What's the Difference?

D.O's bring something extra to medicine....

Osteopathic Medicine represents a separate and distinct medical profession, with unlimited practice rights. The medical school training for osteopathic physicians (D.O) and for allopathic physicians (M.D.) consists of 4 years. It is during this time that the student physicians master their basic and clinical sciences. The DO student, however, is also trained in an additional 600-800 hours of osteopathic musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment. This involves mastery of the complex neurological and musculoskeletal relationships. It involves diagnosis of structural problems that may result in internal disease problems for the patient. Once diagnosed, the osteopathic physician is trained in the proper treatment for this problem.

While the common goal of both osteopathic and allopathic physicians is the best healthcare for their patients, the philosophical differences, and additional training requirements for the osteopathic physician, necessitates a separate licensing board which is acutely aware of both the similar and unique legislation that is necessary to effectively practice osteopathic medicine. Our separate practice act is NRS 633.

What are the differences between D.O.s and Chiropractors?

D.O.s have a medical education that includes a four-year undergraduate degree, a four-year medical school degree, internships, and at least one hospital residency. In addition, D.O.s prescribe medicine and perform surgery.

Chiropractors do not prescribe medicine and focus on the back and spine, while D.O.s are trained in manual techniques for all of the body's regions. Because D.O.s are fully licensed physicians, they may develop a treatment plan incorporating osteopathic manipulation with other traditional medical procedures.

How do M.D.s and D.O.s compare in qualifications?

Both D.O.s, and M.D.s are complete physicians who:

  • are able to prescribe medication;
  • are licensed to diagnose, treat, and perform surgery;
  • have undergraduate degrees, graduated from medical school, and have post-graduate training;
  • are licensed by the state;
  • may pursue a specialty (two or more years of further education);
  • belong to the same health plans; and
  • are equally accepted by the military.