you’re like most people, you’ve been going to a doctor ever since you were
born, and perhaps were not aware whether you were seeing a D.O. (osteopathic
physician) or an M.D. (allopathic physician). You may not even be aware that
there are two types of complete physicians in the United States.
The fact is, that both D.O.s and M.D.s are fully qualified physicians
licensed to perform surgery and prescribe medication in all 50 states. Is
there any difference between these two kinds of doctors? Yes. And no.
Additional information may be found in these other American Osteopathic
Association Web pages:
Applicants to both D.O. and M.D. colleges typically have a four-year
undergraduate degree with an emphasis on scientific courses.
Both D.O.s and M.D.s complete four years of basic medical education.
After medical school, both D.O.s and M.D.s can choose to practice in a
specialty area of medicine -- such as psychiatry, surgery or obstetrics --
after completing a residency program which requires an additional two to
six years of training.
Both D.O.s and M.D.s must pass comparable state licensing
D.O.s and M.D.s both practice in fully accredited and licensed health
D.O.s comprise a separate, yet equal branch of American medical care.
Together, D.O.s and M.D.s enhance the state of care available in America.
something extra to medicine:
Osteopathic medical schools emphasize
training students to be primary care physicians.
D.O.s practice a "whole person" approach
to medicine. Instead of just treating specific symptoms or illnesses, they
assess the overall health of their patients including home and work
Osteopathic physicians focus on preventive
D.O.s receive extra training in the
musculoskeletal system -- your body’s interconnected system of nerves,
muscles and bones that make up two-thirds of its body mass. This training
provides osteopathic physicians with a better understanding of the ways
that an injury or illness in one part of your body can affect another.
Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT)
is incorporated in the training and practice of osteopathic physicians.
With OMT, osteopathic physicians use their hands to diagnose injury and
illness and to encourage your body’s natural tendency toward good health.
By combining all other medical procedures with OMT, D.O.s offer their
patients the most comprehensive care available in medicine today.
More than a Century of
medicine is a unique form of American medical care that was developed in
1874 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. Dr. Still was dissatisfied with the
effectiveness of 19th Century medicine. He believed that many of the
medications of his day were useless or even harmful. Dr. Still was one of
the first in his time to study the attributes of good health so that he
could better understand the process of disease.
In response, Dr. Stillfounded a philosophy of medicine based on
ideas that date back to Hippocrates, the father of medicine. The
philosophy focuses on the unity of all body parts. He identified the
musculoskeletal system as a key element of health. He recognized the
body’s ability to heal itself and stressed preventive medicine, eating
properly and keeping fit.
Dr. Still pioneered the concept of "wellness" more than 125 years ago.
In today’s terms, personal health risks -- such as smoking, high blood
pressure, excessive cholesterol levels, stress and other lifestyle factors
-- are evaluated for each individual. In coordination with appropriate
medical treatment, the osteopathic physician acts as a teacher to help
patients take more responsibility for their own well-being and change
Just as Dr. Still pioneered osteopathic
medicine on the Missouri frontier in 1874, today osteopathic physicians
serve as modern day medical pioneers.
They continue the tradition of bringing health care to areas of
Over half of all osteopathic physicians practice in primary care
areas such as pediatrics, family practice, obstetrics/gynecology and
Many D.O.s fill a critical need for doctors by practicing in rural
and medically underserved areas.
Today osteopathic physicians continue to be on the cutting edge of
modern medicine. D.O.s are able to combine today’s medical technology with
their ears, to listen compassionately to their patients; their eyes, to
see their patients as whole persons; and their hands, to diagnose and
treat injury as well as illness.
"As an osteopathic physician, I believe in prevention. I am
committed to educating my patients so they can take the necessary steps to
live and maintain healthier lifestyles."
Tyler C. Cymet, D.O.
Internal medicine, Baltimore
2770 3rd Avenue Suite 240 � Lake Charles, LA 70601 � Office: (337) 494-4656 � Fax: (337) 494-4657
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