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  • Writer's pictureDr. George Cheriyan, DO

How Is Osteopathic Medicine Different From Allopathic Medicine?

If you are dealing with pain or other health conditions and are unsure about whether to choose allopathic medicine (MD) or osteopathic medicine (DO), you are not alone. 

Many people often find themselves in the same situation, wondering which philosophy best suits their healthcare needs. We break down the differences for you in this article. 

Healthcare Approach

Osteopathic medicine favors the holistic approach to healthcare. What this means is that DOs solve medical problems by taking the whole body into perspective. 

They adhere to the principle that the body can heal itself and consider the connection between the body, mind, and spirit to encourage healing, treating not just the symptoms but also the cause. Osteopathic medicine, thus, emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention. 

On the other hand, allopathic medicine focuses on treating the symptoms of the disease by relying mainly on drugs, radiation, and surgeries. The primary goal is disease management, with less emphasis on preventive or holistic care.

Treatment Methods

The use of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) differentiates DOs from MDs. This method involves using the hand to diagnose, treat, and prevent various illnesses or injuries, such as back pain, migraine, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and sinusitis. 

The combination of OMM and other medical procedures ensures osteopathic medicine offers more comprehensive care.

In contrast, allopathic physicians rely on diagnostic procedures like blood tests and X-rays and treat patients using prescription medications, surgeries, and radiation.  


The pathways to practicing allopathic and osteopathic medicine are nearly similar. This means DOs and MDs more or less go through the same medical training. The difference is that students must complete an additional 200 hours of hands-on training in an osteopathic school to practice osteopathic medicine. 

Here, they learn how to manipulate the muscular and skeletal systems using osteopathic manipulative medicine and better understand how an ailment or injury in one part of the body affects another.


Unlike allopathic doctors, most DOs favor a career in primary care, specializing in family medicine, OB/GYN, Internal medicine, and pediatrics. However, some osteopathic doctors seek training in other specialties, such as plastic surgery, psychiatry, and neurosurgery. 

Is Osteopathic Medicine What You Want? Connect With the Osteohealer™ to Feel the Healing

If you're looking for a more holistic and personalized approach that can help you feel better without drugs or surgery, osteopathic medicine may be what you want. 

And if you're seeking an experienced DO who can use specialized techniques to relieve pain and other disorders causing you discomfort, you need not look too far.  

The Osteohealer™ can examine you and develop a customized treatment plan to help you regain control of your life. If you are ready to feel the healing, schedule an appointment today.



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