MD vs DO

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

  • Allopathic medicine refers to traditional or conventional medicine including use of medication or physical interventions to treat or suppress symptoms or prevent disease considering the person as a whole.  This term is the opposite of alternative medicine. 
  • Diagnosis & treatment recommendations based on scientifically-proven conclusions
  • Complete a bachelor’s degree, pre-med coursework and MCAT
  • Attend 4 years of medical school
  • Participate in a residency program
  • Must pass USMLE to practice medicine
  • Can practice medicine in all 50 states
  • Found in every type of specialty medicine
  • More prevalent in urban, metropolitan areas

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)

  • The osteopathic philosophy focuses on a holistic approach to practicing medicine, meaning treating the patient as a whole - not just the symptoms or injuries.
  • Diagnosis & treatment recommendations based on scientifically-proven conclusions
  • Complete a bachelor’s degree, pre-med coursework and MCAT
  • Attend 4 years of medical school
  • Participate in a residency program
  • Must take an additional 200 hours of training learning manipulation of musculoskeletal system
  • Must pass COMPLEX to practice medicine
  • Can practice medicine in all 50 states
  • Found in every type of specialty medicine
  • 60% practice in primary care
  • 2.5 times more likely to practice in rural areas