I started seeing a DO — a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine — almost on accident.
I didn’t see the point of making an appointment. For years, I only went to the OB/GYN, once a year most years, and what felt like eleven million times during each of my pregnancies. With two young children at home, making a doctor’s appointment — when I wasn’t even sick — seemed ridiculous.
After he had a physical, my husband saw it differently. He encouraged me to schedule an annual physical, much in the same way I diligently scheduled the kids’ well visits. How to find a doctor when I wasn’t even sure I needed one kept falling to the bottom of my priority list. I dragged my feet, but after getting recommendations from several of my friends for the same doctor, I made an appointment.
I discovered the doctor was a DO when I did a quick Google search for the exact location of the office, which I found vaguely interesting. I’d read about the difference between MDs and DOs at some point when one of my friends was considering medical school, but I didn’t think I’d notice much of a difference during a routine physical.
My appointment with my DO
After the typical medical visit routine — weight, height, blood pressure — I waited on the familiar doctor’s table. I’d never been in the office, but the table and the exam room seemed exactly like every other doctor’s office I’d visited. I wondered how different the appointment would really be.
My doctor knocked, walked into the room, sat down, and then gestured at me to do the same — and she didn’t mean perched on the edge of the table. I sat across from her, and she began going over my history, but she asked questions I hadn’t expected, like how much sleep I’d been getting, how tired I felt, and what I was doing to combat my fatigue.
Throughout my visit, and during subsequent visits, I felt very heard during my appointments. She listened to my concerns about not really feeling like I was making gains in my fitness, even with a steady amount of running, and she suggested dietary and lifestyle tweaks I could make — including more sleep. She chatted with me about balancing normal “I’m a mom with two small kids” tiredness with being overly stressed, letting me know I’d sleep again — one day — and never made me feel my concerns were invalid just because I was in good overall health.
About Doctors of Osteopathic medicine
I shouldn’t have been surprised that my doctor was interested in how my sleep, diet, and lifestyle were connected to how I was feeling and how frustrated I was with my running progress.
Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine believe there’s more to good health than just being free of pain or illness. DOs are fully licensed physicians trained to listen and partner with their patients, not only to heal sickness but to keep patients well.
I love seeing a woman doctor, and the number of women DOs under the age of 45 rose 62% between 2010 and 2015. DOs can be found in any medical specialty, but they always practice the same philosophy of considering the person within the patient.
Find a DO near you or learn more at DoctorsThatDo.org
Disclaimer: Compensation was provided for this blog via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of American Osteopathic Association or Momtrends.