Q: What’s the difference between an MD and a DO, and does it mattGreat question! In order to choose the right provider for your needs, there are some key differences between osteopathic (D.O.) and allopathic physicians (M.D.) you should understand. Both have similar degrees, training, examinations and licensing, and are fully qualified and licensed to diagnose and treat health conditions as well as prescribe medications and provide preventive care. MDs often specialize in a particular area of medicine such as gynecology or urology. DOs may specialize, but tend to practice with a stronger focus on prevention. DOs also receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system – the interconnected system of nerves, bones and muscles that make up 2/3 of the body’s mass. Within the complexities of how our bodies work as a whole, it makes sense that an injury or illness in one area can affect other areas. Understanding these connections and where they begin to break down is key to keeping patients healthier.
For instance, as a DO specializing in hormonal health, I understand that hormones drive all of the body’s metabolic functions so good balance is critical to maintaining good health. When everything is in balance, the body has extraordinary capacity to heal itself. Sometimes, we need to give the body the tools it needs. By addressing and treating underlying imbalances that can trigger the development of disease, we avoid relying on expensive pharmaceuticals that are designed to treat or mask symptoms, as they may also cause unwanted side effects.
DOs take a whole person, hands-on approach to healthcare. Carefully listening to and examining patients combined with medical technology helps them accurately diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses. DOs also work with patients to identify their risk factors for developing disease; highlighting areas where their actions can help reduce risk. Through a combination of medially appropriate care, education and lifestyle changes, patients are empowered to take a more active role in their own health. Whether they’re a DO or an MD, it’s vital that you trust and feel comfortable working with your healthcare provider.
To make an appointment at DeRosa Medical, please call 480.619.4097.