Differences in patient satisfaction between osteopathic and allopathic physicians
Demosthenes, George A.
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The two types of physicians in the United States healthcare system differ based on the type of medical education they receive. The first type train at allopathic medical schools and upon completion, students are awarded their Doctorate of Medicine and are then known as MDs. The second, less known type of medical education is that of osteopathy. Students that go to osteopathic medical schools earn a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, and are thus considered DOs. This literature review analyzed public satisfaction with MDs or DOs since there are fundamental differences in the core philosophies of the two. It also answers whether this translates into better clinical outcomes and a more positive prognosis for the patient. The purpose of this study was to find any noticeable differences that translated into actual practice and discuss the implications they may have for the future of healthcare. Although no conclusion could be made, based on findings discussed throughout this paper, one may speculate that patients are more satisfied with a DO as opposed to an MD. Furthermore, as a patients' satisfaction is indicative of their health related quality of life, it is possible that patients that visit DO physicians would most likely have a better health related quality of life.