College of Osteopathic Medicine

Doctor Holdinh X-Ray Copy
What is Osteopathic Medicine?

Osteopathic medicine was founded in the late 1800s by a medical doctor who felt a holistic approach to medicine would be more beneficial for patients. Emphasizing wellness through health promotion and disease prevention, osteopathic medicine integrates the individual into the healthcare process as a partner.

While osteopathic physicians (DOs) can be found in all types of environments and specialties, a majority follow the osteopathic tradition of primary care. Osteopathic medicine also focuses on providing care in rural and underserved areas - DOs are responsible for 16% of patient visits in communities with populations less than 2,500.

  • Approximately 74,000 osteopathic physicians actively practice in the U.S.
  • One in five medical students are attending osteopathic medical school
  • 4,800 DOs enter the workforce each year
  • Close to 60% of DOs specialize in primary health care
  • Osteopathic doctors are 2.5 times more likely to practice in rural or medically underserved areas
  • There are 31 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States with a total enrollment of 26,100 future physicians

References: American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine