Physicians (M.D.s/D.O.s) diagnose illness and injury, prescribe and administer treatment, and advise patients about how to prevent and manage disease.
There are two paths to becoming a doctor: allopathic medicine, which leads to an M.D. , or osteopathic medicine, which leads to a D.O.
Physicians examine patients, obtain medical histories, and order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel patients about illness, injuries, health conditions, and preventive healthcare (diet/fitness, smoking cessation, etc.). They can also conduct medical research, teach, and run medical centers. People with medical education are in demand in many areas. Physicians work in one or more specialties, including, among others:
- family and general medicine
- general internal medicine
- general pediatrics
- obstetrics and gynecology
» Learn more about Allopathic Medicine
Osteopathic physicians diagnose illness and injury, prescribe and administer treatment, and advise patients about how to prevent and manage disease. Like M.D.s, they are licensed to diagnose, treat, prescribe medications, and perform surgery in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Today, 20 percent of all new U.S. medical students are studying at a college of osteopathic medicine.
In addition to using all of the tools and technology available to modern medicine, D.O.s have a strongly holistic philosophy and practice osteopathic manipulative medicine - a distinctive system of hands-on diagnosis and treatment which focuses specifically on the musculoskeletal system.
» Learn more about Osteopathic Medicine
Podiatric medicine is a branch of the medical sciences devoted to the study of human movement, with the medical care of the foot and ankle as its primary focus. A doctor of podiatric medicine has undergone lengthy, thorough study to become uniquely well-qualified to treat a specific part of the body. Many practitioners can focus on a particular area of podiatric medicine. These options can include surgery, sports medicine, biomechanics, geriatrics, pediatrics, orthopedics, and primary care.
» Learn more about Podiatry
PAs are formally trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive healthcare services, as delegated by a physician. Working as members of the healthcare team, they take medical histories, examine and treat patients, order and interpret laboratory tests and X-rays, make diagnoses, and prescribe medications. They also treat minor injuries by suturing, splinting, and casting. PAs record progress notes, instruct and counsel patients, and order or carry out therapy.
» Learn more about Physician Assistants