Most people just know the term “eye doctor”, but in reality, there are several different kinds of “eye doctors”.
What’s the difference between an MD and DO?
For patients, there is virtually no difference between the treatment by an MD or DO. They are both similarly educated and certified, attending 4 years of medical school, plus an additional residency program ranging from 3-7 years.
While they are similarly educated, there are differences in their training and philosophy of patient care. Both an MD and DO learn in medical school the scientific foundations needed to be licensed physicians, but they take different approaches to diagnosis and treatment.
MD stands for Medical Doctor or Doctor of Medicine (Allopathic doctor)
- MD’s are the most common type of physician currently practicing in the United States.
- MD’s focus on the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.
- MD’s use treatments that affect someone who’s ill differently than someone who’s healthy.
DO stands for or Doctor of Osteopathy or Osteopathic Doctor
- A DO is a physician whose medical school training included a focus on the muscular and skeletal systems to treat problems throughout the body.
- DO’s are trained to consider a patient’s environment, nutrition, and body system as a whole when diagnosing and treating medical conditions.
- DO’s take on a more holistic approach and focus heavily on prevention. DO’s are known for seeing the patient as a “whole person” to reach a diagnosis, rather than treating the symptoms alone.
To sum it up, both MD’s and DO’s are highly educated, qualified doctors with the ability to take care of your healthcare needs. Choosing an eye doctor is a personal choice and you need to decipher what style and qualities are important to you with regard to your care. You should focus on experience, bedside manner, reputation, communication skills, and most importantly, their ability to relate to you and perform procedures that you need.