Osteopathic Medicine

os·teo·path·ic  med·i·cine: Osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine.

Education for Osteopathic Physicians includes:

  • Bachelor’s degree (4 years)
  • Medical School (4 years) – for most Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine or DO programs, the first two years are didactic and the 3rd/4th years are clinical rotations.
  • Internship (1 year) – Upon graduation, physicians may complete a one year traditional rotating internship if they would like to further explore various specialties
  • Residency program (3-7 years) – specialized training for a particular area of medicine (family, emergency, OB/GYN, internal, surgery etc.)
  • Fellowship (1-3 years) – formal, full-time training program that focuses on a particular area within the specialty. Fellowships are required for highly specialized fields like cardiology or endocrinology

Where do Osteopathic Physicians Work?

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine are fully licensed to practice in any clinical setting across the US. This includes private practice, hospitals, and clinics. This includes treating patients with counseling, medication, surgery and osteopathic manipulative treatment. Osteopathic physicians may also work in an academic setting (medical school), the military and serve as physicians for athletic teams.

What do they do there?

Osteopathic philosophy emphasizes treating the whole patient, considering mind, body, and spirit.  The objective of osteopathic manipulative medicine is to facilitate the body’s own healing mechanisms by removing restrictions, whether based in joints, muscles, circulation, or nerves. The goal is to optimize function of the whole person, a much broader objective than reducing pain or restrictions. Osteopathic manipulation is not limited to the vertebral column or the musculoskeletal system but, as fully licensed physicians, includes treatments for circulatory, nerve and visceral functions as part of caring for the whole person.

Licensure for Osteopathic Medicine Practice

Osteopathic physicians must pass all three levels of the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination or COMLEX-USA to become fully licensed physicians. Level I is taken after completion of the 2nd year of medical school and tests on basic sciences. Level II is taken during the 3rd or 4th year and consists of a cognitive evaluation and performance evaluation. Level III is taken after starting a residency program and covers the clinical disciplines of medicine.

Professional Associations

AOA – American Osteopathic Association
AACOM – American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
ACOFP – American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians

Contact IPE

Mrs. Betty Lynne W. Johnson
Assistant Dean of Interprofessional Education
Phone: 910-814-5529
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @CUIPE Tw Online Community: campbelluniversityipe.ning.com Ning


IPE Events

Grand Rounds

October 13, 2015

Campbell Interprofessional Case Study

October 13, 2015


IPE News

Julie Lee: A soldier for public health
May 18, 2015

Trustees’ Executive Committee approves Catherine W. Wood School of Nursing
March 25, 2015

Campbell holds 1st interprofessional education event of the semester
August 26, 2014

Interprofessional education event promotes teamwork
March 25, 2014

Visit to migrant camps begins Campbell’s health care outreach initiative
October 17, 2013

Health sciences students bring health education to rural population
October 7, 2013

Campbell launches interprofessional education program for health sciences students
August 14, 2013

Public Health, PA host free dental and medical clinic for Harnett County children
February 4, 2013

Team-based health education to expand at Campbell
January 22, 2013