Osteopathic Medical School

Osteopathic Medical School

Osteopathic Medical Schools

Osteopathic medical school training includes manipulative treatment, additional focus on the musculoskeletal system, and a primary goal of preventative health care. More than 60% of graduate osteopathic medical school students choose to pursue residencies in primary care specialties. Some primary care specialties include:

  • family medicine
  • general internal medicine
  • pediatrics
  • obstetrics and gynecology




Manipulative Medicine

Osteopathic medicine was founded more than 100 years ago by Andrew Taylor Still, M.D., D.O. an American physician and Civil War surgeon. Dr. Still hypothesized a link between anatomical abnormalities and physiological malfunction. This approach lead to the idea that a physician should treat patients holistically, focusing on the health as an interactive collection of factors, which includes mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. This is accomplished by the osteopathic physician using the traditional tools of medicine along with manipulative medical treatment.

Osteopathic manipulative treatment is a complement to the patient’s treatment options. In an osteopathic physician’s practice, the doctor treats both the anatomical structure and the physiological function.

According to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA):

When structure is improved, function is also improved; and when function is improved structure also improves. This process maintains and improves the body’s self-regulation and healing. These philosophical and practice training commitments are the principles that distinguish osteopathic physicians (D.O.) from allopathic physicians (M.D.).

The Osteopathic Philosophy

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine have a different philosophy regarding the approach to medical treatment. The principles of the Osteopathic philosophy are intended to guide osteopathic physicians to take a more hollistic approach to patient care. As defined by the American Osteopathic Association, the four principles of the osteopathic philosophy are as follows:

  1. A person is comprised of body, mind and spirit;
  2. The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing and health
    maintenance;
  3. The structure and function of the body are reciprocally related; and
  4. Rational medical treatment is based upon an understanding and integration of these three
    principles along with the use of evidence-based medicine.

Medical School Accreditation

Osteopathic medical schools are accredited by the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA). Medical Schools that are accredited by COCA are authorized to award the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine to successful graduates. COCA is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an accrediting body for Osteopathic Medical Schools.

Osteopathic Medical School Curriculum

The osteopathic medical school curriculum is similar to that of allopathic medical schools. The first two years of education focus on the basic medical sciences, which are the foundation to medicine. The first two years include lectures, laboratories, and other traditional learning environments. The information learned in these years are designed to prepare the student for the last two years of medical school.

The third and fourth year of the osteopathic medical school curriculum are the clinical clerkship years. The third and fourth year of medical school allow students to learn the core set of clinical examination skills and using practical application of the various systems of the body. Many medical schools place significance on the importance of early clinical exposure.

The following is a general guide of what is covered in the osteopathic medical school curriculum each year. Although the material listed is a good indication, each school tapers the fundamental guide to meet individual institutional needs. As a result, students are encouraged to view the curriculum information specific for each school for a more specific listing. The link to each osteopathic program can be found below.

Year 1

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Skills
  • Radiology
  • Osteopathic Principles and Practices
  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Neuroscience
  • Histology
  • Biochemistry
  • Pathology
  • Doctor/Patient Communication

Year 2

  • Gerontology
  • Cardiology
  • Gastrointestinal System
  • Hematopoietic System
  • Osteopathic Principles and Practices
  • Endocrinology
  • Psychiatry
  • Respiratory
  • Ethics and Jurisprudence
  • Family Medicine
  • Genitourinary System
  • Reproductive System
  • Pediatrics/Growth and Development
  • Pharmacology


Core Clinical Clerkships (Years 3 and 4)

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Osteopathic Principles and Practices
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
  • Surgery

Other Clinical Clerkships (Years 3 and 4)

  • Anesthesiology
  • Cardiology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Laboratory Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Oncology and Hematology
  • Orthopedics
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Pulmonary Medicine
  • Radiology


Board Examinations and Licensure

Osteopathic physicians are eligible for licensure in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and other territories and areas of the United States and Canada. In order to qualify for a license, medical students must graduate from an osteopathic medical school and complete the Comprehensive Osteopathic Licensure Examination (COMLEX), Levels I, II, III and PE. Level I of the COMLEX is taken after the second year of medical school. Level II is taken at the end of the clinical clerkship years (years 3 and 4), but prior to graduating from osteopathic medical school. Level III is taken prior to the end of the internship year and after graduation. The COMLEX-PE is an examination that tests the practical application of physical examination skills.

Osteopathic medical students are also eligible to take the United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE). The USMLE is the licensing exam taken by students in allopathic (M.D.) medical schools. Allopathic medical students, however, are not eligible to take the COMLEX.

Medical Schools Recognized by the AACOM

There are currently 29 colleges of osteopathic medicine recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM).Twenty-three of the Osteopathic Medical Schools are private; six are public.

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Carolinas Campus

350 Howard Street
Spartanburg, SC    29303
United States
Tel: (864) 327-9800 Fax: (864) 804-6986
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Carolinas Campus Website
[email protected] vcom.edu

A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM)

800 West Jefferson Street
Kirksville, MO    63501
United States
Tel: (660) 626-2237 Fax:
A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) Website

A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA)

5850 East Still Circle
Mesa, AZ    85206
United States
Tel: (660) 626-2237 Fax:
A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) Website

Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine

1118 Ross Clark Circle, Suite 210
Dothan, AL    36301
United States
Tel: (855) 364-ACOM (2266), (334) 699-2266 Fax: (334) 699-2268
Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University (AZCOM/MWU)

19555 North 59th Avenue
Glendale, AZ    85308
United States
Tel: (623) 572-3215 Fax:
Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University (AZCOM/MWU) Website

Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine

4350 US 421 South
Lillington , NC    27546
United States
Tel: (855) CUSOM13 [(855) 287-6613] (910) 893-1770 Fax: (910) 893-1777
Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University

555 31st Street
Downers Grove, IL    60515
United States
Tel: (630) 515-7200 Fax: (630) 971-6086
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University Website
[email protected]

Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine

3200 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA    50312
United States
Tel: (515) 271-1499 Fax: (515) 271-7163
Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Virginia Campus

2265 Kraft Drive
Blacksburg, VA    24060
United States
Tel: (540) 231-6138 Fax: (540) 231-5252
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Virginia Campus Website
[email protected]

Georgia Campus, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

625 Old Peachtree Road NW
Suwanee, GA    30024
United States
Tel: (678) 225-7500 Fax: (678) 225-7526
Georgia Campus, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

1750 Independence Avenue
Kansas City, MO    64106-1453
United States
Tel: (816) 654-7160 Fax: (816) 654-7161
Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences Website
[email protected]

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

1858 W. Grandview Blvd.
Erie, PA    16509
United States
Tel: (814) 866-6641 Fax: (814) 866-8123
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

LECOM Bradenton

5000 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard
Bradenton, FL    34211-4909
United States
Tel: (941) 756-0690 Fax: (941) 782-5730
LECOM Bradenton Website
[email protected]

Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM)

6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN    37752
United States
Tel: (423) 869-7090 Fax: (423) 869-7172
Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) Website
[email protected]

Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM)

3200 Cold Spring Rd
Indianapolis, IN    46222
United States
Tel: (317) 955-6297 Fax: (317) 822-6859
Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM) Website
[email protected]

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

A136 E. Fee Hall
East Lansing, MI    48824
United States
Tel: (517) 353-7740 Fax: (517) 355-3296
Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine

Northern Boulevard P.O. Box 8000
Old Westbury, NY    11568-8000
United States
Tel: (516) 686-3747 Fax: (516) 686-3831
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine

3301 College Avenue P.O. Box 299000
Fort Lauderdale, FL    33329-9905
United States
Tel: (866) 817-4068 Fax: (954) 262-2282
Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

102 Grosvenor Hall 1 Ohio University
Athens, OH    45701
United States
Tel: (800) 345-1560, (740) 593-4313 Fax: (740) 593-2256
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine (OSU-COM)

1111 W. 17th Street
Tulsa, OK    74107
United States
Tel: (918) 561-8468 Fax: (918) 561-8243
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine (OSU-COM) Website
[email protected]

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine

111 University Parkway, Suite 202
Yakima, WA    98901
United States
Tel: (866) 329-0521, (509) 452-5100 Fax: (509) 452-5101
Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

4170 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA    19131
United States
Tel: (800) 999-6998, (215) 871-6700 Fax: (215) 871-6719
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine

8401 S. Chambers Rd.
Parker, CO    80134
United States
Tel: (720) 875-2800 Fax: (720) 875-2897
Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM)

One Medical Center Drive Suite 210
Stratford, NJ    08084-1501
United States
Tel: (856) 566-7050 Fax: (856) 566-6895
Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM) Website
[email protected]

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine New York

2090 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, Suite 519
New York, NY    10027
United States
Tel: (212) 851-1199, ext. 2589; (646) 981-4518 Fax: (212) 851-1183, (212) 678-1785
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine New York Website
[email protected]

Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine California

1310 Club Drive
Vallejo, CA    94592
United States
Tel: (707) 638-5270, (888) 887-7336 Fax: (707) 638-5250
Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine California Website
[email protected]

Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine

874 American Pacific Drive
Henderson, NV    89014
United States
Tel: (702) 777-1750 Fax: (702) 777-3070
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

11 Hills Beach Road
Biddeford, ME    04005
United States
Tel: (207) 602-2329 Fax: (207) 602-5967
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

University of North Texas Health Science Center Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

3500 Camp Bowie Boulevard
Fort Worth, TX    76107-2699
United States
Tel: (817) 735-2204, (800) 535-TCOM (8266) Fax: (817) 735-2225
University of North Texas Health Science Center Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine

147 Sycamore Street
Pikeville, KY    41501
United States
Tel: (606) 218-5406, 218-5409 Fax: (606) 218-5405
University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM)

400 North Lee Street
Lewisburg, WV    24901
United States
Tel: 800) 356-7836, (888) 276-7836 Fax: 304-647-6384
West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) Website
[email protected]

Western University of Health Sciences/ College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (WesternU/COMP)

309 E. Second Street
Pomona, CA    91766-1854
United States
Tel: (909) 469-5335 Fax: (909) 469-5570
Western University of Health Sciences/ College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (WesternU/COMP) Website
[email protected]

William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine

498 Tuscan Avenue, Box 207
Hattiesburg, MS    39401
United States
Tel: (601) 318-6235 Fax: (601) 318-6410
William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine Website
[email protected]

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