Osteopathic Physician (DO)

Osteopathic physicians (also called doctors of osteopathic medicine, or DOs) are doctors who base diagnosis and treatment on the theory that the body's systems are interconnected. They combine disease prevention and health maintenance with conventional medicine. DOs often use a treatment called manipulation or manual medicine, which is a hands-on approach that may include massage or pressure on an area of the body.

DOs can prescribe medicine, order medical tests, and perform surgery. They serve as primary care providers, provide care in hospital settings, and may become certified in a specialty, such as anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology, or general surgery. Currently, there are no osteopathic medical schools in Canada and DOs have received their training in other countries, such as the United States.

Osteopathic physicians complete osteopathic medical school, followed by an internship and residency program. Accreditation of colleges of osteopathic medicine is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Postsecondary Education.

Like doctors who have an MD (Medical Doctor) degree, DOs must pass a medical board exam to obtain a licence and enter practice. DOs must also register through the medical licensing council and either the College of Family Physicians (CFP) or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC).

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