By Ehren Allen, DPT/Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist

There are lots of different types of doctors.  Most doctors specialize in an area of medicine.  But before they choose a specialty, they must first complete a rigorous medical education.  Their medical training can occur at a School of Medicine or a School of Osteopathic Medicine.  Doctors who train at a traditional school of Medicine receive a Doctor of Medicine Degree (MD).  Physicians who train at a School of Osteopathic Medicine receive a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (DO).

image of an Osteopathy physician

Image of an Osteopathic Physician

What is Osteopathy or Osteopathic Medicine?

Osteopathy is the study of medicine with an emphasis on treating muscles and bones.  Historically, Osteopathic physicians treated medical issues with manual techniques and manipulation or massage.  Today, Osteopathic physicians still train on manual treatment techniques, but they also incorporate medicines and traditional western forms of doctoring.

What is the Difference Between MD and DO?

An M.D. is a medical doctor who was trained at a traditional medical school.  A D.O. is an Osteopathic Doctor who trained at an Osteopathic Medical School.  Both MDs and DOs can specialize in many areas of medicine or surgery. MDs are more likely to choose a specialized area of medicine or surgery though.


Does my Insurance Pay for Osteopathy?

The quick answer is yes.  Doctors of Osteopathy are typically covered the same as Doctors of Medicine by insurance companies.  It is important to confirm whether your doctor is in your insurance network to determine how a visit with be covered. This is necessary for MDs and DOs.

Portrait an unknown male doctor holding a stethoscope behind

Image of Doctor of Osteopathy

How Long Do Osteopaths have to go to School?

Most Osteopathic Medical Schools require a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree (4-year degree) to enter the program.  Then, DO’s must complete 4 years of training in Osteopathic Medicine.  Following the DO training, Doctors of Osteopathy typically complete a residency.  Residency programs range from 3 to 8 years, depending on the specialty they choose.


Is My Doctor an Osteopath?

To find out whether your doctor is an Osteopath, simply look at the letters after their name.  At the Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute, we have 3 Doctors of Osteopathy who treat our patients.  One is an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon (Dr. James Perry).  The other 2 are Physiatrists or Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialists (Dr. Robert Savarese and Dr. Aaron Martin).  Our DOs and MDs are available in our offices to schedule appointments Online. 

For physical therapy appointments, please call 904-858-7045. 


If you would like to schedule an appointment in our offices or online, please call 904-JOI-2000 or click the link below.

Book An Appointment with a JOI Physician

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