Osteopathy is an established recognized system of diagnosis and treatment, which lays its main emphasis on the structural and functional integrity of the body. It is distinctive by the fact that it recognizes that much of the pain and disability which we suffer stems from abnormalities in the function of the body structure as well as damage caused to it by disease.
[Description by General Osteopathic Council, 28th October 1998, United Kingdom]
In the United States (where osteopathy originated in the late 19th century) osteopaths are complete physicians, designated by the letters D.O. which stand for doctor of osteopathy and are licensed to practice medicine and surgery and all medical specialties in all 50 states.
This category contains osteopathic practitioner's homepages and clinic websites. In the U.S. D.O.'s are doctors of osteopathy and are complete physicians, licensed to perform surgery and prescribe medicine.
In other countries, D.O.'s are diplomates of osteopathy who mostly restrict their practice to OMT (osteopathic manipulative treatment) and do not prescribe medicine or perform surgery.
Osteopathic hospitals are accredited by the American Osteopathic Association through the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program which was originally developed starting in 1943. The program is recognized by Medicare, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988, and the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) as one of two US deeming authorities for the federal government.