / method for diagnosing and treating disease.
There are often misconceptions about osteopathic medicine. It’s easier, its quack medicine, graduates can’t find residency positions, its a back up plan for people who can’t get into allopathic medical schools. These are all things I’ve heard about D.O schools and the field of osteopathic medicine. In my experience I’ve found that my D.O colleagues were definitely on par if not better than my D.O colleagues. We did residency together and now are One of the premier pediatricians in the city of Huntsville, who I respect and look up to is a D.O. Do I personally think having a D.O. degree places one at a disadvantage? Absolutely not.
Check out the osteopathic school matriculant data to see the typical applicant profile, broken down by gender, race, MCAT score, GPA, etc.
To learn more about the field of osteopathic medicine and if it’s right for you, visit http://www.aacom.org/home.
To read more about the differences between MD vs DO, check out this blog.