American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

OMP Report: Osteopathic Medical Schools

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​Schools Debut in New Areas

During the 2014-15 academic year, the AOA Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation accredited 31 colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) offering instruction at 45 teaching locations in 30 states. The locations of these COMs, branch campuses and locations are shown with stars on the map below. COMs, branch campuses or additional locations that have opened within the last five years are denoted with white stars.


Source: AACOM's 2016 Osteopathic Medical College Information Book. All osteopathic medical student statistics are used with permission from AACOM.

Students Choose Osteopathic Medicine

In 2015, one in four U.S. medical students attended an osteopathic medical school. Both DO and MD schools offer similar, rigorous medical education, but approach the practice of medicine from distinct philosophies.

Since 2007, the average increase in osteopathic medical school enrollment has been +6.8% per year. The 2014-15 year continued this trend, with a 6.3% increase over 2012-13 enrollment.

​Total COM Enrollment, 1985-2015


Source: 2015-16 from Preliminary Enrollment Survey; all other years from Trends in Osteopathic Medical School Applicants, Enrollment, and Graduates 2014, AACOM. All osteopathic medical student statistics are used with permission from AACOM.​

Seeking Additional Diversity

The osteopathic medical profession shares the goal of creating a more diverse physician workforce. The American Osteopathic Association and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine signed on to briefs supporting diversity measures in medical school admissions, which faced a Supreme Court challenge in 2015.

Diversity issues are actively considered as the profession navigates decades of rapid growth. New osteopathic medical schools are being located in underserved communities, and actively recruit minority students, enhance diversity and positively influence social determinants of health.

Ethnicity Five year change (2010-11 to 2014-15) ​Five-Year Change (%)
​Overall enrollment  5,137 26%
​White, non-Hispanic​ 2,568 19%
​Asian-American, non-Hispanic 1,318 36%
​Black/African American, non-Hispanic 137 24%
Hispanic/Latino​ 398 60%
​Two or more races ​5 17%​
​Unknown 204​ ​37%
​Nonresident alien 197​ ​184%

Source: AACOM Annual Osteopathic Medical School Questionnaires, 2000-01 through 2014-15 academic years. All osteopathic medical student statistics are used with permission from AACOM.

Note: Enrollment among American Indian and Pacific Islanders has been decreasing over the past five years.​

Source: AOA Physician Masterfile, May 31, 2015.
AACOM Fall 2015 preliminary enrollment report


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