What is a D.O. doctor?
What is a Neurologist?
A neurologist is a medical doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system. A neurologist’s educational background and medical training includes an undergraduate degree, four years of medical school, a one-year internship and three years of specialized training. Many neurologists also have additional training in one area of neurology such as stroke, epilepsy or movement disorders.
Neurologists are principal care providers or consultants to other physicians. When a patient has a neurological disorder that requires frequent care, a neurologist is often the principal care provider. Patients with disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease or multiple sclerosis may use a neurologist as their principal care physician.
In a consulting role, a neurologist will diagnose and treat a neurological disorder and then advise the primary care physician managing the patient’s overall health. For example, a neurologist would act in a consulting role for conditions such as stroke, concussion or headache.
Neurologists can recommend surgical treatment, but do not perform surgery. When treatment includes surgery, neurologists will monitor surgically treated patients and supervise their continuing treatment. Neurosurgeons are medical doctors who specialize in performing surgical treatments of the brain or nervous system.
Neurologists treat disorders of the nervous system, brain, spinal cord, nerves, muscles and pain. Common neurological disorders include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Sleep Disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Back pain
- Peripheral Nerve Disorders
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Many disorders can be treated. Treatment or symptomatic relief is different for each condition. To find treatment options, neurologists will perform and interpret tests of the brain or nervous system. Treatment can help patients with neurological disorders maintain the best possible quality of life.
During a neurological examination, the neurologist reviews the patient’s health history with special attention to the current condition. The patient then takes a neurological exam. Typically, the exam tests vision, strength, coordination, reflexes and sensation. This information helps the neurologist determine if the problem is in the nervous system. Further tests may be needed to confirm a diagnosis or to find a specific treatment.
An examination is used when a family doctor seeks a specialized opinion about a patient whose symptoms may involve the brain or nervous system. The examination may also be performed when a patient wants a second opinion from a neurologist. The neurologist’s expertise in disorders of the brain and nervous system can give patient’s effective diagnosis and treatment for neurological disorders.
- Persistent or sudden onset of a headache
- A headache which changes
- Loss of feeling or tingling
- Weakness or loss of muscle strength
- Sudden loss of sight
- Lack of coordination
- Muscle rigidity
- Muscle spasms or tics
Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.)
A doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) is a physician licensed to practice medicine, perform surgery, and prescribe medication.
A doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) is very much like a traditional medical doctor (M.D.), but receives additional training in the body’s musculoskeletal system. This training teaches D.O.s to examine, diagnose and treat the body as a whole, rather than treating a single illness or symptom. A doctor of osteopathy takes a more holistic approach to medicine by looking at the body as a complete system, instead of placing emphasis on one particular part.
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Like allopathic physicians (or M.D.s), osteopathic physicians complete 4 years of medical school and can choose to practice in any specialty of medicine. However, osteopathic physicians receive an additional 300 – 500 hours in the study of hands-on manual medicine and the body’s musculoskeletal system.
Osteopathic medicine is dedicated to treating and healing the patient as a whole, rather than focusing on one system or body part. An osteopathic physician will often use a treatment method called osteopathic manipulative treatment (also called OMT or manipulation) — a hands-on approach to make sure that the body is moving freely. This free motion ensures that all of your body’s natural healing systems are able to work unhindered.
Osteopathic physicians hold to the principle that a patient’s history of illness and physical trauma are written into the body’s structure. The osteopathic physician’s highly developed sense of touch allows the physician to feel (palpate) the patient’s “living anatomy” (the flow of fluids, motion and texture of tissues, and structural makeup).
Like M.D.s, osteopathic physicians are licensed at the state level. Osteopathic physicians who wish to specialize may become “board certified” (in much the same manner as M.D.s) by completing a 2- to 6-year residency within the specialty area and passing the board certification exams.
D.O.s practice in all specialties of medicine, ranging from emergency medicine and cardiovascular surgery to psychiatry and geriatrics. A majority of osteopathic doctors use many of the medical and surgical treatments that are used by other medical doctors.
URL of this answer: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002020.htm