What is Osteopathic Medicine?
Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs) are one of the only two groups of physicians who are licensed and qualified for the unlimited practice of medicine and surgery in all 50 states. DOs, like their colleagues, MDs, or doctors of allopathic medicine, provide professional services to advance the health and wellbeing of patients across this country and around the world.
Osteopathic physicians complete four years of medical school and three to seven years of resident training before entering practice. The practice of osteopathic medicine and the practice of individual osteopathic physicians is as diverse as the wide spectrum of professionals who chose the profession. DOs practice as specialists in all medical disciplines, in educational institutions, in research facilities, and public health institutions. They provide health care services in hospitals and clinics across the nation, utilizing the spectrum and all of the tools of modern medicine.
DOs place an emphasis on wellness and preventive medicine. Their training and philosophy also teach them to place an emphasis on the interrelationship of structure and function. By utilizing a patient center style of practice, DOs work with their patients to foster healthy lifestyles that concentrate on preventing illness, not merely treating pathology. Utilizing Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT), DOs support and augment the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Osteopathic medicine has a century-old tradition of caring for diverse groups of people, often in rural and underserved settings. The profession honors its history and heritage by maintaining an emphasis on the total patient, on serving those in need, on the relationship between structure and function, and by avoiding concentration on the disease rather than the patient.