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Shelley Webb, Nursing, answeredThe difference between a DO (Doctor of Osteopathy) and an MD (Medical Doctor) is really a difference in philosophy. While medical doctors (which are based on allopathic medicine ) evaluate the disease within their patient in terms of how it affects only certain parts of the body, the osteopathic doctor evaluates the disease within the body as a complex related network. Both types of doctors are licensed to practice medicine, write prescriptions and perform surgery. Both require 4 years of undergraduate study in either pre-medicine or a related science. Both require 4 additional years of medical training before being allowed to take their medical exams (which are comparably difficult but yet not quite the same). Both a medical doctor and a doctor of osteopathy may elect to choose a specialty which would require between 2 and 6 years of additional training.