Medical students attending osteopathic schools (DOs) must take an additional 200 hours of training learning manipulation techniques of the musckeloskeltial system.
DO physicians tend to be primary care physicians, whereas U.S.M.D.’s tend to specialize in more specific types of medicine (Dermatology, Cardiology, Orthopedics, etc.)
In the United States, 67.4% of active physicians are M.D.s vs. 7.3% which are D.O.s (The remaining 24.2% received their degree from a medical school outside of the United States.)
DO students take the Comprehensive Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX). MD medical students take the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE).
MD.’s tend to practice medicine in urban, metropolitan areas. D.O.’s are most prevalent in rural areas.
Technically, a DO’s salary is no less than an MD’s salary. In other words, a doctor’s annual salary is determined by a number of factors, primarily their field of specialization (radiologists, plastic surgeon, cardiologists, family medicine, etc.). Whether or not a practicing physician is a DO or MD is not one of these factors.
However, if you look at the raw data, you’ll notice the average annual wages of an MD are slightly higher than a DO. This statistic is misleading. MD’s tend to earn larger salaries, because they tend to specialize, attend school for several additional years, and live in metropolitan areas where the cost of living is much higher; not because the initials after their name are MD rather than DO