MD vs DO: What is the Difference? MD vs DO: What is the Difference? MDs (Doctors of Medicine) and DOs (Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine) both undergo extensive medical training, including four years of medical school and various residency programs, but they differ in their educational approach and philosophy. MDs specialize in allopathic medicine, which concentrates on diagnosing and treating diseases through medications and surgery. In contrast, DOs focus on osteopathic medicine, emphasizing a holistic approach, the body’s musculoskeletal system, and preventive care, along with additional training in Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT). Both MDs and DOs are fully licensed to practice medicine and prescribe medication in all 50 states. The choice between an MD and a DO usually depends on personal preference or specific healthcare needs, as both are fully qualified to provide a comprehensive range of medical services.