American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

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Osteopathic Medical Profession Continues to Grow

There are now more than 108,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) in the United States, with over half of DOs practicing in primary care, according to the American Osteopathic Association's (AOA) annual report on the profession.

The AOA also reports an 85 percent increase in osteopathic medical students since 2007, bringing the total number of DOs and students to more than 137,000.

See the news release for more information about the annual report. 




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 About Osteopathic Physicians


​DOs are licensed physicians who can prescribe medication and practice in all specialty areas, including surgery, in the United States. They complete approximately four years of medical school followed by graduate medical education through internship and residency programs typically lasting three to eight years. In addition, DOs receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system, providing them with an in-depth knowledge of the ways that illness or injury in one part of the body can affect another. As one of the fastest-growing segments of health care professionals in the nation, the number of DOs has grown more than 200% during the past 25 years.