D.O.: The Doctor of Osteopathy and Osteopathic Medical
The Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.)
emphasizes the musculoskeletal system and a concern for the human
patient as a complete entity in their treatment. Osteopathic
graduates practice in residencies under t he auspices of either the
American Osteopathic Association or the American Medical
Association. Different from the M.D., the D.O. practices osteopathic
manipulation and puts a special emphasis on primary care. Despite
this concentration, D.O.s can enter any medical specialty.
and Future Outlook. Most students learn about osteopathic
medicine by observing and talking with one or more osteopathic
physicians. Osteopathic physicians display the same personal
characteristics as allopathic physicians: personal integrity,
honesty, compassion, a willingness to learn and an ability to work
with the health care team. As the allopathic modes of practice and
philosophy move closer to osteopathic principles, the future of
osteopathic medicine appears bright.
How to Get into Osteopathic Medical Colleges
Preparation. There are
19 osteopathic medical colleges in the United States. Locations vary
with a majority in the Midwest, three in the west, and several in
the east. Most osteopathic medical schools require one academic year
of biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and general
physics with their respective laboratories, and English composition.
The pre-professions course requirements for every osteopathic school
in the United States can be found in The Education of the
Osteopathic Physician and the College Information Booklet.
Admissions officers also ask for MCAT scores.
submission of your application begins as of June 1st, a
year prior to matricul ation, through a standardized service.
Similar to AMCAS, The American Association of Colleges of
Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS) prepares an
application that details your extracurricular activities, a
transcript and a personal statement. The entire application process
mirrors that of allopathic schools. An admissions committee
evaluates GPA, MCAT scores, extracurricular activities and letters
of recommendation. Exceptional candidates interview at their
schools. Admissions committees of os teopathic schools seek students
who have an understanding and a sincere desire to practice the
principles of osteopathic medicine. In some cases, the committees do
not look favorably on students who apply to both allopathic and
osteopathic schools practice "rolling admissions" where schools
deliver acceptances before processing the entire application pool.
Schools notify students of an acceptance, rejection or a place on
the wait list within a few weeks o f their interview.
medicine presents challenges that differ from those of allopathic
physicians. As it gains acceptance from the public and medical
communities, the differences between osteopathic and allopathic
medicine will disappear. Despite a difficult path o practice
osteopathic medicine, those students who achieve success remain
motivated and positive throughout the experience.