10 Best Osteopathic Medical Schools in 2024

Victor O.

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Have you thought of becoming an osteopathic physician? but find it difficult to select the best osteopathic medical schools, or don’t know if you should apply to D.O. programs? And if so, which ones?

Don’t worry, because we’ve devoted this entire guide to the differences between MD and DO programs, the best osteopathic medical schools, and their salaries.


In this case, we won’t spend much time comparing the merits of each degree here. But we would help you determine if a D.O. program is the right fit for you and provide a list of the best D.O. schools to get into.

Who is an osteopathic physician?

An osteopathic physician (D.O.) is a doctor who is a fully licensed, patient-centered physician and surgeon.


According to Wikipedia, D.O. has full medical practice rights throughout the United States and in 44 countries abroad.

In the 21st century, the training of osteopathic physicians in the United States is equivalent to the training of doctors of medicine (MDs).

What is the difference between M.D. and D.O.?

To be frank, there is not much difference between the D.O. program and the M.D. degree.

Although D.O. schools are statistically easier than M.D. medical schools, an M.D. medical school matriculates with an average GPA of around 3.67, while a D.O. matriculates with approximately a 3.5.


You may use the AMCAS GPA Calculator to find out the average GPA needed for medical school.

Is there a salary difference between M.D. and D.O.?

Yes! M.D. and D.O. physicians make comparable salaries, but M.D. wages tend to be higher. On average, M.D. physicians earn more because M.D.s usually specialize in an area of medicine, while D.O. physicians are usually considered general practitioners or family practitioners.

As is known, some fields of medicine have higher associated risks or require more complex training, which can lead to higher earnings.

Also, M.D. physicians typically work in urban areas where compensation tends to be higher to allow for the cost of living. While many D.O. physicians work in rural areas where the cost of living and the average salary are lower, they still earn more compared to other areas of medicine.


What is the D.O. salary?

The average salary of D.O. physicians in the United States is 3,908 per year.

Though it can be affected by factors like experience level and geographic location, this means an osteopathic physician (D.O.) can earn more in some locations in the United States and can still earn more if they have more experience based on years.

Why Osteopathic Medical Schools?

Osteopathic medical schools attract so many applicants each year because they take a comprehensive approach to medicine.

Many students who are studying in D.O. schools’ interests are to learn the body’s ability to heal itself, and the patient as a whole, but not everyone. 


The majority of osteopathic medical school graduates become primary care physicians in rural areas, even though D.O. physicians have the same opportunities to specialize as MD physicians do.

This is because the philosophy of osteopathic medicine is most applicable to a primary care practice. 

But not every D.O. physician becomes a rural primary care doctor, so if that’s not your career goal, an osteopathic medical school could still be good. Now let’s list the best D.O. schools to attend.

Best Osteopathic Medical Schools

To make everything easier for you, we have done some deep research on the best D.O. schools to get into.


Below is the list of the 10 best osteopathic medical schools, or D.O. schools, with average GPA, MCAT, application fee, Lizzym score, and tuition fees.

  • Des Moines University
  • Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
  • Western University of Health Sciences
  • Michigan State University
  • A.T. Still University, Kirksville
  • Ohio University Heritage
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic
  • Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Arizona College of Osteopathic

1. Des Moines University

The College of Osteopathic Medicine at Des Moines University is the second-oldest osteopathic medical school in the United States.

The College emphasizes preparing students to be primary care physicians; many students also choose to practice in specialty areas, such as surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, cardiology, psychiatry, emergency medicine, and others.

However, the school has very good facilities, and DMU uses wireless technology for access to the network and the Internet. Likewise, any new incoming students to DMU receive new laptops.


The students at DMU also gain real-life experience working with simulation teaching tools and the Iowa Simulation Center.

The gross anatomy lab at DMU is state-of-the-art. It includes flat-screen monitors at each dissection station.


2. Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

Oklahoma State University College is one of the best osteopathic medical schools (D.O.). Oklahoma State University is a public medical school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is part of the Oklahoma State University System.

OSU’s medical school was created in 1972 to prepare primary care physicians for Oklahoma. As a result, the school has graduated more than 2,000 doctors.

Nearly 60% of primary care practices are inactive in the state, many in rural or underserved areas. It is estimated that the economic impact on each community from each OSU physician is $1 million annually.”


3. Western University of Health Sciences

Western University of Health Sciences is a private medical school with its main campus in Pomona, California, and an additional medical school in Lebanon, Oregon.


4. Michigan State University

For more than a quarter of a century, MSUCOM has been a leader in the osteopathic profession.

In 1969, there were five osteopathic colleges when the Michigan Legislature and the governor agreed to create MSUCOM as the first college of osteopathic medicine to receive state funding.

The first new osteopathic educational institution in 50 years, MSUCOM, paved the way for the creation of several new osteopathic colleges.


Today, there are 20 colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. The college continues to serve as a leader for the osteopathic profession and for health care in the United States.


5. A.T. Still University, Kirksville

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences serves as a learning-centered university dedicated to preparing highly competent professionals through innovative academic programs with a commitment to continue its osteopathic heritage and focus on whole-person healthcare, scholarship, community health, interprofessional education, diversity, and underserved populations.

ATSU’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM) is the founding school of osteopathic medicine, established in 1892 on the Kirksville, Mo., campus.

The medical curriculum includes two years of didactic coursework and two years of clinical rotation.


The Complete DOctor, a course specific to KCOM, incorporates early clinical experiences with didactic study in physical exam skills, cultural diversity, communication skills, spirituality in medicine, medical law, and ethics.


6. Ohio University Heritage

The Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is the medical school of Ohio University and the only osteopathic college in the U.S. state of Ohio.

Its mission is to emphasize the practice of primary care and train physicians to serve Ohio, especially in the underserved Appalachian and urban areas of the state.


7. Philadelphia College of Osteopathic

Philadelphia is renowned for medical education. Among its five well-known medical colleges, only one is osteopathic.


More than 48,000 osteopathic physicians practicing today are an integral part of America`s health care delivery system.

The primary mission of the medical college is to train students who will become skilled, caring, and successful physicians guided by the strengths of osteopathic principles refined during a century of medical practice, teaching, and research.


8. Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine

The UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine is dedicated to providing excellence in medical education, research, and health care for New Jersey and the nation.

An underlying emphasis on primary health care and community health services reflects the school’s osteopathic philosophy.


The school is committed to developing compassionate and culturally competent physicians from diverse backgrounds who are dedicated to becoming leaders in their communities.


9. Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine is a private graduate medical school located in Lynchburg, Virginia.

It is one of the 17 colleges and schools located at Liberty University.


10. Arizona College of Osteopathic

Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine is a school of osteopathic medicine in Glendale, Arizona, part of Midwestern University.


It grants the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. AZCOM was established in 1995 when the Board of Trustees approved the purchase of land and the building of a new campus.


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