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Osteopathy School: Osteopathic Medical Schools for Osteopathy

Even though many medical schools in the United States offer programs in osteopathy, students can choose to attend osteopathic medical schools for more specialized training and an advanced education. Osteopathic medicine is based on a system of diagnosis and treatment to restore the body to optimum health and ensure structural alignment. Students who successfully complete a four-year program and receive their degree in osteopathic medicine from an accredited osteopathic medical school have full practice rights in all 50 states.

Applying for Osteopathic Medical School

Getting into osteopathy school can be very challenging and competitive, and students who pursue this career field must have a strong educational background in medicine and related fields. Students typically need to have at least a baccalaureate degree, excel in science courses and successfully pass the Medical College Admission Test. Osteopathic medical schools typically consist of two full years of training that includes a lab and lecture component, followed by two years of clinical clerkships. Students must maintain good academic standing throughout their educational careers at osteopathic schools and can choose to pursue post-graduate training or studies shortly after graduation.

Osteopathic schools use the AACOMA, a centralized application service where students must submit a formal application, transcripts, their MCAT scores and a personal statement explaining what their career goals are and why they want to be an osteopathic doctor. Applicants also need to submit a letter of recommendation from a Doctor of Osteopathy and pay all necessary fees.

Accredited Osteopathic Medicine Schools in the United States

Some of the top, accredited osteopathic medicine schools in the United States include:

  • A.T. Still University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University
  • Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences-Osteopathic College
  • Lake Eerie College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Pikeville College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth Texas

Types of Programs Available at Osteopathy School

Programs available at osteopathy school are similar to those available at allopathic schools, but there are some key differences. Both degree programs will prepare the student to work as a fully-licensed doctor in any medical specialty, but those who complete their education at accredited osteopathic medicine schools typically focus on primary care and take a more holistic approach to health care and pain management. Most osteopathic medicine schools train students in a special technique called the osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). This treatment and technique involves the use of only the hands – no specialized machine or equipment – to detect, diagnose and treat different illnesses.

Choosing Osteopathic Medicine Schools for Your Degree

Most osteopathic medicine schools do not have an affiliated teaching hospital or private lab. Students who attend an osteopathy school are typically placed at a local hospital or work with doctors in their local community to receive hands-on training. This gives students a chance to learn in different settings, meet with doctors and medical professionals in their line of work, and possibly set up job opportunities for their own careers as an osteopathy doctor.

Courses Required for a Degree from Osteopathic Medical School

Students who attend an osteopathic medical school typically complete the following types of courses over their four-year degree program. Some of these courses are basic science courses, while others are clinical science courses.

Courses required for a degree from an osteopathy school include:

  • Gross Anatomy
  • Medical Pathology
  • Medical Embryology
  • Cell Biology
  • Neuroscience
  • Nutrition
  • Medical Biochemistry and Genetics
  • Medical Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical Physiology
  • Osteopathic Principles and Practice
  • Radiology
  • Psychiatry
  • Ophthalmology
  • Obstetrics
  • Pediatrics

The clinical portion of the degree program from osteopathic medical school typically consists of working at different sites on a rotation. This gives students a chance to work with different groups of people and in different environments. Most osteopathic medicine schools rotate students through urban, rural and suburban settings so that they get a variety of experiences.

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