Best DO Schools


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You’ve watched enough medical TV series to know you want to go to medical school. But before you enroll in an MD program, consider going to a DO school instead.

do schools

Both degrees can get you a career as a doctor, but the differences are essential to know. And if being a DO sounds appealing, you’ll want to keep reading to learn where to apply for school.

What Is a DO?

A DO, or doctor of osteopathic medicine, is similar to an MD. But rather than pursuing a traditional education, the focus is placed on the overall patient. You’ll learn how to treat people instead of just diseases.

What’s more, primary care is by far the most popular specialty for this degree. So if you can’t decide on one area of medicine, you may love working as a DO.

I also love how a lot of DOs practice in rural areas where hospitals are few and far between. Meanwhile, in cities, these doctors often work with poor and underserved patients.

While you can find MD programs almost anywhere, there aren’t as many DO programs. So if you’re interested in practicing this type of medicine, you should know where to find good schools for it.

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

With campuses across three states, the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is an excellent choice. The school focuses on teaching future primary care providers, so it’s perfect if you don’t want to go into other specialties.

You can study at the campuses in Erie or Greensburg, PA. Bradenton, FL, DeFuniak Springs, FL, and Elmira, NY, are also home to the college. So if you don’t want to move too far from home, you have options.

Compared to some other DO schools, this one is relatively easy to get into. And not only can you study medicine, but you can also go to dental or pharmacy school at LECOM.

Just be sure you budget for the private school tuition. By the time you graduate, you could incur a lot of debt, especially once you account for living expenses.

  • Location: Pennsylvania, Florida, New York
  • Average Tuition: $36,570-$40,770
  • Acceptance Rate: 7.6%
  • Student Enrollment: 1,862

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

Another one of the top colleges for aspiring DOs is Edward Via. It’s a fantastic school if you’re interested in primary care. Like LECOM, this school features multiple campuses across the country, so you can study where you prefer.

I appreciate how this school emphasizes community-based and rural medicine. So if you might like to practice in a small town, this college may help you get experience. Not only that, but they attract a lot of med students from rural areas themselves.

What’s more, it’s an affordable choice compared to many private colleges. Since a lot of rural students don’t have much money, that can be especially appealing.

I love how you’ll get the same educational experience at each of the campuses. While the people will differ, you won’t have to sacrifice certain things to live in a particular state or town.

  • Location: Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana
  • Average Tuition: $49,800
  • Acceptance Rate: 13.2%
  • Student Enrollment: 1,853

Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine

Nova Southeastern University is the perfect school if you want to live in sunny Fort Lauderdale. It’s the oldest college of osteopathic medicine in the southeastern part of the US. They specialize in serving underserved patient groups.

Education is centered on you, the student. Plus, training is available for current physicians and postgraduate trainees as well as traditional med students. The curriculum is updated often to reflect the changing needs of patients.

If you’re not interested in the Miami area, you can apply to study at the Tampa Bay area campus instead. The program will be almost identical except you’ll have access to different facilities.

As a student, you’ll be able to connect with an alumnus mentor and find job opportunities in Florida after you graduate. The school is a fantastic choice for serving local, national, and international communities as well.

  • Location: Florida
  • Average Tuition: $58,488-$65,547
  • Acceptance Rate: 13.1%
  • Student Enrollment: 28,741 (total school, undergraduate and graduate)

Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Based in Indianapolis, Marian University was the first Catholic university to open an osteopathic medical school. Still, it’s barely a decade old with its doors first opening in 2013. The school prioritizes the study of primary care.

They also emphasize lifelong learning as well as scholarly research. You’ll be taught to focus on the patient mind, body, and spirit when treating your patients. It’s also one of a few medical schools in the entire state of Indiana.

You’ll go through two years of pre-clinical training followed by two years of clinical studies. For better or worse, Marian University provides your entire schedule for those four years. So you don’t have to think about when to take what course.

I appreciate the school’s goal of solving the physician crisis in Indiana. It’s also a small school, which can be nice if you thrive in smaller groups.

  • Location: Indiana
  • Average Tuition: $55,910
  • Acceptance Rate: 5.5%
  • Student Enrollment: 162

University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

Based in Maine, the University of New England has another one of the best DO schools. It’s known for its focus on primary care, rural medicine, and geriatric care. So if you’re looking into any of those specialties, you’ll enjoy the school.

Not only that, but it’s home to the only osteopathic medicine degree in the region. The school’s location in Biddeford is close to Portland so that you can get urban training. But it also offers access to smaller hospitals in the area.

However, the college will soon move to a Portland campus. There, you’ll be able to study, conduct research, and get hands-on experience. The school is also home to centers for neuroscience and chronic pain, where you can learn more about those problems.

I love how they’re one of the largest schools where new doctors in Maine are educated. Plus, students have a high chance of getting into their first-choice residency.

  • Location: Maine
  • Average Tuition: $61,750
  • Acceptance Rate: 8.2%
  • Student Enrollment: 178

Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine

Moving to the west coast, there’s Touro University California. The university is home to a traditional DO program as well as a combined DO and Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. So if you’re looking into public health, you can kill two birds with one stone.

Students are trained to treat the whole person rather than just the disease. To do this, you’ll receive clinical training and experience as well as general medical knowledge.

I admire how the school also offers continuing education courses for current doctors. So you could return to the school for training in the future. It’s also home to a diabetes fellowship that’s open to graduates wanting to learn more about the condition.

Located in Vallejo, you’ll be close to the ocean and to San Francisco. But you can still enjoy a smaller community in and out of school.

  • Location: California
  • Average Tuition: $60,000 (per year)
  • Acceptance Rate: 5%
  • Student Enrollment: 125

Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Another school based in California that you can apply to is the Western University of Health Sciences. Their osteopathic medicine program was the first to open west of the Rocky Mountains in the 1970s.

You can attend this school whether you want to go into primary care or another specialty. The emphasis is on the patient. Plus, you’ll be taught to practice medicine respectfully and professionally.

What’s more, an amazing 98.8% of students are placed in a residency after graduation. I’m impressed by how much the school also focuses on the student journey. So you can learn and succeed no matter your background.

Western University makes the list for most graduates practicing in rural areas and other underserved communities. The Pomona campus is close to Los Angeles but also close to more rural parts of Southern California.

  • Location: California, Oregon
  • Average Tuition: $63,008
  • Acceptance Rate: NA
  • Student Enrollment: 1,110

University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine

Want to study in a truly rural environment? You’ll love it at the University of Pikeville Kentucky. The school is in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, near the Virginia border. I appreciate how the small town makes it easier to focus on your schooling.

It’s also a more affordable private option when it comes to medical schools. Not only that, but they grant DO and MD degrees, which is nice if you’re not quite sure which you want to pursue. You can apply to both programs and have options.

The school focuses on students to make sure you learn what you need to learn. You’ll get to practice patient-centered medicine. Plus, the school has access to advanced technology to help you learn the most up-to-date practices.

Of course, this college is far away from the nearest city. But if you’re okay with that, studying in the mountains could be a good option.

  • Location: Kentucky
  • Average Tuition: $51,500
  • Acceptance Rate: 11.6%
  • Student Enrollment: 132

William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine

In Mississippi, you’ll find the William Carey University COM. Of course, you’ll learn about medicine and various treatment options. However, you’ll also be taught to use reasoning and communication to determine the best treatment for each patient.

What’s more, their location in south Mississippi makes them the perfect place to study and practice medicine in an underserved area. Even if you don’t want to stay there, the education could help you prepare for other areas of practice.

The school even offers a global health track if you want to practice medicine abroad. As of this writing, they’re about to offer tracks for rural health and population health as well.

All of those options mean you can obtain the medical training you desire. It’s an excellent place to study, and you can go on to a successful residency in or out of the state.

  • Location: Mississippi
  • Average Tuition: $44,000
  • Acceptance Rate: 13.1%
  • Student Enrollment: 158

Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

Another DO school in the south is at Lincoln Memorial University. Near the Tennessee-Kentucky border, this school is in a very small town. That makes it a fantastic option for students interested in rural medicine.

But if you’re looking to study in a larger city, there’s a campus in Knoxville. No matter which location you choose, you’ll receive a great medical education. It’s one of the top schools for graduating primary care physicians.

Continuing medical education is also available to practicing physicians. That makes it a nice university to return to after graduation.

Of course, the Harrogate campus does lack access to the resources of a city. But it can be useful because you’ll get to avoid the crowds so that you can focus on your studies.

  • Location: Tennessee
  • Average Tuition: $55,300
  • Acceptance Rate: 17.6%
  • Student Enrollment: 393

University of the Incarnate Word School of Medicine

Maybe you’d prefer to study medicine in Texas, so you look into the University of the Incarnate Word. You’ll get to learn in small and large groups, and case-based learning is the backbone of the curriculum.

Not to mention, San Antonio is home to a diverse population. That means you’ll get to work with a variety of patients during your four years of medical school. After you graduate, you can partake in one of multiple residency programs in southern Texas.

Roughly a third of students at UIW are minorities. So not only will you get to interact with diverse patients but also diverse classmates.

Plus, the school boasts an impressive 99% residency placement rate. The class size is also relatively small, so you can get the attention you need to succeed.

  • Location: Texas
  • Average Tuition: $29,000
  • Acceptance Rate: NA
  • Student Enrollment: 45-50

New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine

Not to be confused with MIT, NYIT is home to a fantastic osteopathic medical school. The college is based out of Westbury on Long Island. However, you can also opt to study on their newer campus in Jonesboro, AR.

So whether you want to practice urban or rural medicine, NYIT is great. It’s also the perfect place to study if you want to pursue a dual degree. You can combine your DO with a PhD in Medical & Biological Sciences or an MS in Academic Medicine.

Of course, you can also pursue the DO by itself, which is the case for most of us who would enroll. I appreciate how they offer research opportunities as well as clinical experiences.

Plus, if you know you want to be a DO early, you can do an accelerated bachelor’s and DO program. Then, you can start your residency and your career much sooner.

  • Location: New York, Arkansas
  • Average Tuition: $61,960
  • Acceptance Rate: 6%
  • Student Enrollment: 1,217

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Moving to public schools, Michigan State is an excellent pick. I’d recommend this school especially to Michigan residents but also anyone from the midwest. The school is one of two public options in the state.

Not only can you obtain a standard DO degree, but you can also combine it with a PhD if you want to go into medical sciences. Since it’s part of a large university, you’ll get access to various research activities.

I also am impressed by how they prioritize diversity and inclusion. You never know what types of patients you’ll see, so being exposed to diverse groups as a student can help.

The program also gives you community outreach experience. You could help treat athletes or provide care to underserved patient populations.

  • Location: Michigan
  • Average Tuition: $32,252-$65,325
  • Acceptance Rate: NA
  • Student Enrollment: 1,193

Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine

Perhaps you want to study in New Jersey, so you look into Rowan University. This public school is home to an amazing osteopathic medical school. It’s in the southern part of the state in the Philadelphia area.

That means you can work with patients in multiple states during your training. I admire the school’s mission to produce culturally competent and compassionate physicians. You’ll also get to participate in research along with your clinical activities.

Underserved and other special needs populations are a huge area of focus for the school. So if you’re interested in diversity and inclusion, this is a fantastic program for you.

Of course, its location means it can be an expensive place to study. While tuition costs aren’t as high as at some private schools, New Jersey isn’t exactly a cheap place to live.

  • Location: New Jersey
  • Average Tuition: $42,503-$67,542
  • Acceptance Rate: 6.2%
  • Student Enrollment: 745

Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Athens, OH, is home to the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. It’s the only school of its kind in the state, making it a big draw for local students. As a student, you’ll be trained to serve in underserved urban and rural areas.

Like other DO schools, this one focuses on treating the whole patient. You’ll also learn about forming physician-patient relationships. This can help you learn more about the people you care for so that you can choose the right treatment methods.

Institutional scholarships are available, and they’ve helped hundreds of students afford to go to medical school. Plus, there’s external scholarships as well.

Not to mention, the school offers an impressive 99% residency placement rate. So you’re almost guaranteed to get into some residency, even if it’s not your first choice.

  • Location: Ohio
  • Average Tuition: $37,068-$52,864
  • Acceptance Rate: 6.9%
  • Student Enrollment: 255

West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

Across the state line, you’ll find the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. While there are other medical schools in the state, they only offer MD degrees. You can earn a DO while studying in the southeastern part of the state.

The rural location of the school offers pros and cons. For one, you can focus on your studies, and you’ll get to learn about rural medicine. But I know I’d have a hard time moving to a small town and not having as many shops close by.

If you’re looking to buckle down, though, it can be a good option. Plus, you’re close enough that you can travel to cities in West Virginia and surrounding states on your days off.

The public nature of the university makes it a pretty affordable choice. And the small town is a great option if you need to save money on living costs.

  • Location: West Virginia
  • Average Tuition: $21,472-$53,710
  • Acceptance Rate: 11
  • Student Enrollment: 207

University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth College of Osteopathic Medicine

The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine is yet another amazing place. It’s a public school located in Fort Worth, so you’ll be in the heart of the DFW metroplex. That can be nice if you want to live in a city but don’t want to go to New York or Los Angeles.

This program places an emphasis on patients, and it has a unique curriculum. Additionally, you’ll be able to take part in research programs during your studies. All of that can work together to help you embark on your medical career.

Despite being in a major city, you’ll be able to study rural medicine. I appreciate how the school is also working to fill the need for primary care physicians in Texas.

So no matter where your interests lie, there’s something for you. During your program, you’ll get to train with a variety of doctors and learn from your fellow students. And I love how the school doesn’t discriminate, so you could end up in a very diverse class.

  • Location: Texas
  • Average Tuition: $13,078-$28,766
  • Acceptance Rate: 8.4%
  • Student Enrollment: 237
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