Physicians examine patients, obtain medical histories, and order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel their patients about illness, preventative healthcare, injuries, and disease. In the United States, physicians are licensed to diagnose, treat, prescribe, and perform surgery in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Physicians have one of two degrees - an M.D. or a D.O. Physicians who are trained in allopathic medical schools are awarded a MD degree. Physicians who are trained in osteopathic medical schools are awarded an DO degree. Physicians with either degree work in such specialties as surgery, general medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, emergency care and anesthesiology.
In addition to using all of the tools and technology available to modern medicine, osteopaths believe in a holistic philosophy of healing and practice osteopathic manipulative medicine - a system of hands-on diagnosis and treatment which focuses on the musculoskeletal system. More than half of D.O.s practice in general medicine and family practice, though they are also located in any of the primary medical specialties as well.
To learn more about osteopathic medicine:
To learn more about allopathic medicine: