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Last Updated: 03/18/15

Osteopathic Medical Schools

Most of this website has been devoted to getting into allopathic (MD) medical school. However, you should know that there is another fantastic option when it comes to practicing medicine – attending osteopathic medical schools and becoming a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). So what is a DO anyway, and how do they differ from MDs?

What is Osteopathy and How is it Taught in Osteopathic Medical Schools?

According to the Cecil Textbook of Medicine, there is almost no difference in the medical training for osteopathic medical schools and allopathic medical schools in the United States. The only distinguishable difference is that DO schools teach Osteopathic Manipulation Treatment. This is a technique in which the doctor uses his hands to manipulate the patient’s body to prevent or treat some disease process. This therapy goes along naturally with the osteopathic belief system that the whole body is connected and its structure relates to function. This is the only major way that osteopathy differs from allopathic medicine.

There are fewer DO schools in the US than allopathic schools, therefore the majority of doctors in the US are MDs. In general, osteopathic schools are less competitive to get into than MD schools and graduates of DO schools are considered less competitive applicants for residency programs. Therefore, many DOs end up in less competitive specialties such as family medicine and emergency medicine. Please be aware that these are very generalized statements and you should research every school that you are interested in attending.

Our Opinion on Osteopathy and Osteopathic Medical Schools

Osteopathy and Osteopathic medicine is a great option for anyone who wants to practice medicine, but is looking for an alternative to the MD degree. It is especially useful for those who want to become a doctor but wish to complete their training in the United States (as opposed to the Caribbean). However, you should research the match list of every school you plan on applying to so you can gauge how tough it is to match into your specialty of choice. Click here for our list of accredited osteopathic medical schools.