the 10 best do schools in the us in 2021
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

The 10 Best DO Schools In The U.S. In 2021

Learn how to study twice as fast with Our fREE studying course

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means I may get a commission if you make a purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Hi there! Are you in search of the best DO schools in the U.S. in 2021? In this blog post, we will be providing you with a list of the top 10 best DO schools in the U.S. for the year 2021.

First things first, let’s define osteopathic medicine.

What Is Osteopathic Medicine And What Does A DO Do? 

Osteopathic medicine is a medical practice that takes a more holistic approach to treat medical illnesses by manipulating bones, joints, and muscles. DOs, or Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, are the medical professionals who practice osteopathic medicine.

In this practice, patients receive non-invasive manual therapy of the musculoskeletal system, with the goal of enhancing the overall health of the patient’s bodily systems.

DO doctors use a holistic approach to the human body, thinking that one system has an impact on the others, and they strive to arrive at a diagnosis rather than simply treating the symptoms. The goal of osteopathic medicine is to have a favorable impact on the circulatory, lymphatic, and neurological systems of the body to improve the general health and bodily functioning of patients.

Considering that it places a greater emphasis on disease and injury prevention when diagnosing and treating medical disorders, it takes the diet, environment, and entire body system of the patient into consideration. These doctors place a strong emphasis on preventative care and self-healing techniques. As a result, they counsel patients on how to make modifications to their dietary plans, exercise regimens, and general lifestyle.

Osteopathic medicine is a system of treatment that uses hands-on techniques to improve blood circulation and correct abnormal biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system.

DO doctors employ osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), a hands-on method, to treat a variety of conditions, including arthritis, back pain, joint pains, sciatica, neuralgia, tennis elbow, postural issues, and migraines, to name a few.

Techniques for this type of treatment include resistance, subtle manipulation, stretching, palpation, soft pressure, and other similar methods of treatment. Osteopathic physicians use these techniques to evaluate the condition of one’s ligaments and joints.

Bonus: Want a full library of free medical school eBooks, video courses, and training? Click here to get access to your free med school advice library!

What Is The Difference Between An MD And A DO?

what is osteopathic medicine_best do schools

MDs are medical doctors who practice allopathic medicine, and they are referred to as Doctors of Medicine. On the other hand, doctors who practice osteopathic medicine have the designation of DO, which stands for Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.

An MD’s practice involves the administration of medications and the execution of surgical procedures that are based on current and modern-day research to manage and treat an injury, illness, and disease. As early as the mid-1700s, the first medical societies were formed, and this was the more traditional method of medical practice that they employed.

DOs, on the other hand, use osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). This is a comprehensive and hands-on approach to treating patients that includes techniques like palpation, stretching, and mild manipulation, among others. In order to acquire a DO degree, students must complete 200 hours of training in osteopathic manipulative medicine, during which they will master manipulation techniques for the musculoskeletal system.

Osteopathic doctors tend to specialize in primary care specialties, such as family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics, to mention a few. As you may have known by now, these are some of the least competitive specialties.

In contrast, MDs tend to specialize in highly competitive specialties like orthopedics, cardiology, plastic surgery, radiology, dermatology, and gastroenterology among others.

It is also worth noting the differences in the average GPA and MCAT of MD and DO program matriculants. In the 2018-2019 application cycle, statistics show that the average GPA and MCAT scores of matriculants to MD programs were 3.72 and 511.2, respectively. Matriculants of DO programs, on the other hand, have an average GPA and MCAT score of 3.47 and 502.5, respectively.

Because of the differences in the average GPA and MCAT scores, as well as differences in their specializations, this creates a bias against DOs that they are less competitive than their MD counterparts. This is not true. MDs are not better than DOs nor are DOs better than MDs.

They have differences in values and in their practices, but at the end of the day, they diagnose and treat their patients for them to have better lives and health conditions. You wouldn’t even realize that some of the best doctors are DOs until you see the initials after their name on their name tags.

There are at least more than 150 accredited and MD-granting schools, creating a marginal difference with DO schools, as there are only 37 accredited, DO programs. Among these 37 DO schools are the 10 best DO schools in the U.S. in 2021, which are what we’ll go through in the next section.

You can check out the differences in med school education, residency programs, salaries, and more in our article entitled MD vs DO: Differences You Need To Know About! Make sure to check it out for more information.

Bonus: Want to learn how to study twice as fast? Click here to get access to our free step-by-step study course!

What Are The Best Osteopathic Medical Schools In The US?

  1. University Of North Texas Health Science Center At Fort Worth, Texas College Of Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC/TCOM)

    unthsc_tcom_best do schools

    • Location: Forth Worth, TX
    • Average GPA: 3.71
    • Average MCAT: 507.2
    • Overall acceptance rate: 11.67%
    • Matriculants: 230
    • Annual tuition & fees: $13,078 (in-state), $28,766 (out-of-state)
    • Public/private: Public

University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine boasts of their curriculum in Health System Sciences, Patient Safety, and Whole Health.

Prior to graduation, students here receive intensive training on patient safety. UNTHSC-TCOM also claims to be solving the shortage of physicians in Texas as they graduate the most primary care doctors in the whole state.

In 2020, the first-time pass rate of TCOM students and graduates for the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States (COMLEX-USA) Level 1 is 96%.

In 2019, it was 99% for Level 2 CE, 94% for Level 2 PE, and 99% for the COMLEX-USA Level 3. In terms of their residency placement, the percentage of graduates placed in GME  for 2017 to 2020 was 99%.

  1. Western University Of Health Sciences, College Of Osteopathic Medicine Of The Pacific (WesternU/COMP)

    westernu_comp_best do schools

    • Location: Pomona, CA
    • Average GPA: 3.69
    • Average MCAT: 509
    • Overall acceptance rate: 3.12%
    • Matriculants: 220
    • Annual tuition & fees: $59,600
    • Public/private: Private

Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific claims to be unique from other medical schools in the sense that they see the multidisciplinary faculty working and teaching side-by-side.

From this arises a dynamic and fun educational process that allows life-long learning and collaboration between students and faculty. The way their curriculum is designed allows for both formative and summative assessments wherein it occurs at optimal intervals.

WesternU/COMP also conducts conference weeks in which students can attend wellness-based and professional development activities that can help them improve skillsets needed as future physicians.

In 2021, the first-time pass rate of COMP students and graduates for the COMLEX-USA Level 1 is 96.5%. In 2020, it was 96.8% for Level 2 CE, 100% for Level 2 PE, and 98.1% for the COMLEX-USA Level 3.

In terms of their residency placement rates, they reached 98.8% in 2019.

  1. A.T. Still University Of Health Sciences Kirksville College Of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM)

    atsu_kcom_best do schools

    • Location: Kirksville, MO
    • Average GPA: 3.66
    • Average MCAT: 503
    • Overall acceptance rate: 4.20%
    • Matriculants: 170
    • Annual tuition & fees: $60,412
    • Public/private: Private

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine is known to be the founding college of osteopathic medicine.

They take pride in the hallmark of their curriculum, the Complete Doctor wherein didactic study in physical exam skills, communication skills, social determinants of health, spirituality in medicine, medical jurisprudence, and ethics are incorporated in students’ early clinical experiences.

In the academic year 2019-2020, the first-time pass rates of KCOM students and graduates for the COMLEX-USA Level 1 are 98.2%, 97.1% for Level 2 CE, and 94% for Level 2 PE. In the academic year 2018-2019, it was 96.7% for the COMLEX-USA Level 3.

In terms of their residency placement, the four-year rolling average of GME placement rate for their osteopathic med students is 98.7%.

Bonus: Want a full library of free medical school eBooks, video courses, and training? Click here to get access to your free med school advice library!

  1. University Of Pikeville – Kentucky College Of Osteopathic Medicine (UP-KYCOM)

    up_kycom_best do schools

    • Location: Pikeville, KY
    • Average GPA: 3.66
    • Average MCAT: 503.2
    • Overall acceptance rate: 3.70%
    • Matriculants: 145
    • Annual tuition & fees: $47,420
    • Public/private: Private

University of Pikeville – Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine is ranked by U.S. News in the top five of the most affordable private osteopathic and allopathic medical schools.

KYCOM is very considerate to those with less financial resources as they provide students with all the necessary equipment such as a white coat and scrub suit, diagnostic equipment, OPP table, required textbooks, and an iPad Pro, paid exam fees for the COMLEX-USA Level 1 and Level 2 CE for first attempts, and a preparation program for COMLEX-USA Level 1.

In the academic year 2018-2019, the first-time pass rates of KYCOM students and graduates for the COMLEX-USA Level 1 are 85.5%, 92.97% for Level 2 CE, and 92.9% for Level 2 PE. In the academic year 2017-2018, it was 89.5% for the COMLEX-USA Level 3.

In terms of their residency placement, the percentage of graduates placed in GME for 2017 to 2020 was 98-99%.

  1. Burrell College Of Osteopathic Medicine At New Mexico State University

    burrell_best do schools

    • Location: University Park, NM
    • Average GPA: 3.66
    • Average MCAT: 501.83
    • Overall acceptance rate: 5%
    • Matriculants: 162
    • Annual tuition & fees: $50,455
    • Public/private: Private

Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at New Mexico State University states that they provide an evidence-based osteopathic medical education program that allows students to expand their knowledge and develop competencies required to enter GME and practice osteopathic medicine.

In the academic year 2021-2022, the first-time pass rates of Burrell-COM students and graduates for the COMLEX-USA Level 1 are 90% and 96% for Level 2 CE. In the academic year 2019-2020, it was 87 % for Level 2 PE. There is no provided data on the first-time pass rates for the COMLEX-USA Level 3.

In terms of their GME placement rate, it is 97.2% for the Class of 2021.

  1. Edward Via College Of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)

    vcom

    • Location: Blacksburg, VA
    • Average GPA: 3.65
    • Average MCAT: 501
    • Overall acceptance rate: 3.70%
    • Matriculants: 185
    • Annual tuition & fees: $46,900
    • Public/private: Private

Similar to the UP-KYCOM, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine is also in the top five of most affordable private medical schools according to U.S. News & World Report.

One of the most notable activities of VCOM is their medical outreach programs wherein each year, students and faculty visit underserved areas and provide care to patients. This is so that students are provided hands-on clinical field experience.

In 2021, the average first-time pass rate of all VCOM classes (VC, CC, AC) for the COMLEX-USA Level 1 is 97%. In 2020, it was 98% for Level 2 CE, and 95.7% for Level 2 PE. In the 18th – 19th cycle, it was 96% for the COMLEX-USA Level 3.

In terms of their residency placement, the percentage of graduates placed in GME for the Class of 2020 was 96% for the First Match and 99.8% for the Final Match.

Bonus: Want to learn how to study twice as fast? Click here to get access to our free step-by-step study course!

  1. Ohio University Heritage College Of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM)

    ou_hcom

    • Location: Athens, OH
    • Average GPA: 3.65
    • Average MCAT: 504.84
    • Overall acceptance rate: 5.04%
    • Matriculants: 249
    • Annual tuition & fees: $39,600 (in-state), $55,396 (out-of-state)
    • Public/private: Public

Students of Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine are enrolled in the Pathways of Health and Wellness Curriculum which is essentially their four-year osteopathic curriculum that

“fosters horizontal and vertical integration of foundational content; opportunities for elective and/or selective pathways at all campuses; longitudinal themes throughout the curricular design; formative assessments that drive learning; interprofessional approaches to curriculum delivery; and protected time for student and faculty development, wellness and creativity.”.

In the academic year 2019-2020, the first-time pass rates of OU-HCOM students and graduates for the COMLEX-USA Level 1 is 95%, 98% for Level 2 CE, and 87% for Level 2 PE.

In the academic year 2018-2019, it was 98% for the COMLEX-USA Level 3. In terms of their residency placement, the percentage of graduates placed in GME for the Class of 2021 is 99%.

  1. Marian University College Of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM)

    mu_com

    • Location: Indianapolis, IN
    • Average GPA: 3.65
    • Average MCAT: 504
    • Overall acceptance rate: 6.47%
    • Matriculants: 156
    • Annual tuition & fees: $55,300
    • Public/private: Private

Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine is Indiana’s first medical school in 110 years.

MU-COM’s DO program puts emphasis on osteopathic training in all fields of medicine, especially in primary care, delivered by lifelong learning and scholarly activities.

In the academic year 2020-2021, the first-time pass rates of MU-COM students and graduates for the COMLEX-USA Level 1 is 96.34%, 97.99% for Level 2 CE.

In the academic year 2019-2020, it was 91.8% for Level 2 PE. In 2020, it was 98.65% for the COMLEX-USA Level 3. In terms of their residency placement, the percentage of graduates placed in GME for the Class of 2021 is 97%.

  1. Des Moines University College Of Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM)

    dmu_com

    • Location: Des Moines, IA
    • Average GPA: 3.65
    • Average MCAT: 508
    • Overall acceptance rate: 6%
    • Matriculants: 221
    • Annual tuition & fees: $55,870
    • Public/private: Private

In addition to the standard four-year curriculum, Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine offers a one-year fellowship in osteopathic manual medicine.

They also boast of a Global Health Program wherein they also offer short-term service trips, research internships, and rotations around the world.

DMU’s Simulation Center allows students to develop clinical, communication, and interprofessional teamwork skills by providing them real-world clinical scenarios for them to perform hands-on procedures and assessments.

In 2020, the first-time pass rates of DMU-COM students and graduates for the COMLEX-USA Level 1 is 95.8%, 98.6% for Level 2 CE, and 96.2% for Level 2 PE.

In 2019, it was 98.2% for the COMLEX-USA Level 3. In terms of their residency placement, the percentage of graduates placed in GME for the Class of 2021 is 99%.

Bonus: Want a full library of free medical school eBooks, video courses, and training? Click here to get access to your free med school advice library!

  1. New York Institute Of Technology College Of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM)

    nyitcom

    • Location: Glen Head, NY
    • Average GPA: 3.62
    • Average MCAT: 506
    • Overall acceptance rate: 7.10%
    • Matriculants: 438
    • Annual tuition & fees: $58,435
    • Public/private: Private

New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine takes pride in providing educational experiences to their students even through the clinical and post-graduate years of training.

In the academic year 2019-2020, the first-time pass rates of NYITCOM students and graduates for the COMLEX-USA Level 1 is 94.42%, 95.07% for Level 2 CE.

In the academic year 2018-2019, it was 92.6% for Level 2 PE, and 98% for the COMLEX-USA Level 3. In terms of their residency placement, the percentage of graduates placed in GME for the academic year 2019 – 2020 is 98%.

Become A Top Med Student Quickly!

Get access to our top guides on how to be a top med student, get better grades, study more efficiently, crush your board exams and be impressive on your clinical rotations!

A summary of the statistics of the above-mentioned best DO schools in the U.S. in 2021 can be seen in the table below.

Best DO Schools Location Average GPA Average MCAT Overall acceptance rate Matriculants Annual tuition & fees Public/private
University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC/TCOM) Forth Worth, TX 3.71 507.2 11.67%

 

 

230 $13,078 (in-state), $28,766 (out-of-state) Public
Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (WesternU/COMP) Pomona, CA 3.69 509 3.12% 220 $59,600 Private
A.T. Still University of Health Sciences Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) Kirksville, MO 3.66 503 4.20% 170 $60,412 Private
University of Pikeville – Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (UP-KYCOM) Pikeville, KY 3.66 503.2 3.70% 145 $47,420 Private
Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at New Mexico State University University Park, NM 3.66 501.83 5% 162 $50,455 Private
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) Blacksburg, VA 3.65 501 3.70% 185 $46,900 Private
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) Athens, OH 3.65

 

504.84

 

5.04% 249 $39,600 (in-state), $55,396 (out-of-state)

 

Public
Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM) Indianapolis, IN 3.65 504 6.47% 156 $55,300 Private
Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM) Des Moines, IA 3.65 508 6% 221 $55,870 Private
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) Glen Head, NY 3.62 506 7.10% 438 $58,435 Private

FAQs About DO Schools In The US

Let’s compare DOs and MDs further. Here are some frequently asked questions about doctors of osteopathic medicine.

top 10 best DO schools

  1. Are Those Who Apply For DO Schools The Ones That Can’t Get Into MD Schools?

While it is true that DO school matriculants have lower average GPAs and MCAT scores, the answer to this question is absolutely not in most cases.

There could be students with below than average GPAs and MCAT scores that only see DO schools as an only option, though this is not entirely as they could also try for Caribbean medical schools.

However, most of the time, students apply for DO schools because some of them might be attracted more to the beliefs and practices of osteopathic medicine as compared to allopathic medicine.

Some of them also want to focus more on the musculoskeletal system which is the focal point of DOs.

  1. Are Osteopathic Medical Schools More Expensive Than Their Counterpart Allopathic Medical Schools?

I would like to believe that it’s actually the other way around.

In private schools, the average tuition for MD schools costs around $60,000 whereas tuition for DO schools is approximately $53,000.

In the case of public schools, the tuition for MD schools is around $37,000 for in-state students and $60,000 for out-of-state students. Tuition for DO schools, on the other hand, costs approximately $30,000 for in-state students and $56,000 for out-of-state students.

Bonus: Want to learn how to study twice as fast? Click here to get access to our free step-by-step study course!

  1. Do Graduates Of Osteopathic Medical Schools Have Equal Chances Of Landing Residency Spots As Allopathic Medical School Graduates?

Based on data, you would observe that DOs have relatively lower matching rates compared to MDs.

DOs also tend to specialize in primary care such as pediatrics, family medicine, and internal medicine which are also some of the least competitive specialties. Take note, though, that they are not limited to these specialties as there are a lot of DOs I know that are also surgeons.

While in some cases, it is true that some board directors lean a little bit towards MD graduates, I believe that your chances of landing and matching depend on how you present and sell yourself.

  1. What Is The Easiest Osteopathic Medical School To Get Into?

According to the data on overall acceptance rates, average MCAT score, and average GPA, the easiest DO school to get into is Lincoln Memorial University, DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM).

  1. What Is The Hardest Osteopathic Medical School To Get Into?

Based on overall acceptance rates, average MCAT score, and average GPA, the hardest DO school to get into is the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University.

  1. Would I Learn More At A DO School?

You will learn more wherever your best interests are aligned.

If you want to learn more about the musculoskeletal system and if you find osteopathic manipulative treatment or osteopathic medicine in general interesting, then you belong at a DO school.

So that’s it for this blog post! I hope you have gained some insights on the 10 best DO schools in the U.S. in 2021 for you to choose which DO school to apply to. We wish you the best of luck with your applications!

I would like to give credit to Shemmassian Academic Consulting, Bemo Academic Consulting, and Premed Experts for they have served as references in the making of this article.

If you have enjoyed this post, how about checking out some of our other blog posts for more great content?

If you want access to our full library of guides and free courses for med students, check out the Med Vault!

This is a completely free library of step-by-step eBooks & video courses that can help you on your medical journey!

Succeed In Med School With Less Stress

Get Access To A FREE Library Of Free Guides, Video Courses, And Resources To Help You Study Faster, Be More Productive, And Remain Stress Free

Get access to the Med Vault here.

FYI. If you’re on your pre-med journey and you would like for me to basically tell you what I would have done if I was in your shoes, then go ahead and check out The Pre-med Journey, which is a book that I wrote when I was in medical school.

the premed journey best book about medicine

You can find that book on Amazon for just 99 cents. So if you’re trying to increase your chances of getting into medical school, check it out!

Want to learn a better way to study without spending more hours? Here’s my simple 3-step strategy to boost your study efficiency every week. Try the Rapid Accelerator Program to study better today!

I also want to share with you my best strategies and tricks on how you can succeed on your medical journey & residency with the Med Elite Academy!

Check out how I went from barely passing my exams to graduating med school with a 3.9 GPA in these resources. It worked for me and it could also work for you!

Again, thanks for stopping by!

Until next time my friend…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.