Training for Health Professionals Interested in Osteopathic Medicine


Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Massage Therapists and Chiropractors Who Want to Earn a DO Degree

Many allied health professionals seek admission to osteopathic medical schools each year. These students are required to complete the entire curriculum at one of the nation’s accredited osteopathic medical schools, and they must complete an internship and residency. Schools may award credit for certain courses or experiences on an individual basis. Contact the admissions department at a college for specific information regarding your experiences.

Residency training in the student’s specialty of choice is strongly recommended. A proven dedication to patient health and experience in a clinical setting will certainly help you in the admissions process.

MDs Who Want Training in Osteopathic Principles and Practices

More MDs are expressing an interest in learning how to integrate osteopathic philosophy and osteopathic manipulative medicine into their practices. Several osteopathic medical schools offer continuing medical education (CME) courses that are open to MDs. To learn more about available CME courses, visit the colleges’ web sites. The American Academy of Osteopathy also offers CME courses that are open to MDs. To learn more about programs offered through the Academy, visit the organization's web site at http://www.academyofosteopathy.org.

Internationally Trained Doctors Seeking Licensure as a DO

Each year, numerous international medical graduates seek application to U.S. osteopathic medical schools.

The accredited U.S. Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO degree) is different from that in other countries. Because of the rigor and uniqueness of U.S. educational programs, American DOs have been trained both in all facets of medicine and in hands-on diagnosis and healing techniques. With all of the laws and regulations in the United States, the only way to ensure the quality of our physicians is to require that everyone licensed as a DO must graduate from one of the nation’s accredited osteopathic medical schools.

The New York College of Osteopathic Medicine at the New York Institute of Technology offers a four-year program for physicians trained in other countries. However, those physicians still must complete an internship, as must any graduate of a U.S. osteopathic medical school. In addition, residency program training is strongly recommended. All other U.S. osteopathic medical schools require that foreign medical graduates complete the same four-year educational program as other American osteopathic medical students. Completion of an internship is required to practice in any state, and completion of a residency program is strongly recommended.

Training In the United States as a DO, and Practicing in Another Country

International students who plan to return to their own country to practice medicine should check with the AOA (or directly with their ministry of health) to make certain that their country recognizes the U.S. DO degree and allows them to practice the full scope of medicine in their home country. The International Licensing Summary is compiled by the AOA Division of State Government & International Affairs. The list is provided only to members, but AOA staff can answer your questions about international licensure on an individual basis:

Division of State Government & International Affairs
American Osteopathic Association
142 East Ontario
Chicago IL 60611
(800) 621-1773 Ext. 8280
Email: ssa-dl@osteopathic.org