Becoming an Osteopathic Physician

An Osteopathic Physician or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) works closely with the patients to treat them with traditional medical techniques. They diagnose the problems with one part of the body, which threatens to affect other parts too. The Osteopathic Physicians use hands-on techniques that help reduce pain, restore motion, and help the body function efficiently. They receive training in muscular-skeletal manipulation. Along with treating diseases, these doctors put emphasis on prevention.

Education Requirements:

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree: The four-year bachelor’s degree program includes basic science coursework such as biology, physics, chemistry and English.
  2. Osteopath Medical School : After completing the bachelor’s degree, it is necessary to complete Osteopath Medical School program in order to become an Osteopathic Physician. Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) performance scores hold the key to get into an Osteopath Medical School. Duration of the course is four years. The first two years are dedicated to learning clinical skills and other courses. Remaining two years are helpful for the students to explore various medical specialties at clinical set ups.
  3. Licensing: All doctors of Osteopathic medicine must pass a national licensure exam known as the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA). The exam comprises of three levels.
  4. Internship and Residency Training: The Internship followed by a residency program in family or pediatric medicine, helps the Osteopathic Physician gain further expertise and experience. Residency programs generally last from three to eight years.

Salary & Job Outlook:

Osteopathic Physicians get employment at private clinics, government hospitals, research facilities, healthcare organizations etc. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for Osteopathic Physicians remains bright even though they make up about 5% of total physicians in the United States. The average salary of Osteopathic Physicians is $140,000 – $300,000 per year.