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What Is Osteopathic Medicine? What Is International Osteopathic Medicine? General FAQs Education, Schools & Training

An Overview of Osteopathic Medical Education

Osteopathic medical school curricula closely mirror those of allopathic (MD) medical schools. The first two years focus on the biomedical and clinical sciences, followed by core clinical training in the clinical specialties. Osteopathic medical school accreditation standards require training in internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, family practice, surgery, psychiatry, emergency medicine, radiology, preventive medicine and public health. In addition, most schools provide a rural or underserved-focused primary care experience, and provide time for electives as well.

Osteopathic medical schools maintain those core values which the profession’s early founders stressed as central distinguishing aspects of osteopathic philosophy: holistic, patient-centered, preventive, and health- vs. disease-focused care within a primary care context, although these elements of osteo-pathic philosophy have been increasingly prominent in allopathic medical education and practice as well.

The osteopathic medical school curriculum is clearly distinguished from allopathic medical education by its focus on osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM), a hands-on therapy that is used to diagnose and treat illness and injury. OMM education usually occurs through year-long firstand- second-year theoretical and skills courses, and through subsequent clinical experiences. OMM education is in addition to, and integrated with, medical training on current and emerging theory and methods of medical diagnosis and treatment.

Accreditation of Osteopathic medical schools

Osteopathic medical schools are accredited by The American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), recognized to accredit osteopathic medical education by the U.S. Department of Education. Many osteopathic medical schools also are accredited by a regional educational accred-iting organization.
New colleges of osteopathic medicine hold provisional accreditation status during their first four years of student enrollment. A college holding provisional accreditation status may admit students and offer medical instruction. During the year preceding the graduation of its first class, a provision-ally accredited college will conduct various activities that will allow it to attain fully accredited status. Should the college not gain full accreditation, COCA has policies and procedures in place to protect the educational and financial investments of students.

Osteopathic Training for U.S.–Trained Health Professionals

Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occu-pational Therapists, Physician As-sistants, Chiropractors and Others Who Want to Earn a DO Degree Many allied health professionals seek admission to osteopathic medical schools. These students must complete the entire curriculum at an accred-ited osteopathic medical school, 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 specificinformation. 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

With an understanding of the benefits of the osteopathic approach to patient care, many 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 osteopathic college websites. The American Academy of Osteopathy also offers continuing medical education courses that are open to MDs.

What Is Osteopathic Medicine? What Is International Osteopathic Medicine? General FAQs Education, Schools & Training
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