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Thursday October 1--Sunday October 4, 2020
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What is a DO?
If you're like most people, you've been going to physicians ever since you were born and perhaps were not aware whether some or all of them were osteopathic physicians, also known as DOs. You may not even be aware that there are two types of complete physicians in the United StatesundefinedDOs and MDs.
The fact is that both DOs and MDs are fully qualified physicians licensed to prescribe medication and perform surgery.
DOs and MDs are Alike in Many Ways
Students entering both DO and MD medical colleges typically have already completed four-year bachelor's degrees with an emphasis on scientific courses.
DOs, however, belong to a separate yet equal branch of American medical care. It is the ways that DOs and MDs are different that can bring an extra dimension to your health care.
The Osteopathic Approach
For more than a century, osteopathic physicians have built a tradition of bringing health care to where it is needed most:
Two snakes or one?
By tradition, the medical profession has been recognized by the caduceus symbol - a crude stick or staff intertwined with two serpents. The authentic caduceus of a doctor of osteopathy, however, is entwined with only a single serpent. There is an appropriate, though little known, reason behind this distinction.
In Greek and Roman mythology, the gods Hermes and Mercury carried a staff with two serpents. These two gods are described respectively as the "conductor of souls to Hades" and the "god of commerce and thieves." In contrast, the Roman god of healing, Aesculapius, carried a staff with a single snake. Snakes were sacred to Aesculapius because it was believed that they could renew their youth by shedding their old skin and growing a new one.
Historically, D.O.s have chosen to identify with the healing symbolism of Aesculapius' single snake emblem rather than the images portrayed by the patrons of the two-serpent version. NOTE: The addition of wings to either staff acknowledges medical personnel with military status.
Physicians treating people, not just symptoms.