Osteopathy is, theoretically, an alternative to allopathy that uses a holistic approach and emphasizes the body’s innate ability to heal itself.  In practice, I have rarely, if ever, observed this to be the case.  Although osteopaths (DO’s) have additional training in “osteopathic manipulative medicine,” I haven’t ever seen this put to use.  A DO’s training is otherwise quite comparable to an MD’s training and, in fact, it is not uncommon to see both working side-by-side in the same medical practice.

Individual practitioners will vary, of course, but, as a rule, expect that a DO will be essentially the same as an MD (although possibly more open to complementary treatment methods).  If it’s important to you to have a practitioner with the traits that are supposed to set a DO apart from an MD in theory, do a little more digging to find out how your prospective practitioner really practices.


American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

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