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The osteopathic medical profession (DO) can seem confusing, especially without an understanding of its history as compared to the allopathic (MD) profession. That’s why we’ve compiled this simple guide to aid you in telling our story.

Osteopathic (D.O.) and allopathic (M.D.) both are physicians.  DOs and MDs have nearly identical training and both must pass comparable examinations to be licensed to practice medicine. In Oklahoma, more than 20 percent of all physicians are DOs, with a majority in primary care (family medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology).

Terminology Dos and Don’ts
"Osteopath" and "osteopathy" are no longer preferred.

Use "osteopathic physician” as the preferred terminology when referring to a doctor of osteopathic medicine or D.O.

Use "osteopathic medicine" instead of osteopathy.

"Osteopathic" is an adjective and is a descriptor of medicine (to differentiate allopathic medicine).

  • Osteopathic medical students
  • Osteopathic medical college
  • Osteopathic medical education
  • Osteopathic medical profession

Osteopathic (D.O.) and Allopathic (M.D.) are both physicians.

Don’t use "osteopathic and medical doctors" or "doctors and osteopaths". (Both are medical doctors.)

Do use "osteopathic physician" and "osteopathic medicine".