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What's a D.O.?

Are you an optometrist? The answer is no. An optometrist is an O.D. A D.O. is a Doctor of Osteopathy, who may specialize in one of a myriad of careers. Your family doctor may be a D.O. So can your obstetrician, pediatrician, oncologist, general surgeon and emergency physician.

D.O.'s go through 4 years of high school, 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 1 year of internship, and anywhere from 2-8 years of residency and fellowship training to become full-fledged practicing physicians in your community. We can specialize in any general, specialty or sub-specialty field in medicine that you can think of, as well as a few you can't think of. We have admitting privileges in hospitals and can write prescriptions for medications and diagnostic testing.

So what's the difference between a D.O. and an M.D.? Actually, there's not very much difference at all. In medical school, we are trained in a holistic approach to taking care of people. That just means we consider the whole body when someone has one sick part. We are also trained in musculoskeletal manipulation, which helps the body's natural immune system heal itself. This additional experience combined with traditional medicine training make D.O.'s uniquely qualified to take care of people in an outpatient setting and keeping them healthy, as well as taking care of hospitalized patients.