Difference between OD and MD

Before diving into the differences, it is important to know that OD is short for Doctor of Osteopathy while MD is short for Doctor of Medicine.


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OD vs MD

The difference between OD and MD is that an OD focuses on treatment for the entire body with the use of either traditional or non-traditional medication. On the other hand, an MD focuses on treatment for a specific illness, injury, or disease in a patient by prescribing traditional medication.

OD vs MD

An OD or Doctor of Osteopathy is a medically licensed physician who uses quite a different approach with patients. While handling a patient, an OD focuses on treatment and care for the entire body and not just one specific part of it.

An MD or Doctor of Medicine is a medically licensed doctor whose aim is to treat a patient for specific conditions. These conditions could include injuries, illnesses, or diseases that affect certain parts of the body.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonODMD
AbbreviationOD stands for Doctor of Osteopathy.MD stands for Doctor of Medicine.
TreatmentAn OD uses a full-body approach while treating a patient.An MD treats the patient only for specific conditions which may include illness, injury, or disease.
MedicineAn OD uses either traditional or non-traditional medicine for treatment.An MD uses traditional medicine which he/she prescribes to treat a patient.
FocusAn OD focuses more on prevention by assessing the lifestyle and habits of the patient.An MD focuses more on curing the patient for specific conditions that may affect certain parts of their body.
SchoolingAn OD is trained in an Osteopathy school.An MD is trained in a Medical School.
PracticesAn OD is trained and licensed to perform physical manipulations such as Osteopathic Medical Treatment.An MD is not trained or licensed to perform physical manipulations for patients.

What is OD?

OD stands for Doctor of Osteopathy. These are medically licensed physicians who treat the entire body of a patient. They may use traditional or non-traditional medicine to do so.

A strong focus for an osteopathic professional in primary care. However, these physicians have ample practice in all medical specialties.

Doctors of Osteopathy must complete four years of schooling from a place that grants legitimate degrees for the same. The primary focus while learning is on the subjects of preventive medicine and overall patient care.

Interestingly, the only osteopathic programs that qualify people to become osteopathic doctors are present in the United States. This osteopathy degree is equally prestigious as one obtained by a Doctor of Medicine.


What is MD?

MD stands for Doctor of Medicine. These doctors are medically licensed professionals whose job is to treat specific conditions such as illness, injury, or disease in specific parts of the body.

An MD is also called an allopathic doctor. The study is called allopathic medicine, conventional medicine, or mainstream medicine.

A Doctor of Medicine can choose whether he/she wants to become a broad practitioner, family doctor, or primary care doctor. There are a lot of different areas in which these doctors can specialize.

A Doctor of Medicine must complete four years of education to acquire an undergraduate degree. In doing so, a graduate must successfully pass an exam to be admitted to a medical college where he/she can pursue further studies.


Main Differences Between OD and MD

  1. An OD focuses on prevention while an MD focuses on the cure.
  2. An OD is trained in osteopathy school while an MD is trained in medical school.
Difference between OD and MD


  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/331708
  2. https://europepmc.org/article/med/9556692
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