What is the difference between an MD and a DO?

What is the difference between an MD and a DO? It’s easy to get confused with medical jargon and abbreviations. For example, you may be wondering what the differences are between an MD (Doctor of Medicine) from a DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). Tufts Medical Center Community Care – the northern suburbs’ premier provider of multispecialty medical care – explains what separates these two professionals.

MD vs. DO

In short, both MDs and DOs are licensed professionals who hold medical degrees from major universities and are qualified to address a wide variety of health concerns. The main difference between these two doctors is their approach to care. For example:

  • MDs take a more traditional approach that focuses on evaluating and addressing conditions through medicinal and surgical practices. Many MDs are medical specialists, such as cardiologists, gynecologists, endocrinologists, and rheumatologists.
  • DOs take a holistic approach that considers mind, body, and spirit, often with natural remedies and limited medication. Many DOs serve as primary care physicians.

Still, both of these doctors rely on scientifically proven conclusions to diagnose and treat patients and must meet the same rigorous standards to stay in practice.

Learn more information

If you have any questions about what type of doctor would be best for your unique needs, or if you would like to consult with one of the experienced doctors at Tufts Medical Center Community Care, we encourage you to contact our team today. With 80+ practitioners, several easily accessible locations, and ample appointment availability, Tufts makes is easy to find the right doctor.

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Patient Portal

myTuftsMed is our new online patient portal that provides you with access to your medical information in one place. MyTuftsMed can be accessed online or from your mobile device providing a convenient way to manage your health care needs from wherever you are.

With myTuftsMed, you can:

  1. View your health information including your medications, test results, scheduled appointments, medical bills even if you have multiple doctors in different locations.
  2. Make appointments at your convenience, complete pre-visit forms and medical questionnaires and find care or an emergency room.
  3. Connect with a doctor no matter where you are.
  4. Keep track of your children’s and family members’ medical care, view upcoming appointments, book visits and review test results.
  5. Check in on family members who need extra help, all from your private account.


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