Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.) must complete a four-year bachelor's degree program and complete a series of college level science courses and an examination, before earning acceptance to an Osteopathic Medical School.
After acceptance to a College of Osteopathic Medicine, a D.O. student completes 4 years of basic medical training, which includes didactic and clinical experiences.
After completion of this training, D.O.s complete graduate medical education that includes rotating internship, residencies and sometimes fellowships which all take place in a clinical setting.
Up to and including Internship and Residency, the form and content of training in a College of Osteopathic Medicine is equivalent under law to an M.D.s training. In choosing a specialty, both M.D.s and D.Os can attend any residency for their training, such as family practice, psychiatry, surgery, obstetrics, cardiology, and neurology. The most significant difference in the training between M.D.s and D.O.s is that in the first two years of medical school Osteopathic Medical students are given additional training in the philosophy and practice of Traditional Osteopathy. Students who choose to pursue this training can elect rotations in Traditional Osteopathic clinics and take continuing medical education courses or select a neuromusculoskeletal residency training.
D.O.s can practice in any medical environment such as hospitals, clinics, private practice settings and the military.
D.O.s must pass examinations such as the medical boards, at each level of training and successfully complete continuing medical education and re-licensing exams.
For more information please visit American Osteopathic Association website.