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How does training differ between a DO and MD?

The training, or educational requirements, for a doctor of osteopathic (DO) medicine and a medical doctor (MD) are similar.

  • Both doctor degrees require four years of medical school and a residency program of three to seven years.
  • Both doctors are found in every specialty of medicine and are licensed in every state in the US.

The premedical training is the same for allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) schools. Both require premedical coursework (although that varies slightly from school to school), the MCAT exam and a Bachelor’s degree.

However, DOs must complete an additional 200 hours of manipulation training in addition to the typical coursework. This is called "osteopathic manipulative medicine." It is used to treat health problems involving the spine and musculoskeletal system (your muscles, bones and supporting structures). Training for a DO also involves learning ways to prevent sickness or disease. This is in line with the philosophy of osteopathic medicine.

This content originally appeared on http://blog.mountainstar.com/.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.