International Practice Rights

The practice of osteopathic medicine outside of the United States varies. In more than 65 countries, DOs have full practice rights as they do in the United States. However, only U.S. DOs are trained as fully-licensed physicians. In some countries, DO training is concentrated on OMM and practice rights are typically limited to manipulation. The most up-to-date information on this topic is available from the  Osteopathic International Alliance and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), which also publishes a USDO licensure map.

Specific information about Canadian osteopathic medical practice is available from the Canadian Osteopathic Association.

DOCARE International is a medical outreach organization that provides care in underserved areas throughout the world.

Admissions policies at U.S. osteopathic medical colleges vary with regard to applicants who are neither U.S. citizens nor hold permanent resident status in the United States. The International Students page lists schools that will consider applicants who are not U.S. citizens.

Prospective applicants to osteopathic medical colleges should consider that in the typically seven-plus years between entering medical school and going into practice, the conditions and regulations on practice outside the United States may change significantly.

Prospective osteopathic physicians who are interested in participating in overseas medical mission and volunteer work will not encounter difficulties. Participation in such programs is generally arranged by the sponsoring organization and U.S. physicians—both DOs and MDs— have practice rights extended to them while participating in these programs. Many osteopathic colleges sponsor such programs, which may be open to participation by their students, faculty and alumni.