3 Best DO Schools in California-Requirements & FAQs

In hospitals, clinics, and offices across the country and abroad, doctors of osteopathic medicine (DO) see patients, write prescriptions, perform procedures, and deliver babies. DOs use all the usual medical tools of today, whether they are primary care physicians or specialists, but they also have access to additional therapeutic modalities.

In this article, we quickly take a look at the 3 best DO schools in California, where you can train to become a skilled and knowledgeable Osteopathic Doctor.

What Exactly Is Osteopathic Medicine?

The osteopathic philosophy of medicine sees all systems of the body as interconnected, with each working with the other to heal in times of illness.

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, practice osteopathic medicine. They take a whole-person approach to care, looking beyond symptoms to understand how lifestyle and environmental factors affect your well-being. 

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How Are DOs Trained? 

DOs graduate from four years of osteopathic medical school, with an emphasis on preventative medicine and holistic patient care.

They are taught to realize the interconnected oneness of all body systems, each of which works in tandem to promote total health and wellness.

DOs complete internships, residencies, and fellowships after graduating from medical school. This training lasts three to eight years and prepares them for licensure and board certification.

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, are licensed to practice medicine by licensing boards in each state, much like all other physicians in the United States. State requirements differ.

Licensure often entails passing a medical license exam offered by the state licensing board or accepting a certificate issued by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners after passing a rigorous series of exams.

The Federation of State Medical Boards maintains a directory of state licensing boards that can be contacted for physician licensure information.

Dos gain board certification by meeting the requirements of a specialist certifying board and demonstrating proficiency in a medical specialty or subspecialty.

Board certification is available in the United States through the American Osteopathic Association or the American Board of Medical Specialties. The board certification process includes written, practical, and simulator-based assessments. 

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Roles And Responsibilities of A DO

The job role of an osteopathic doctor includes a number of functions and roles, such as:

  • Taking extensive patient histories and asking a variety of inquiries to uncover the core cause of illnesses and injuries.

  • Using palpations and a range of movements to assist diagnose disorders.

  • Using manipulative therapy to repair and treat problems with the muscles, bones, and other body systems.

  • Treating patients with x-rays, MRI scans, and other diagnostic tools.

  • Setting up follow-up appointments and keeping track on patients’ development.

  • Attending conferences and building professional networks to stay up to date on medical breakthroughs.

  • Collaborating with other healthcare providers and seeking guidance as needed.

  • Creating treatment plans and providing medical advice to patients, caregivers, and family members.

How Much Do DOs Earn In California? 

As of September 1, 2022, the average yearly salary for Osteopathic Medicine employment in California is $158,823. If you need a quick salary calculator, that works out to be around $76.36 per hour. This equates to $3,054 each week or $13,235 per month.

The typical salary for an Osteopathic Medicine position ranges widely (as much as $79,442), implying that there may be numerous prospects for growth and improved pay dependent on skill level, location, and years of experience.

According to recent ZipRecruiter job posting activity, the Osteopathic Medicine job market in California is not very active, as few companies are currently hiring.

California ranks 17th out of 50 states in terms of Osteopathic Medicine job pay.

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The List of Top 3 DO schools In California 

Although physically demanding, osteopathy is a fulfilling profession that enables you to enhance not only a person’s health but also their general quality of life.

Because their techniques of therapy are uncommon, osteopathic physicians are in high demand in the medical community. You can achieve these skills and knowledge from these 3 best DO schools in California. 

California Health Sciences University – College of Osteopathic Medicine 

The Central Valley’s first college of osteopathic medicine is located at the California Health Sciences University (CHSU-COM). The CHSU medical school wants to bring in, educate, and keep doctors who will help the area’s underserved people.

The American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, the exclusive accrediting body for pre-doctoral osteopathic medical education acknowledged by the United States Department of Education, has granted the CHSU-COM pre-accreditation status.

In the first two years of the four-year CHSU-COM Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) program, students learn using a modified, two-pass systems-based curricular paradigm.

The curriculum incorporates problem-solving, active learning, clinical practice, and realistic patient scenarios with scientific principles. Medical knowledge, osteopathic manipulative medicine, clinical skills, nutrition as medicine, and patient-centered care are a few further distinctive curriculum elements.

Clinical clerkships with qualified healthcare professionals in local hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities give CHSU-COM students practical experience in their third and fourth years. Students rotate through 4- to 8-week clerkships in a variety of specialties, including emergency medicine, pediatrics, mental medicine, and surgery.

The three-story College of Osteopathic Medicine building, which opened in 2020 and has stunning views of the Sierra Nevada mountains, features cutting-edge technology throughout.

Large classrooms, an Osteopathic Skills lab, a library, several individual and group study areas, a roomy student lounge with a Teaching Kitchen, and a Simulation Center are all highlights of the building. 

A hospital-like inpatient room and a clinic- or doctor’s office-like outpatient space are both included in the simulation center. A lot of thought went into the unique Simulation Center’s thoughtful design to optimize interactive learning.

A first cohort of 79 students matriculated into the CHSU-COM in 2020, followed by a second cohort of 120 students in 2021, and a third cohort of 157 students in 2022. In July 2023, the fourth cohort, which will consist of 150 medical students, will start classes. 

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Admission: the following requirements are to be taken seriously if you want to be considered for admission. 

  • A bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a school approved by a body recognized by us department of education.

  • A grade point average (GPA) in science and overall of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.

  • A 498 or higher on the MCAT, with no part falling below the 15th percentile.

  • Scores from or after January 1, 2020 will be acceptable.

  • Two letters of recommendation are required.

  • Before matriculation, you must successfully complete the necessary courses indicated here.

  • U.S. citizenship, U.S. permanent resident, or DACA recipient

The MCAT scores, official transcripts, and necessary letters of recommendation, along with the AACOMAS application, must be submitted to the Office of Admissions by March 1, 2023, at the latest.

Primary applicants are screened by the CHSU-COM Admissions Department to make sure they adhere to basic standards. The Supplemental Application process, which entails two essays, an evaluator identification verification, and payment of the Supplemental Application Fee, will be made available to qualified applicants.

Selected candidates will be offered available interview dates and invited to a virtual interview.

After the virtual interview, the Admissions Committee will conduct a comprehensive assessment and take into account all of the application materials and the interviewer’s performance before recommending an applicant to the Dean. 

The COM Admissions staff will inform the applicant of the decision, and the CHSU-COM Dean will make the ultimate admissions decision.

When a candidate is accepted, more information on how to reserve a spot in the class, including how to sign an enrollment agreement and pay a seat deposit, will be given. 

Tuition: $99,850 

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Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, California 

A profession in general care is chosen by 55% of TUCOM graduates on average, although specialist medicine is chosen by almost as many. As a result, even if this institution stands out for its primary care emphasis, it does not define them.

Their distinctive curriculum incorporates the best elements of osteopathic medical principles. Every graduate has the qualities that distinguish the top doctors, and they are all equipped to pursue the medical careers of their choosing.

Their campus includes numerous clinical locations that offer treatment, advice, comfort, and preventative services to the local population. 

A Master of Science in Medical Health Sciences is one of the many educational possibilities that TUCOM provides, in addition to programs in research and public health.

Its students have received recognition and awards for their community contributions and international research as a result of their public health options.

The goal of the Touro University Osteopathic Medicine Program is to educate students to become exceptional osteopathic doctors who uphold the principles of osteopathic philosophy and practice and are dedicated to providing primary care and a holistic approach to patient care. 

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Admission: Students who are concurrently enrolled in the DO/MPH Program are given access to an integrated curriculum that emphasizes understanding that there is an opportunity to influence overall community health by looking at health issues from the perspective of populations rather than individuals with each patient. Click here to learn about this program. 

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  1. Western University of Health Sciences – College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) 

The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program is the main concentration at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) and COMP-Northwest. This indicates that they are wholly committed to assisting you in following your calling to become the doctor you were born to be.

Because each student is unique, each student’s journey is slightly different, yet graduates of all programs achieve the same result beyond the DO title: you will discover your true self, a place where you can heal both mentally and emotionally.

In response to a severe lack of primary care doctors in the western United States, the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) was founded in 1977. 

In September 1977, Dr. Philip Pumerantz accepted the college’s board of directors’ request to serve as its initial president. In January 1978, COMP achieved pre-accreditation status from the American Osteopathic Association. In July 1978, the status of provisional accreditation was attained, and in February 1982, full accreditation.

Western University of Health Sciences replaced COMP as a university in August 1996 to better reflect the institution’s stature. 

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Admission: Confirmation of a baccalaureate degree is necessary for matriculation at WesternU/COMP.

  • Completion of most of the stated prerequisite courses.
  • At the time of application, you must have successfully completed 90 semester units at a U.S. institution with regional accreditation, or their international equivalents.
  • Official MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) results submitted to AACOMAS
  • Scores can only be three (3) years old.
  • Two recommendation letters
  • One (1) from a doctor (MD or DO only, DO preferred)
  • One (1) either from a university health professions committee OR from a scientific professor.
  • When Required, Provide Proof of Legal U.S. Residency 

You may find step-by-step instructions and an application checklist when you click apply now. Your completed application consists of a number of supporting documents, and it is crucial that you carefully follow the checklist to make sure that you properly submit these documents by the deadline. 

Tuition: $88.339.00

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Is an MD equivalent to a DO? 

The roles that an MD and a DO typically carry out are similar. Both an MD and a DO finish equivalent residencies, are licensed to practice in all 50 states and can write prescriptions.

The primary distinction between Dos and MDs is that Dos undergo additional hands-on instruction in a process known as osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM). 

Are DO schools easier to get into? 

Students who apply to both allopathic and osteopathic programs will considerably enhance their chances of getting anywhere, especially those worried about their GPAs or MCAT scores as DO schools are a little easier to get into. 

Is osteopathic school worth it?

Yes, a doctor of osteopathic medicine earns $142,000 more annually than the typical college graduate.

Let’s assume that the $142,000 in additional income remains constant over the course of a DO’s 30-year post-residency career. 

Who gets paid more MD or DO? 

In situations where characteristics like specialty, position, years of experience, and location are equal, the pay of MD and DO physicians are comparable.

However, MD doctors make more money than DO doctors on average because: They specialize more often, and specialists often make more money than generalists. 

Why choose a DO over an MD? 

MDs typically concentrate on using medication to address particular illnesses. Conversely, Dos frequently emphasize whole-body healing, whether or not it involves conventional medication.

They typically employ a more comprehensive approach and have received more hours of hands-on instruction. 

How long does it take to get a California osteopathic medical license? 

It may take up to 6 months to complete the licensing process. Only applications submitted after graduating from osteopathic medical school will be considered for PTL applicants. 

What state has the most osteopathic doctors? 

With 8,536 Dos actively practicing in 2018 in Pennsylvania, that state has the most osteopathic medical doctors. 

Can osteopathic doctors become surgeons? 

DO doctors can undoubtedly become surgeons. The American College of Osteopathic Surgeons, in fact, hosts an annual meeting for DO surgeons. 

Is DO less prestigious than MD? 

In the United States, an MD degree is often more valued than a DO degree. That is not to say that a physician with one degree is superior to another.

There are more MDs than Dos, and because of their standardized acceptability, MDs are frequently thought to be slightly more reputable. 

What is the hardest DO school to get into? 

The Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University is the most difficult DO school to get into based on overall admission rates, average MCAT score, and average GPA. 

What MCAT score DO you need for DO school? 

Most DO schools accept 6-8% of their applications, while MD schools typically take 3-4%. DO schools have the highest average MCAT score of 512.

Students aiming for top MD programs should have a GPA of at least 515. The takeaway: MD programs are much more difficult to get into. 

Are Dos less respected? 

In practice, Dos and MDs operate side by side and are respected equally by the majority of individuals in medicine.

Most hospitals and residency programs agree that it makes no difference whether you’re a DO or MD. They only care that you are a good doctor. 

How long is a DO vs MD school? 

Both programs are four years long. However, keep in mind that each program varies by college. What are your suggestions about these DO Schools in California? Please leave a comment below.

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