What is Osteopathic Medicine? What is a DO?

What is a DO?

Patient care

Discover the DO Difference

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine use a unique whole-person approach to help prevent illness and injury.

What is a DO? Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, are fully licensed physicians who practice in all areas of medicine. Emphasizing a whole-person approach to treatment and care, DOs are trained to listen and partner with their patients to help them get healthy and stay well. Learn more about the DO difference.​​​​​

DOs receive special training in the musculoskeletal system, your body’s interconnected system of nerves, muscles and bones. By combining this knowledge with the latest advances in medical technology, they offer patients the most comprehensive care available in medicine today.

Osteopathic physicians focus on prevention, tuning into how a patient’s lifestyle and environment can impact their wellbeing. DOs strive to help you be truly healthy in mind, body and spirit—not just free of symptoms.

From their first days of education and training, DOs learn to:

  • Look beyond symptoms of illness and disease to examine the whole patient.
  • Partner with patients to help prevent illness and injury.
  • Use their hands to diagnose illness and injury and increase your body’s natural tendency toward self-healing.

Hands-on care

If you’ve never been to a DO before, you may wonder what to expect. A typical office visit includes four parts:

  1. Interview: Your DO will talk with you about your medical history. In addition, you will be asked about your home, work and family life.
  2. Exam: The DO will perform a complete physical exam, including a check of your posture, spine, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. If necessary, tests will be ordered.
  3. Diagnosis: The DO will consider the results of the interview and exam to determine what may be causing your symptoms.
  4. Treatment: The DO will suggest a treatment plan. DOs practice according to the latest science and technology, but also consider options to complement pharmaceuticals and surgery. Your treatment plan may also include Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT), a hands-on treatment DOs use to diagnose illness and injury and encourage your body’s natural tendency toward self-healing.

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