Osteopathic Medical Education

Preparing for Admission

To be considered for admission to any of the nation's osteopathic medical schools, applicants typically have a bachelor's degree with undergraduate studies that include one year each of English, biological sciences, physics, general chemistry and organic chemistry. Other requirements may include genetics, mathematics and psychology. Most prospective osteopathic medical school students major in sciences with an emphasis in biology or chemistry; however, applicants may major in any discipline as long as they meet the minimum course and grade requirements. Applicants must also take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).

Osteopathic medicine is a people-oriented profession that demands dedicated and empathetic individuals. Prospective osteopathic medical students must exhibit a genuine concern for people. Applicants may wish to spend some time with an osteopathic physician or do volunteer work in a healthcare setting before considering a career in the field. Osteopathic medical colleges require a personal interview to assess an applicant's desire to become an osteopathic physician. For a catalog of requirements and information, contact any of the osteopathic medical schools listed at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine web site.

The Osteopathic Curriculum

The first two years of the osteopathic medical curriculum focus on basic sciences. The third and fourth years emphasize clinical work, with much of the teaching in community hospitals, major medical centers and doctors' offices. During the clinical years, students study general medicine and are involved in research. They rotate through urban, suburban and rural settings, gaining exposure to all areas of medicine. Osteopathic principles and practices, which emphasize the relationship between body systems, are integrated into the four-year curriculum. Students learn osteopathic manipulative treatment for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Click here to view a list of colleges of osteopathic medicine.