A doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) is a medical professional who has acquired a license to prescribe medicines to patients, perform surgeries, and practice osteopathic medicine. Read on for more information about this profile.
Andrew Taylor, an American doctor, is the pioneer of the field of osteopathic medicine. In the United States of America, doctors of osteopathic medicine also practice osteopathic manipulative medicine. In some European countries, there are many doctors who take up this medicine after finishing their medical college training.
Osteopathic doctors who have taken training from some other country are not eligible to get a license for practice in the United States of America. However, a D.O. from the United States has the right to practice in around forty five countries of the world.
The D.O. is a graduate level course in the United States of America, which is offered to surgeons and physicians. The duration of this course is four years. Apart from the Doctor of Medicine (MD), only the D.O. degree holders are allowed to practice as physicians in US.
Osteopathic medicine practitioners who wish to become specialists need to undergo a residency program which may be of a duration of 2 to 6 years. One has to pass the certification exams conducted by the board to be a specialist in this field. D.O. either use the Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) or the Osteopathic Manual Medicine (OMM) for treatments.
There are many similarities between a MD and a D.O. Both these medical professionals, in most cases, specialize in psychiatry, family practice, pediatrics, or surgery. They both need to clear the board-conducted examinations to obtain the licenses.
However, the primary emphasis of osteopathic medicine is on the primary care and health of the affected people through holistic medicine. Most of the practitioners believe that the effects of previous illnesses and the physical trauma experienced by people, are visible on the patient's body.
They try to accurately understand the anatomy of a person. A D.O. will try and focus on treating the person's body as a whole (improving overall health), rather than dealing with a specific ailment or certain part of the body. These doctors have a practical experience of around five hundred hours in studying the musculoskeletal system of the body.
Osteopathic medical programs are more or less similar to those of the allopathic medical programs. In the former, more stress is given on primary care and having a preventive approach to health ailments. Highly talented medical professionals have some opportunities in the research departments in this field, however, the patient's care is the main aspect.
The programs that they undertake help the doctors know the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. According to a survey conducted by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), there will be around 80,000 D.O., who will practice independently in the United States of America by 2020.
One can apply for these programs through the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service, (AACOMAS), which is a service of the centralized form application.
You also need to submit your Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) results along with the transcripts to the AACOMAS. Also, you need to pay the application fee, which will be around USD 195 for the first program applied and USD 45 for every additional program.
The salary for this field is showing a growing trend and experts are known to earn more than USD 199,000 annually. A person with the necessary qualifications, capacity, and the interest can certainly make it big in this field.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.