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what does do mean after a doctors name

what does do mean after a doctors name

what does do mean after a doctor’s name?

Hello dear friends, Solsarin in this article is talking about “what does do mean after a doctors name”

what does do mean after a doctors name
what does do mean after a doctors name

Should I See an MD or a DO?


You can tell which type of degree a doctor has by the letters after their name. If they went to a traditional (allopathic) medical school, they’ll have “MD” after their name, indicating they have a doctor of medicine degree. If they went to an osteopathic medical school, they’ll have “DO” after their name, meaning they have a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree.

In the United States, there are far more MDs than DOs. However, more and more medical students are becoming DOs.

The differences between MDs and DOs are often subtle. MDs generally focus on treating specific conditions with medication. DOs, on the other hand, tend to focus on whole-body healing, with or without traditional medication. They generally have a stronger holistic approach and have been trained with additional hours of hands-on techniques. Some people claim that DOs put more emphasis on disease prevention, but prevention plays an important role in the work of both.

When discussing the differences between these two types of doctors, it’s important to remember that both types are qualified doctors who must meet strict requirements before receiving their medical license.

What’s the difference between allopathic and osteopathic medicine?

There are two main philosophies when it comes to medicine, known as allopathy and osteopathy.


MDs learn allopathy in medical school. It’s the more traditional of the two philosophies and it’s what many people consider “modern medicine.” Allopathic medicine emphasizes using medications to treat illnesses that are usually diagnosed by tests or procedures, such as a complete blood count or X-ray.

Most medical schools teach allopathic medicine.


DOs learn osteopathy while earning their degree. Compared to allopathy, it focuses more on treating the body as a whole instead of treating specific conditions. Students of osteopathic medicine learn how to evaluate people with the same tools and procedures that students of allopathic medicine do. However, they also learn how to use osteopathic manual medicine (OMM), sometimes called osteopathic manipulative treatment. This involves using the hands to diagnose, treat, or prevent injuries or illnesses.

Examples of OMM during a physical exam include:

  • stretching out a limb, such as unfolding an arm
  • applying gentle pressure or resistance to specific areas
  • feeling someone’s bones, joints, organs, or other structures through their skin

It’s important to note that all DOs learn these techniques, but not every DO uses them in their medical practice.

what does do mean after a doctors name
what does do mean after a doctors name

Are they trained differently?

Both DOs and MDs learn how to diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases and injuries. As a result, they receive much of the same training, including:

The main difference is that DOs must complete an additional 200 hours of coursework. This extra training focuses on bones, muscles, and nerves and how they affect the body’s overall health. In addition, DOs may take additional classes covering holistic or alternative therapies. Their courses may also focus more on preventive medicine, though this is still covered in allopathic medical schools.

Do they take different exams?

Both types of doctors must pass a national test before becoming licensed to practice medicine. MDs must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). DOs must take the Comprehensive Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX), but they can choose to take the USMLE as well.

These tests generally cover the same material but often phrase questions differently. The COMLEX also contains additional questions about OMM.

Which one should I choose to be my doctor?

There’s no right answer when it comes to choosing between an MD or DO. Both are equally qualified to treat you and prescribe medication if you need it. If you’re looking for a more hands-on doctor who might be more open to alternative treatment options, consider seeing a DO. This doesn’t mean that your MD won’t also be open to alternative treatment options as well.

You should also consider your medical needs. According to the American Osteopathic Association, more than half of DOs choose to be primary care doctors. On the other hand, a 2013 study found that only 25.2 percent of MDs became primary care physicians. Instead, MDs tend to specialize in a specific type or field of medicine, such as cardiology or surgery. This means you might have an easier time finding an MD if you’re looking for a specific type of doctor, rather than a general physician.

Regardless of whether you want to see a DO or MD, try to find a doctor who:

  • you’re comfortable talking to
  • you trust and believe is knowledgeable, compassionate, and well-trained
  • listens to you
  • gives you the time you need to ask any questions you have
  • fits well with your needs, such as:
    • being a preferred sex
    • having extended appointment hours
    • belonging to your health plan

The bottom line

Ultimately, being comfortable and having a good trusting relationship with your doctor is what matters most when choosing a doctor. Licensed MDs and DOs are equally qualified to take care of your medical needs and choosing one over the other is simply a matter of your personal preference.

what does do mean after a doctors name
what does do mean after a doctors name

What’s It Mean if My Doctor Is a DO?

Doctors must undergo extensive training to be able to properly diagnose and treat illness and injury. Years of schooling followed by many more years of intensive residency, internship and fellowship training enable most doctors to perform well when treating the vast range of problems that can afflict the human body. As a stamp of that authority, doctors typically use initials after their name that specify which degree they’ve completed and other earned distinctions.

While most doctors you encounter are likely to have the initials MD, meaning “doctor of medicine,” after their name, there is another, equally well-regarded set of initials you might see: DO, which stands for “doctor of osteopathic medicine.” That refers to a specific approach to medical education that began in the mid-19th century.

Dr. Andrew Taylor Still was an MD “who pioneered the concept of ‘wellness’ and recognized the importance of treating illness within the context of the whole body,” beginning in 1874, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine reports. The idea for this new approach came to Still after three of his children died of spinal meningitis in 1864. “Dr. Still concluded that the orthodox medical practices of his day were frequently ineffective, and sometimes harmful,” the AACOM reports.

His dissatisfaction with the typical medical approach led Still to research other ways to treat diseases. “He did a lot of study of anatomy and anatomical structure and he developed different kinds of techniques that could be used in treatment,” says Dr. Stephen C. Shannon, president of AACOM. “At that time, Still was shunned by the MD community as being different, or not operating in the exact same way (as MDs), so he formed his own school,” thus founding the separate system of osteopathic medicine.

That school employed a slightly different philosophy of medicine, one that considered the musculoskeletal system’s role in overall health and wellness. “The body has an innate ability to heal itself if it is structurally sound,” Shannon explains. Still developed manual techniques, which are referred to as osteopathic manipulative medicine or osteopathic manipulative treatments, to resolve structural problems he believed would hinder overall good health. Today, some DOs use these manual techniques to help patients get better.

Dr. William Mayo, a board-certified ophthalmologist and president of the American Osteopathic Association, the primary certifying body for DOs and accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools, adds that the underlying philosophy of osteopathic medicine seems like simple common sense today. “If you cut yourself, the body heals itself. But we also know that if you keep that cut clean and dry, you will promote healing. If you keep dragging it through the mud, you’re not going to heal – you’re likely to get an infection and have a worse outcome.” In practice, this translates into “working with the patient to make sure they understand what they need to do, whether it’s a simple example like that of cleaning the wound or whether it’s promoting proper exercise and diet to make your body function at its peak efficiency.”

This approach also includes a philosophy of prevention, rather than simple intervention after a problem develops, Shannon says. “Many chronic diseases can be prevented by paying attention to proper nutrition and proper exercise, proper lifestyle, dealing with stress and the issues that are related with adverse health outcomes.”

But there’s more to people than just skin, bones, infection and illness, and this concept of the patient as a whole individual with a spirit and mind is also a core component of osteopathic medicine, Shannon says. “We focus our medical students and residents on not only the body, but also the mind and spirit of the patient and that includes the family and the community.” It’s a concept that’s gained traction over the years.



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