The Difference Between A DO And An MD

It’s been a long day for me. My usual morning working routine has been cut short by a call from my husband who was just upstairs in the bedroom sleeping (he works at night, that’s why). “Honey, it’s time”, he said. “Oh, shoot, let’s go”, I answered.

I had to rush him to an immediate care facility nearby. He’s been having a gout attack the night before, and his medication can’t mask the pain any longer, and was already in excruciating pain. It was two and a half years ago since his last attack, so I’m wondering what he ate again that caused his uric acid level to shoot up and triggered this. He is a very stubborn man, and unlike me, he doesn’t watch what he eats despite his condition. And because he is stubborn, he hasn’t seen his regular doctor for quite some time now, trying to avoid to get yelled at again. Ugh!

So while he’s in extreme pain and being drugged, I’ve decided to ask the nurses for referrals for good doctors for him since I can’t make him go back to his old doctor anyway. I got a list of different types of doctors and got curious about how a DO (Doctor of Osteopathy) and an MD (Doctor Of Medicine) differs from one another. I just go to an MD because I was raised thinking that MDs are better without really knowing much about it. And since the nurses’ answers on how those two differ failed to satisfy my hungry mind (and starving tummy), I’ve decided to spend my “free, can’t do anything anyway” mom time googling about it on my iPhone. Here’s what I found out:

Both are medical doctors, completing four years of basic medical education.

Both DOs and MDs can choose to practice in a specialty area of medicine after completing a residency program (typically two to six years of additional training).

Both must pass comparable state licensing examinations.

DOs can perform surgery, child delivery, treat patients, and prescribe medications in hospitals and clinic settings.

DOs look at the “total person.” Osteopathic physicians focus on preventive care. Instead of just treating specific symptoms or illnesses, they look at the whole body.

DOs receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system, which is comprised of the nerves, muscles, and bones. This training gives DOs a better understanding of how an injury or illness in one part of the body can affect another part of the body; therefore, DOs have a therapeutic and diagnostic advantage.

Now, I’m interested! Since I go by prevention, and prefers natural healing methods over medicines (if I can help it), I would like to try going to a DO.

Since both me and my husband are due for an annual physical exam anyway, I immediately scheduled an appointment with a DO who is a family practitioner. We’ll see him this coming Friday. I’ll keep you posted… And oh, we’re now back at home and my hubby is now sleeping calmly, like a baby.


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