What Schooling Do Doctors Of Osteopathy Have?

A doctor of osteopathic medicine is a fully-licensed, medical doctor. The schooling that a doctor of osteopathic medicine undergoes is much like the training any other type of medical doctor receives. However, osteopathic medicine focuses on treating the entire person with a focus on well-rounded treatment so a patient can live with physical and emotional health.

College coursework

Training in osteopathy begins with attending undergraduate college. A person wanting to study osteopathic medicine can earn a bachelor’s degree in many different fields. They need to complete the prerequisites for medical school, so they need to take biology, anatomy, chemistry and physics classes. They must also be strong students in English.

At the end of undergraduate school, a student wanting to become a doctor of osteopathic medicine takes the MCAT. This is the Medical College Admissions Test. It’s a standardized test that judges a person’s likelihood of success in medical school. The scores help determine whether a medical school chooses to admit the person to study.

Medical school

Students then begin study in a medical program for osteopathy. The program is usually four years long. Students spend two years learning skills. These skills include how to recognize illness and disease, how to treat physical health problems and how to work with patients to help prevent health issues and problems. They also take additional science and anatomy courses. In the last two years, students study various specialties within osteopathy.

Tests and Licensing

Doctors of osteopathy must complete the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination in order to demonstrate their competency. There are multiple levels of this exam that students complete at various times throughout their medical schooling. Even once they’re licensed, doctors of osteopathy receive continuing education so that their skills stay up to date. The exact requirements for continuing education vary by state.


After completing medical school and passing licensing exams, a medical student completes a residency. This residency is always several years long, but the exact length varies depending on the chosen specialty of the student. Family practice and pediatric care are two of the specialties that an osteopathic medical student can choose. Some students opt for even more education in more specialized areas after they complete their residency. All doctors of osteopathic medicine have years of specialized, scientific training that allows them to treat patients with care and scientific precision.

Osteopathic medicine is more than just medication

Osteopathy is about much more than just treating a person with medications. It’s about recognizing that an entire person needs treatment and care. Doctors of osteopathic medicine receive training that allows them to consider an entire person’s needs and create a plan for the patient’s overall wellness.

While a doctor of osteopathic medicine has training in all of the latest medicines, treatments and procedures, they learn to apply this training in a way that focuses on lifestyle and overall well being. They learn to see themselves as the patient’s teammate for good health. Both the patient and the doctor work together to help the patient achieve ongoing health and well being.

Why choose with an osteopathic physician

To an osteopathic doctor, you’re so much more than a number or a case study. An osteopathic physician learns to treat an entire person instead of just treating symptoms. They want to work with you in order to help you create a plan for your entire wellness.

An osteopathic doctor receives years of schooling that allows them to apply the latest treatments and medicines to your case. However, their training also allows them to consider other alternatives as well as how the treatment plan affects the entire person instead of just treating symptoms. If you’d like to work with us to create a plan for your health, please contact us today.

Dr. David Johnston Dr. David Johnston is a licensed, board certified osteopathic physician with more than twenty years experience working with infants, children, and adults. He pursued his childhood dream of becoming a physician and currently has a successful private practice in Ridgefield, CT.

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