Osteopathic Graduate Medical Education (OGME)
The education received in an osteopathic medical school is undergraduate
medical education, and the training provided in an internship or
residency program is graduate medical education.
After graduation from an osteopathic medical school, training may
continue in a graduate training program called a "Residency,"
the first year of which may be called an "Internship."
Graduate medical education typically focuses on one field of practice.
Examples include family medicine,
pediatrics, emergency medicine,
surgery, preventive medicine,
radiology and many others.
Historically, osteopathic physicians were required to complete a general
rotating internship as their first year of graduate medical education
prior to being able to choose a specialty field. This traditional
rotating internship, also called an osteopathic internship, provides
broad training in family medicine,
obstetrics and gynecology,
internal medicine, pediatrics, and other fields of medicine as
determined by the program or the trainee’s interests. These osteopathic
internships are still available and encouraged.
In applying for a residency, osteopathic medical school graduates can
pursue one of the following three options:
1. Apply to an osteopathic first-year residency program that is linked
to further training in primary care or a sub-specialty field.
2. Apply to an osteopathic internship program that is not linked to a
specificresidency, and that may or may not have further residencies for
3. Apply to an MD/ACGME approved residency. The osteopathic profession
has residency programs in all of the medical and surgical specialties.
Additionally, graduate training programs in manual medicine, joint
family medicine/emergency medicine, proctology and others are available
only in the osteopathic profession.
Successful completion of a residency program is required for specialty
How OGME Differs from MD/GME
All osteopathic graduate medical educa-tion programs are part of an
Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institution, also called an OPTI.
OPTIs are partnerships among a teaching hospital, a medical school and
other medical training facilities including outpatient
physician offices, county health departments, rehabilitation centers and
other community-based health care providers. The OPTI is a way of
linking health care providers across the community with the intention of
training physicians to be patient-centered.
Both osteopathic and allopathic programs work through hospitals because
of Center for Medicaid Services (CMS) rules regarding government support
and payment for graduate medical training. However, unlike many
allopathic programs, osteopathic programs typically provide more
out-of-hospital training opportunities.
Graduating osteopathic medical students apply to the hospitals and
programs that offer their preferred internship/residency program.
Following interviews that provide students and programs with information
about each other, students submit their choices, ranked from their first
choice through all the programs they would feel comfortable attending.
Programs also rank the applicants they would like to have working in
Applications for the osteopathic match are administered through the
Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).
Applicants and programs "match" based on the desire of the student to go
to a specific residency, and the desire of the residency to have that
student in their program.