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Difference Between OD and MD

stethoscopeOD vs MD

You are probably wondering about the main differences between an OD and an MD. OD stands for Doctor of Osteopathy. On the other hand, MD means Doctor of Medicine. Both are legally protected professional titles, and they share an equal status and prestige in the practice of medicine.

ODs and MDs have so many things in common, like the four years required for medical schooling, same length of internship, and similar medical board exams to get their official license to practice medicine. However, these two professions have stark contrasts that will enable you differentiate one from the other.

First of all, Doctors of Osteopathy take their post-graduate studies in special schools for Osteopathic medicine, while Medical Doctors attend a college, or school of medicine. Each school follows specific orientation and principles for treating the patients.

Those who attend Osteopathy schools are trained to look at the patient as a whole person. Among ODs, there is a heavy reliance to investigate the organic causes of a disease or illness. They usually consider the overall lifestyles of the patient to address the symptoms of the diseases.

As a counterpoint, Medical Doctors (MD) are trained to specifically look at the symptoms of the illness, injury, or diseased part of the patient. MDs rely heavily on surgery and medications in order to cure the disease that is causing harm to the patient.

Lastly, ODs perform body manipulations which are fairly similar to chiropractic practices, while MDs are not normally trained for body manipulations.

To summarize, here are the main differences between an OD and a MD:

1. ODs are trained in Osteopathy schools, while MDs attend medical schools.

2. ODs are trained to view the ‘whole patient’, while MDs are trained to cure the diseased part of the patient.

3. ODs perform body manipulations called Osteopathic medical treatment, while MDs are not trained for this kind of practice.


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2 Comments

  1. OD is doctor of optometry! DO is doctor of osteopathy!

  2. Osteopathy schools and Osteopathic schools of medicine are not the same thing.

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