American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Overview of Second Year Courses

​Your second year in osteopathic medical school is geared toward understanding basic sciences, as well as clinical exam skills and OMM. Specific courses and curricula differ from school to school, but typical subjects of study include:

  • Osteopathic Manual Medicine will expose you to even more of the principles and practices distinctive to osteopathic medicine.

  • Microbiology educates osteopathic medical students on how organisms invade the body. This course will introduce you to organisms’ growth requirements, reproductive cycles, genetics, drug sensitivity, vectors, etc.

  • Behavioral science is a challenging course that teaches the communication, legal and psychological skills as they relate to epidemiology and biostatistics. Your first step in mastering behavioral science is learning the vocabulary. Then, learn the basic principles and apply them. Finally, save sample problems from your lectures and text to practice statistical problems and judge study designs.

  • General pathology is a course involving concepts and processes, like the stages of wound healing, rather than disease-specific information. Use flow charts to best understand the material. Test yourself by applying what you know to actual questions.

  • Systemic pathology teaches the incidence, etiology, morphologic changes, gross and microscopic lab findings, prognosis, and initial treatment of specific disorders. To learn the material, color-code the different categories of information in your notes. To study, follow each color to see how a group of diseases vary in each of the categories identified above. You may also want to make charts of important disease groups, using the categories as column headers and the features of the different diseases for each row title. Again, color-code the key differences. In addition, look at old exams to identify the important categories.