The Medical Office of A. A. Emami, D.O., M.D., F.A.C.O.I.
Board Certified Internal Medicine
Fellow, American College of Osteopathic Internists
Former Certified Personal Trainer, American College of Sports Medicine (A.C.S.M.)

8080 East Gelding Drive
Suite D-101
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260

Phone*: 480.508.0541
Facsimile: 480.508.0542

What is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)?

What is a D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine)?

If you're like most people, you've been going to Physicians ever since you were born and perhaps were not aware whether some, or all of them, were Osteopathic Physicians, also known as D.O.s. You may not even be aware there are two types of complete Physicians in the United States: D.O.s and M.D.s.

The fact is that both D.O.s and M.D.s are fully qualified Physicians licensed to prescribe medication and perform surgery. Is there any difference between these two kinds of Physicians? Yes and no.

D.O.s and M.D.s are Alike in Many Ways:

  • Students entering both D.O. and M.D. medical colleges typically have already completed four-year bachelor's degrees with an emphasis on scientific courses.
  • Both D.O.s and M.D.s complete four years of basic medical education.
  • After medical school, both D.O.s and M.D.s obtain graduate medical education through internships, residencies and fellowships. This training lasts three-to-eight years and prepares D.O.s and M.D.s to practice a specialty.
  • Both D.O.s and M.D.s can choose to practice in any specialty of medicine such as Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Surgery, Ophthalmology and many more.
  • D.O.s and M.D.s must pass comparable examinations to obtain state licenses.
  • D.O.s, however, belong to a separate yet equal branch of American medical care. It is the ways that D.O.s and M.D.s are different that can bring an extra dimension to your health care.

More Than a Century of Unique Care

Osteopathic Medicine is a unique form of American medical care that was started in 1874 by Andrew Taylor Still, M.D., D.O. Dr. Still was dissatisfied with the effectiveness of 19th century medicine. He believed that many of the medications of his day were useless or even harmful. Dr. Still was one of the first in his time to study the attributes of good health so he could better understand the process of disease.

Dr. Still developed a philosophy of medicine based on ideas that date back to Hippocrates, the father of medicine. That philosophy focuses on the unity of all body parts. Dr. Still identified the musculoskeletal system as a key element of health. He recognized the body's ability to heal itself and stressed preventative medicine, eating properly, and keeping fit. Dr. Still pioneered the concept of "wellness" more than 135 years ago. In today's terms, D.O.s evaluate each patient's health risks--such as smoking, high blood pressure, excessive cholesterol levels, and stress. In concert with prescribing appropriate medical treatment, Osteopathic Physicians act as teachers to help patients take more responsibility for their well being and to change unhealthy patterns.

21st Century, Frontier Medicine

Just as Dr. Still pioneered osteopathic medicine in 1874, today's osteopathic Physicians serve as modern-day medical pioneers.

They continue the tradition of bringing health care to where it is needed most:

  • Approximately 60 percent of practicing Osteopathic Physicians practice in the primary-care specialties of Family Medicine, General Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Obstetrics/Gynaecology.
  • Many D.O.s fill a critical need for Physicians by practicing in rural and other medically underserved communities. In addition, these modern-day pioneers practice on the cutting edge of medicine. D.O.s combine today's medical technology with their ears to listen carefully to their patients, with their eyes to see their patients as whole persons and with their hands to diagnose and treat patients for injury and illness.


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