Concerning DO vs. MD, apart from the differences in the name, each healthcare professional and specialty has a different way of dispensing medical care. The main difference is that a Doctor of Medicine, DO is a Doctor of osteopathic medicine while a Medical Doctor, MD practices allopathic medicine.


What Is The Difference Between An MD And DO?


The main difference between these two primary care providers is the subtle divide behind their approach to medicine. You may have been seeing the same doctor for a while, unaware that they are DOs’ or osteopathic medical physicians. MDs or allopathic medical physicians get their form of studies in the roots of German medical education. This form of healthcare emphasizes evaluating patients by gathering evidence surrounding their medical issues.


Colleges of osteopathic medicine base their clinical discipline on the science of the whole body other than a collection of body parts. The principle behind the clinical practice is that an entire human being is greater than the number of their factors. It emphasizes examining and understanding the patient thoroughly before prescribing treatment. Osteopathic medicine in current institutions is a result of many changes throughout the years since its beginnings. Its distinguishing philosophy is providing holistic medical care. This means that they focus their preventative care on health rather than disease.


According to the American Osteopathic Association, Osteopathic medicine has several tenets within primary care specialties These are:


  • Your body is capable of regulating, healing, and maintaining its help without outside interference.

  • The human being is a unit of mind, body, and spirit.

  • Function and structure are naturally symbiotic.

  • Treatment must rely on understanding the principles of physical unity, self-regulation, and the symbiosis of function and design.


This shows that DOs prefer primary care specialties like pediatrics, family, and internal medicine. They give room for a holistic approach to patient medical care. MD physicians also follow these tenets though they prefer primary care specialties like orthopedics and dermatology. This does not restrict DO physicians from pursuing these specialties; most choose to follow that route.


Is DO or MD Better?


If your question is which of these two physicians is better than the other, there is no right answer to that. It is because both osteopathic and allopathic medical students are suitable to treat and prescribe medication, according to American Medical Association. When deciding which is better than the other, it all comes down to what kind of medical care you need. If you need a hands-on physician who is open to alternative treatment options, opt for a DO. This does not, however, disqualify consulting an MD. Some of them can be open to alternative medicine options of treatment.


Most MDs specialize in specific fields of medicine like surgery and cardiology. This means that if you are looking for a specialist, opt for an MD. Whether you are looking for an MD or a DO, you need to find someone comfortable talking to. An ideal personal doctor must be knowledgeable, compassionate, and trustworthy. The physician must be a good listener. They must give you time to explain your predicament and ask all the questions that you may have. For them to do this, they must have training from a reputable institution. They must also fit your personal needs as well as your health insurance plan.


Therefore, the answer to your question on who is better in DO vs. MD is yourself. What matters most to you is a doctor with whom you are comfortable—a doctor with who you have a good relationship and whose consult you trust without a doubt. In terms of qualifications and licensing, both specialists are equally capable of handling your medical needs.


Is DO Less Prestigious than MD?


Most people seeking medical training in Parker, CO, prefer training as an MD physician over a DO. The medical training for both degrees has equal rights and responsibilities in healthcare. Medical students must complete at least 200 hours of learning, four years of medical school, residency, special training, and fellowships to qualifying as physicians who can practice medicine. 


The DO must graduate from Osteopathic medical school and an MD must graduate from an Allopathic medical school. Here are some of the perceptions people hold as to why DO is less prestigious than MD.


Licensing after Medical School, Do vs. MD


MD students sit for the United States Medical Licensing Examination, which is also called the board exam, before applying for a medical license. This exam is designed for medical students pursuing allopathic medicine. On the other hand, students pursuing Osteopathic medicine can take the United States Medical Licensing Examination or a test that is just like it called the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination.


DO vs. MD salary


Statistically speaking, most DOs earn less than MDs. The difference in their earnings is not a direct relation to their qualifications or marketability. Also, the difference in their remunerations stems from their practice fields. DOs focus on primary healthcare fields. In this field, the physicians earn less than those who specialize in specific areas. This means that the wage is lower on average though the graduates receive the same training and compensation when all things are constant.


Few international medical school opportunities


An MD qualification is recognizable the world over in comparison to a DO. A physician with an MD can practice medicine in many countries around the world. The shortfall with a DO qualification is that it does not equal international standing as an MD. This may seem unfair, but it is the reality the world over.




In most cases, an MD degree is held in higher esteem than a DO degree. This may not always be the case across the board. According to the relevant bodies, there is not enough information to prove that becoming a DO is the best choice for those physicians. It is common for most people to assume that all physicians have MD degrees. This may mean that a DO degree seems like a lower qualification in comparison. The same also goes for admission to medical school, where it is statistically easier to join a Do class than an MD one. A good reputation does not guarantee good medical practice.


Difficulty in getting residency


On paper, a DO graduate can opt for either a DO or an MD residency program. It seems good, but some residency programs are difficult for one with a DO degree to gain admission. This means that some residency programs openly favor MD graduates.