DOs and MDs are both fully licensed physicians who are authorized to prescribe medication and perform surgery. DOs, however, in addition to receiving the same medical training as their MD counterparts, also receive an additional 300 to 500 hours in the study of the bodys musculoskeletal system. Osteopaths have a different version of board examination than their allopathic counterparts. Their exams, in addition to including the same material that allopathic exams consist of, have question regarding OMT and the implementation of osteopathic philosophy. Many DOs choose to take the allopathic licensing boards as well. There is no difference in the level of difficulty.
Physicians who wish to pursue the field of cranial osteopathy must train an additional five years in practice to be certified in this area of expertise. Note that this is not the same as craniosacral therapy, which can be pursued by non-osteopathic healthcare providers.
Upon completion of medical school, the osteopathic physician is required to undertake an osteopathic internship for one year. Upon completion, they formally pursue a residency program in either an allopathic or osteopathic residency training program. They can choose from programs ranging from family practice to neurosurgery. After residency, physicians may choose how much OMT they want to incorporate into their practice.
DiGiovanna E. and Shiowitz S. An Osteopathic Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1991.
Hoppenfeld S. Physical Examination of the Spine and Extremities. Norwalk, CT: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1976.
Kuchera WA. Osteopathic Principles in Practice. Columbus, OH: Greyden Press, 1994.