Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) and doctors of allopathic medicine (MD) are two types of accredited doctors that can practice medical care in the United States. Both DOs and MDs complete rigorous training and study along similar paths. The main difference between DOs and MDs is their philosophy of care. DOs practice an osteopathic approach to care which focuses on the whole body and preventive care. MDs practice an allopathic approach using medication and surgery to manage and treat different conditions. According to the AMA (American Medical Association), a DO completes an extra 200 hours or more of hands-on training on the musculoskeletal system. However, in terms of practice, both DOs and MDs can pursue any specialty they choose.
Yes! Dr. Melissa received her B.S. in Biology at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.
Yes, again! Dr. Jones went to medical school in Kansas, Missouri at the University of Medicine and Biosciences. When she started medical school she thought she would like to go into the field of Neurology. However, she soon realized that she wanted to not limit herself to one area. Family Medicine started looking like a good match as she would be able to develop the relationship with her patients and manage the whole body approach which an osteopathic degree lends itself to.
Yep, you guessed it! Dr. Jones took the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Exam) Steps 1 and 2 required for MDs as well as the COMLEX (from the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners) exams prior to graduating. Both DOs and MDs complete a Residency program in the specialty of their choice. MDs train at a nationally accredited allopathic residency program, while DOs have a choice of training at an allopathic or an osteopathic program. Dr. Jones completed her residency training in Family Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center (now Atrium Health) because she was impressed with the program and also wanted to get closer to what felt like home in North Carolina. She has a lot of family in North Carolina and was born in High Point, NC.
In medical school, DOs have an extra 200 or more hours of study in the musculoskeletal system. Dr. Jones states, “We had OMT (Osteopathic Manipulation Therapy) labs weekly during medical school where we would be paired up with a different medical student and evaluate each other in shorts and sports bras to learn about structure, symmetry, and techniques to treat dysfunction. At first, it was intimidating palpating and learning on another classmate, but by the end of medical school, we all had a very good understanding of the anatomy of the body and could tell what normal versus abnormal would feel like. We also learned skills of OMT that incorporate modalities similar to physical therapy, massage therapy, and chiropractic therapy for treatment. In studying all the different systems of the body such as the pulmonary, skeletal, and neurological, we were trained in the classroom, and reinforced the training in our labs such that I palpated the individual ribs involved in the respiratory system, felt every vertebra and related muscles in the musculoskeletal system and learned some craniosacral techniques for headaches right along with all the neural pathways.”