Five Things We Love about DOs
April 17, 2019
For obvious reasons, all of us at the NBOME are pretty big fans of DOs. In honor of National Osteopathic Medicine (NOM) and International Osteopathic Healthcare (IOH) Week, we’re counting down 4 things we love about DOs.
Whole person care
Osteopathic medicine is based on a different philosophy. A DO sees the big picture. They believe in the body’s tendency towards self-healing, and seek to nurture that above all. They have a keen sense of the interconnectedness of the entire body’s parts and systems. Yes they’ll still prescribe you medicine if you need it, though they may point out that it’s not the medicine that heals, rather, the medicine gives your body the tools it needs to heal itself. They’re also known to find holistic workarounds to problems that may be better treated without medicine. If you come to see them for a headache, they might prescribe you some stretches. You’d also be shocked at the wonders that can be worked with a little bit of yoga.
Osteopathic Medical Treatment (OMT)
DO’s learn the same science and techniques as MDs. However, they do learn a very special skill set that, while any doctor is welcome to learn and practice, not all doctors are required to know. DO training contains a very specialized focus on the musculoskeletal system, the system of bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue that literally holds us all together. With this knowledge they are able to perform Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, (OMT) allowing them to diagnose and often alleviate certain health problems simply using their hands. It’s not just the magic DO touch, it’s OMT.
The DO Credentials
The letters “DO” at the end of a doctors name say a lot of things. First of all, this person is fully licensed to practice medicine anywhere in the United State (and 44 countries abroad). They also say that this person has practiced OMT, and most importantly, that this doctor is committed to whole-person care of mind body and spirit and the body’s natural tendency towards self-healing. The NBOME plays a big role in granting these credentials, so perhaps we are a bit biased. But it is nice to look at the DO suffix on a doctor’s name and know you’ll be in good hands.
To our knowledge, no formal study has ever been conducted on the matter. Anecdotally, however, DO’s have a reputation as huggers. It’s hard to quantify, but there’s a certain intangible warmth to our DOs that often manifests as a hug. If you are inclined, NOM Week may be a good opportunity to conduct independent research into this phenomenon by offering your DO a friendly hug.