MD vs DO

  1. What's the difference between an MD and a DO? I have always wondered if one requires more study and more time than the other? Does anyone know?
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  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Student doctor network might be a better source of information for that type of question.
  4. by   FranEMTnurse
    Thank you.
  5. by   bugya90
    Ive worked with both. The most recent DO I worked with said basically DOs also get some more Chiropractic and accupuncture type of classes so they can do realignments and that kind of thing. DOs are supposed to be more holistic and less pill pushing but I've seen good and bad MDs and DOs so it really depends more on the person not the title.
  6. by   FranEMTnurse
    Thank you for the informative input.
  7. by   elkpark
    In the academic medical centers in which I've worked over the years, MDs and DOs worked side by side in residencies and as attendings, and you couldn't really tell a difference until you saw the letters after their names.
  8. by   cayenne06
    Quote from bugya90
    Ive worked with both. The most recent DO I worked with said basically DOs also get some more Chiropractic and accupuncture type of classes so they can do realignments and that kind of thing. DOs are supposed to be more holistic and less pill pushing but I've seen good and bad MDs and DOs so it really depends more on the person not the title.
    This is, thankfully, not generally true. DOs definitely have a history in pseudoscience but they have become mainstream medical doctors who practice science based care. Indistinguishable in practice. I am sure there are still some hold outs but hopefully they are few and far between.

    Holistic medicine means caring for the whole person, not embracing pseudoscience like acupuncture and chiropractic.

    I will also give the caveat that some chiros practice evidence based physical medicine for muskuloskeletal problems and can be a valuable member of the medical team. Unfortunately, overall the profession is infested with nonsense to a shocking degree.
  9. by   brownbook
    Quote from cayenne06
    This is, thankfully, not generally true. DOs definitely have a history in pseudoscience but they have become mainstream medical doctors who practice science based care. Indistinguishable in practice. I am sure there are still some hold outs but hopefully they are few and far between.

    Holistic medicine means caring for the whole person, not embracing pseudoscience like acupuncture and chiropractic.

    I will also give the caveat that some chiros practice evidence based physical medicine for muskuloskeletal problems and can be a valuable member of the medical team. Unfortunately, overall the profession is infested with nonsense to a shocking degree.
    Beautiful answer, thanks.
  10. by   ~♪♫ in my ♥~
    Practically speaking, on match day, no difference.

    You name a specialty and I'll name DOs working in it.

    That said, DO programs tend to emphasize primary care and osteopathic manipulations. Here in California, though, there are very few "5 finger osteopaths" (meaning those who actually perform manipulations). I actually picked my PCP precisely because he performs manipulative therapies, though I've only once utilized his services in that area.

    Long ago, I was at a seminar introducing aspiring physicians to osteopathy. I volunteered to be a test subject. I was asked to walk down a flight of stairs toward the physician who then provided an evaluation of my gait, an assessment of what kinds of problems I experience, and the likely cause of my gait deviation. It was pretty amazing how spot-on she was. Parenthetically, my current PCP was actually in the audience that day although we were unacquainted at the time; it wasn't until our third office visit that he mentioned that occurrence which I had long since forgotten.

    From a med school perspective, I'd call the DOs more broadly educated than their MD counterparts since they study manipulative therapies in addition to the traditional medical therapies.

    The guy who started chiropractic was a DO dropout, I believe.
    Last edit by ~♪♫ in my ♥~ on Jun 23
  11. by   ~♪♫ in my ♥~
    Quote from elkpark
    In the academic medical centers in which I've worked over the years, MDs and DOs worked side by side in residencies and as attendings, and you couldn't really tell a difference until you saw the letters after their names.
    Our MICU medical director is a DO.

    As is one of our neurosurgery attendings... as are a few of our ED attendings... and so on, and so on...
  12. by   BedsideNurse
    All other things being equal, if I had to choose between an MD or a DO I would pick the DO.
  13. by   applewhitern
    I've worked with both, and can't tell the difference. One of my favorite surgeons is a DO.
  14. by   HalfBoiled
    Doctor Mike made a video explaining the difference

    MD vs DO: What’s the difference & which is better? - YouTube

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