Choice of a physician is a very personal one, and there are phenomenal D.O.s, chiropractors, and MDs.  This chart is in no way meant to disparage other professions, but merely to give the interested a visual reference on the scope of training involved for osteopathic physicians. 

Not licensed to prescribe medications.  New Mexico has recently allowed limited prescribing rights.

Fully-licensed to prescribe medications.

3-8 years

depending on specialty.   

3-8 years

depending on specialty.   Most OMM specialists complete OMM subspecialty training (1-2 years in addition to 3-8)

National Board Exam (NBCE).        Parts I, II, III, IV (practical) and state boards.

USMLE I, II, IICS, & III.

licensing Exams

Years of Education

Chiropractor (D.C.)

Allopathic Physician (M.D.)

Comparative Training

COMLEX I, II, IICS, III.    Students often take both USMLE and COMLEX

Minimum 10 years.  

                                                         

4 year Undergraduate degree, plus four years medical school, plus 2-8 years residency training, and may go on for 1-3 years additional fellowship training.

Minimum 7 years.


Some require 4 year undergraduate degree while others college credit, plus four or five years chiropractic school. Some may go on for additional residency training.

Minimum 10 years.  

                                                         

4 year Undergraduate degree, plus four years medical school, plus 2-8 years residency training, and may go on for 1-3 years additional fellowship training.

Medication Prescribing Rights

Board Certification/ Specialization

Residency Training

Osteopathic Physician (D.O.)

Fully-licensed to prescribe medications.

May specialize in 10 fields: orthopedics, pediatrics, Rehab, Internal disorders, radiology, neurology, nutrition, acupuncture, occupational health, sports physician.

May specialize in any field of medical or surgical specialty, except OMM

(24 allopathic specialties)

May specialize in any field of medical or surgical specialty, including OMM (18 osteopathic specialties plus 24 allopathic)

1 year internship that coincides with clinical courses while in training.          No residency is required, but have the option to complete one if desired and accepted.