What Can You Do With an Osteopathic Medicine Degree?

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) leads and advocates for the full continuum of osteopathic medical education to improve the health of the public. Founded in 1898 to support and assist the nations osteopathic medical schools, AACOM represents all 38 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine—educating nearly 34,000 future physicians, 25 percent of all U.S. medical students—at 60 teaching locations in 34 U.S. states, as well as osteopathic graduate medical education professionals and trainees at U.S. medical centers, hospitals, clinics and health systems.

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, complete four years of osteopathic medical school, with an emphasis on preventive medicine and comprehensive patient care. They are trained to recognize the interrelated unity among all systems of the body, each working with the other to promote overall health and wellness.

73 Questions with an Osteopathic (D.O.) Medical Student | ND MD

What is osteopathic manipulative medicine?

Osteopathic manipulative medicine, or OMM, is a process that uses a physicians hands to diagnose, treat and prevent injury. D.O.s may stretch, move or put pressure on a patients muscles and joints to fix structural issues in the body. There are 15 major types of OMM therapy and over 1,000 individual techniques.

What is an osteopathic medicine degree?

An osteopathic medicine degree is a specific type of medical degree that focuses on holistic approaches to medicine. Recipients of this degree are called doctors of osteopathic medicine. It is different from an M.D. degree because it focuses on the holistic treatment of the entire person instead of individual body parts. D.O.s train in the same disciplines as M.D.s but also receive additional training in a technique known as osteopathic manipulative medicine.

What is COMLEX?

The comprehensive osteopathic medical licensure exam, or COMLEX, is a licensing exam that tests a D.O. graduates ability to practice osteopathic medicine. When you pass the COMLEX, you become a licensed physician and are qualified to enter a residency program. Some osteopathic professionals take both the COMLEX and the United States Medical Licensing Examination, or USMLE, although only one is necessary to match for a residency.

What is the difference between a D.O and an M.D.?

People with D.O. and M.D. degrees are physicians and can practice medicine in the United States. However, there are a few differences between the two degrees. A D.O. degree requires a certain amount of credit hours learning and practicing OMM techniques in addition to the requirements of an M.D. degree. The two degrees also take different licensing exams: D.O.s take the COMLEX while M.D.s take the USMLE.

What do you learn in an osteopathic medicine degree?

Most of what you learn in a D.O. program is the same as an allopathic medical program. You take courses in anatomy, biology, biochemistry and physiology. Osteopathic doctors also learn additional skills focused on holistic medicine such as OMM practices and primary care. Many osteopathy schools include a year-long internship in a primary care field such as internal medicine or pediatrics.

What jobs can you do with an osteopathic medicine degree?

Osteopathic medicine practitioners are fully certified physicians and are qualified to practice any specialty of medicine. Because of their holistic approach, physicians with a D.O. often choose positions that relate to primary care. Here are some professions that someone with an osteopathic medicine degree may perform. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:

Primary duties: An obstetrics and gynecology physician, or OB/GYN is a doctor that specializes in pregnancy and female reproductive health. OB-GYNs can conduct routine procedures such as ultrasounds, fertility treatments, exams and tests. They are also qualified surgeons who can perform specialized procedures and oversee childbirth.

Primary duties: A pediatrician specializes in medical care for children and teenagers. They perform physical exams, monitor a childs growth, communicate medical information to a childs caregiver and diagnose illnesses. Pediatricians can work in primary care, as specialists, or as surgeons in hospitals.

Primary duties: A primary care physician provides general medical care for an individual. Primary care physicians perform annual checkups, treat mild conditions like bacterial infections or small injuries, run tests and refer patients to specialists for more complex conditions. They can also advocate for their patient if they need a specialist or if the patient is in the hospital.

Primary duties: A family medicine physician specializes in taking care of patients of all ages. They are can diagnose illnesses, prescribe medicine and order tests at every stage of a persons life. Family medicine physicians often treat multiple members of a family and may have insight about family medical history or genetic conditions.

Primary duties: An internal medicine physician is a doctor who focuses on treating adults. Internal medicine physicians, or internists, can screen for diseases, provide specialist referrals and treat illnesses for people over 18. Some of these physicians specialize in a particular type of medicine such as cardiology, pulmonology, or rheumatology.

Primary duties: A general surgeon specializes in performing surgeries for a wide range of illnesses or conditions. General surgeons evaluate patients, perform surgical procedures, coordinate with a surgical team during operation and host follow-up meetings with the patient. They may also diagnose conditions and oversee a patients care before and after surgery.

What are the benefits of an osteopathic medicine degree?

There are several benefits to getting an osteopathic medicine degree. Because fewer people apply to osteopathic medicine programs , the admission standards for these degrees may differ from those at an M.D. program. The degree also offers additional course material on OMM, which may appeal to people who enjoy learning or want to discover different types of medical care.

How long does it take to earn an osteopathic medicine degree?

An osteopathic medicine degree takes an average of four years to complete at an osteopathic medical school. A bachelors degree is typically an admissions requirement, so together, this amounts to eight years of study. Most medical careers also require you to complete a residency after your medical degree, which can last three to eight years depending on specialty.


What can you DO with an osteopathic degree?

Career Opportunities

Osteopathic physicians may decide to work as surgeons in a hospital setting, in a hospital’s emergency department, or in another hospital unit, caring for patients with injuries or life-threatening illnesses such as heart failure or serious conditions like diabetes.

DO osteopathic physicians graduate with a DO degree?

Med School Prep Checklist

Get yours today and set yourself up for success! The two degrees reflect different types of medical school training. MDs attend allopathic medical schools, while DOs attend osteopathic medical schools.

What is a MD with a DO?

Bauer, M.D. A doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) is a fully trained and licensed doctor who has attended and graduated from a U.S. osteopathic medical school. A doctor of medicine (M.D.) has attended and graduated from a conventional medical school.

Is it better to see an MD or a DO?

In the United States, doctors are either an MD (allopathic doctor) or DO (osteopathic doctor). For patients, there’s virtually no difference between treatment by a DO vs MD. In other words, you should be equally comfortable if your doctor is an M.D. or a D.O.

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