Osteopathic Medicine Education
There are currently 34 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine. These colleges are accredited to deliver instruction at 49 teaching locations in 32 states.

Osteopathic medical students take courses in anatodmy, physiology, microbiology, histology, osteopathic principles aend practices (including osteopathic manipulative medicine), pharmacology, clinical skills, doctor/patient communication, and systems courses that focus on each major system of the body such as cardiology, respiratory, genitourinary, etc.

Many osteopathic colleges have students assigned to work with physicians beginning early in the first year. This process continues throughout the second year in conjunction with the necessary science courses. In the third and fourth years, osteopathic medical students spend time learning about and exploring the major specialties in medicine.

One unique aspect of the osteopathic student’s education is how these rotations are conducted in community hospitals and physicians’ offices across the country. Because few osteopathic colleges have their own hospitals, the schools partner with community hospitals across the country to deliver the third and fourth year curriculum as well as internship and residency training. This model of medical education developed by the osteopathic profession has been touted as the new model for all medical education. Current pilot studies are being developed on a national level to evaluate this model of medical education.

The first two years of osteopathic medical school are geared toward the basic sciences, learning a core set of clinical examination skills and courses that cover the various systems of the body. The first two years of lectures and laboratories are designed to prepare the student for the last two years of medical school, which are the clinical clerkship years. Specific courses in the curriculum and the time at which those courses are taught, particularly for the two years of osteopathic medical school, may vary from college to college. Below is a general guide to the material covered in the osteopathic medical school curriculum. Again, this is a general guide and is not specific to any school. Please check the colleges to which you are applying for a specific overview of that school’s curriculum.

Year 1

  • Anatomy Neuroscience
  • Physiology Histology
  • Clinical Skills Biochemistry
  • Radiology Pathology
  • Osteopathic Principles and Practices Doctor/Patient Communication

Year 2

  • Gerontology Respiratory
  • Cardiology Ethics and Jurisprudence
  • Gastrointestinal System Family Medicine
  • Hematopoietic System Genitourinary System
  • Osteopathic Principles and Practices Reproductive System
  • Endocrinology Pediatrics/Growth and Development
  • Psychiatry

Years 3 and 4 (clinical clerkships in:)

  • Family Medicine Internal Medicine
  • Gastroenterology Oncology and Hematology
  • Nephrology Emergency Medicine
  • Surgery Orthopedics
  • Psychiatry and Behavioral Science Osteopathic Principles and Practices
  • Pediatrics Radiology
  • Cardiology Pulmonary Medicine
  • Neurology Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Anesthesiology Otorhinolaryngology
  • Laboratory Medicine


The school I attended was LECOM:

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine-Erie
1858 West Grandview Boulevard
Erie, PA 16509
(814) 866-6641