D.O.s and M.D.s are both fully licensed physicians in the United States. Both are licensed to prescribe medication and perform surgery. Both types of physicians require a 4 year undergraduate degree, 4 years of medical education, postmedical training internship/residency and completion of state licensure examinations.
Although the medical training between D.O.s and M.D.s are similar, D.O. physicians spend greater than 500 hours in the study of the human body’s musculoskeletal system and manipulative treatment techniques. Many D.O. specializing in osteopathic manipulative medicine continue on to extensive hours of osteopathic courses throughout their career to further enhance their palpatory skill and knowledge. Osteopaths treat at all body levels, such as bone, muscle, brain, nerves, viscera (organs), fascia, and fluids. Osteopathic physicians use their hands to diagnose illness and injury in a “whole person” approach.
Chiropractors attend 4 years of Chiropractic College and obtain a D.C. degree. They are not licensed to practice medicine or prescribe medication in the United States. Although they have training in manual medicine, their primary focus is to adjust the spine with high velocity movements.