Difference Between Allopathic and Osteopathic Physician

Allopathic and osteopathic physicians are just like any doctor available for treatment. Their learning years are a total pre-residency preparation for a job as a doctor.


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Though the coursework of both the physicians can be considered more or less similar, the academic credentials or the titles earned by the two doctors are different.

The classes and subjects for both the courses are also similar including anatomy, biochemistry, and physiology.

Allopathic vs Osteopathic Physician

The difference between allopathic and osteopathic physicians is that the students opting for osteopathic courses need to have an additional 200 hours of practice in their residency years that gives them extra hands-on practice and training focusing them on the structural difference related to the multiple body parts. Allopathic physicians only need to fulfill the basic required training hour.

Allopathic vs Osteopathic Physician

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Allopathic physicians are trained on the classical form of medicine that is the more traditional method of medicine followed by doctors and physicians since times immemorial.

Their origin dates back to Greek medicine and practices are done by the physicians who tended to all kinds of medical crisis that was then believed incurable.

Their treatment method involves only the curing of symptoms.

Osteopathic physicians are trained to provide patients with a kind of interactive session where the doctors understand not just the physical ailments of the patient but also their mental state of mind and thereby helping them overcome issues that others might shove off as a mental issue that needs to be treated.

They have a lot of patient-doctor interaction.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAllopathic Physician  Osteopathic Physician
Treatment MethodClearing the symptoms aloneNot just a simple cure but to understand the mental and social well being of the patient
Degree AttainedMDDO
Purpose of Diagnostic StrategyOnly to cure the patientNot only to cure but to try and prevent the disease
General Outline of CureTraditional and philosophical medical formA holistic medical form
Present SinceHas been going on since the time of ancient GreeksSince the 19th century

What is Allopathic Physician? 

Allopathic physicians procure a degree in MD that stands for Doctor of Medicine.

Allopathic physicians are trained with the traditional medicine concept kept in mind making sure to clear off symptoms.

The traditional form of medicine is also called the classical medicinal technique adapted by most medical schools catering to allopathic doctors.

Allopathic physicians have been taught to follow a particular method of curing and treating the patients that come to them.

This method focuses on the diagnosis of the symptoms that a patient comes in with. This treatment helps in fast proceeding of patient inflow and thereby avoiding crowding in the physician’s OP.

Allopathic physicians, like all other medical practitioners, can see the patients, give medicine prescriptions as well as do surgeries.

The origins of allopathic medical techniques age back to the ancient Greeks. Hippocrates, a great Greek physician has been well known at the time and now for his allopathic approach to patients.

Even today, medical graduates take the ancient oath called the Hippocrates oath but with the difference that it has been translated to English from its traditional Greek form.

The Hippocrates oath is what the physicians take to heart to provide them with the right path in treatment and diagnosis.

Allopathic physicians are considered to be thinking in a more cerebral manner that is without giving the other aspects of the patient’s issue including their mental well-being.

The MD course is a high opportunity one. Once a student or resident doctor has graduated, a position as an allopathic physician is guaranteed for them.

Most allopathic med schools are always in affiliation with a research-based institute or university thereby providing its students with a chance to widen their experimental skills on the field.

Allopathic physicians usually diagnose their patients either by referring them to multiple tests like blood tests, stool tests, urine tests, etc, or by many other procedures like MRI scan, CT scan, X-Ray, etc.

What is Osteopathic Physician?

Doctors serving as osteopathic physicians need to complete a degree called DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine).

Osteopathic physicians are trained in a holistic form of medicine that takes into account not only the symptoms that a patient comes in with but also the other aspects of well being of that patient.

These other aspects include the patient’s mental well-being that is not restricted by any barrier and could be either depression or other mental stress either from family or from the workplace. Another element is social well-being.

Just like any other category of doctors, osteopathic physicians also can prescribe medicines and interact with the patients as well as perform surgeries when necessary.

Osteopathic physicians learn a new element of medicinal study called Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT). This additional element prompts the diagnostic method of the osteopathic physicians.

The DO degree emphasis the belief that the body as a whole can be considered only as one and that all parts function as a single unit. The body with time given the patient has patience can heal itself.

The major emphasizing factor in the Osteopathic medical study is that any disease can be cured.

Osteopathic physicians receive special training as per the OMT rules that give the doctors extra hands-on practice to realize and diagnose disease.

The complete principle followed by Osteopathic medicine is that the body is a unit in sync with the mind and that given time the body can overcome any disease and heal itself.

The practice of osteopathic medicine began in the late 19th century during which a holistic approach at the time of crisis was not heard of.

On many bases this is the least opted for method of medical practice. Osteopathic physicians see the whole body as a single interconnected system.

Main Differences Between Allopathic and Osteopathic Physician

  1. While osteopathic physicians take into account the holistic treatment way that is including many other aspects of a patient’s well-being including mental and social aspects, allopathic physicians stick with treating a patient’s symptoms and the symptoms alone.
  2. While allopathic medical schools keep themselves affiliated with many research institutes and universities to enhance the research and experimental skills of their students, most osteopathic medical schools don’t have such affiliations.
  3. Allopathic physicians diagnose the patients with tests and procedures including MRI, X-Ray, blood test, urine samples, etc whereas osteopathic physicians diagnose their patients with a lot more interaction as talking to them and then using a few physical techniques like cracking the joints and relieving the pain.
  4. Osteopathic physicians gain a lot more hands-on practice on patient-doctor interaction that enables them to stand true to what their degree has taught them in treating patients but in the case of allopathic physicians, their expertise depends on their medicine prescription and surgical tactics.
  5. More people opt for the allopathic medicinal form due to its vast opportunity and the competitive nature of the admission process to allopathic med schools whereas there are lesser people who opt for osteopathic medicine.
  1. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.7556/jaoa.2019.092/html
  2. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.7556/jaoa.2005.20033/html
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