In the US, Doctors of Osteopathy (DOs) are medical school trained, practicing physicians (equivalent to MD). So what’s the difference?

“Osteopathic physicians bring the additional benefits of osteopathic manipulative techniques to diagnose and treat patients.” Which translates to some additional courses in methods such as Craniosachral Therapy – skull squeezing. Where did they come up with this?
“William Garner Sutherland DO (1873-1954) graduated from the American School of Osteopathy (ASO) in 1900. Dr. Sutherland described different aspects of the PRM, including the motility of the Neural Tube, the mobility of the cranial membranes and bones, and a core link between the cranium and sacrum that coordinated their motion. He identified the fluctuation of the cerebrospinal fluid as the first and most fundamental principle of this mechanism. Within it, he had found a potency, an invisible fluid within the fluid, that had Intelligence. This Tide, containing what Dr. Still called the “highest known element”, was of central importance in the cranial concept. Dr. Sutherland called this invisible element the “Breath of Life”. He observed that when the CSF fluctuation was brought to a short rhythmic period of fluctuation, a stillness was revealed at the center of the Tide, and a transmutative process unfolded in which the Breath of Life nourished every cell in the body.”

Now, I’m not saying that DOs are bad doctors. I’ve tackled this subject once before after a DO almost killed my friend, and subsequently ruined a dinner party when I criticized the practice.

I asked Dr. David Gorski (MD, PhD, surgeon and managing editor of Science-Based Medicine), and he explained:
“In the US, most DOs are not distinguishable from MDs. They still learn woo in school but usually don’t use it in practice. Postgraduate training generally weans DOs from the woo, or they learn it because they have to and then forget.”

How is it that this bit of pseudoscience has attracted so many medical students? Perhaps because it opens up a market of potential patients looking for more “holistic” experience.

↓ Transcript
For my article, can you explain what you're doing?
Of course! It's a manipulation known as craniosacral therapy.

How is osteopathy different from alternative medicine?
D.O.'s go through med school. Think of it as an elective.

So really, you should know better than to perform skull squeezing as a treatment?

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