What is a DO, or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine?

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What is a DO, or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine?

MDvsDODr. Jeffrey Nelson has the letters DO after his name instead of MD. Many patients are confused by this wondering what DO stands for, and how a DO differs from an M.D.
There are presently two foundational schools of medicine in the United States of America, which include Allopathic Medical Schools in which students earn an MD degree, and Osteopathic Medical Schools in which students earn a DO degree.
MD schools were the original medical schools, with the first Osteopathic Medical School being started in the United States by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still in 1874. Dr. Still was an MD who was dissatisfied with what he perceived to be the limitations of conventional medical training, because it was neglecting the inclusion of diagnostic and treatment techniques for a very significant part of the human body known as the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system is a very important part of the body which includes the muscles, bones, and nerves. Osteopathic Medical Schools therefore include the identical training given to MD students, along with the additional musculoskeletal training instituted by Dr. Still. Osteopathic Medical Schools are also the medical institutions that first championed the concept of treating the whole-person, or the holistic approach to patient care, and the revolutionary concept of preventative medicine which strives to promote a healthy lifestyle in order to prevent the onset of disease.
Dr. Nelson chose to attend DO school over MD school because of the additional training and their philosophical approach to patient care, which he believed offered a more comprehensive and complete foundational medical education. Graduates from DO medical schools are fully licensed physicians who are involved in all fields of medicine, which means that they have the equivalent rights, privileges and responsibilities as their MD counterparts regarding the practice of medicine and surgery. DO physicians practice the full scope of medicine throughout the United States, and currently in 65 countries around the world.
After graduating from DO medical school, Dr. Nelson completed a year-long general medical internship, followed by a four year residency specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology, which was then followed by a fellowship in an accredited program for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility through Pennsylvania Hospital. Pennsylvania Hospital is an MD institution, and was the first hospital ever established in the United States, founded by Thomas Penn and Benjamin Franklin. Dr. Nelson achieved his board certification in 1998. He joined HRC Fertility in 1992 and is presently the senior physician member of the medical group.
If you have any additional questions, Dr. Nelson would be happy to answer those personally.


Jeffrey Nelson, MD - 
Practicing Location

Pasadena Fertility Clinic


We are proud to report that as a result of our treatments several thousand babies have been born across the United States and around the world.