By Lynne Adkins

By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, PCOM, has been around since 1899, but many in the area have no idea what makes a D.O. different than an M.D.

A doctor of osteopathic medicine spends the same number of years in school and can do all the things a medical doctor can do, but Dr. Lauren Noto-Bell, an assistance professor at PCOM, says D.O.’s receive additional training in how to manipulate the muscles and bone to affect body function.

Say a patient has COPD, a chronic lung condition, “Their ribs do not move as well as yours or mine and with that they can’t have proper lung function. What we can do is help the ribs move a little more freely and give that patient a little bit better lung function, or it could help their medication work better.

She says D.O.s are hands on, manipulating the body similar to a chiropractor.