There are a variety of paths to practicing medicine, and an alternative route to the MD (Doctor of Medicine) degree is the DO (osteopathic) degree.  Traditional “Allopathic” medical schools offer an MD degree, and train students in Western medicine; whereas “Osteopathic” medical schools offer a DO degree, and are viewed as more holistic and unconventional in their approach. There has been a significant increase in the numbers of osteopathic medical colleges (from 5 in 1968 to 25 in 2009), as well as the numbers of osteopathic graduates (increasing from 427 in 1969 to 3588 in 2009).   DO doctors practice primary care to a greater degree than MDs, including the specialties of internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics, and help fill physician shortages in these fields.  For more info, go to American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.