Specialty focus

The top 8 specialties for DOs today

From family medicine to general surgery, learn the specialties more DOs chose and which are the most common.


In this year’s NRMP Match—the first combined match since the transition to a single graduate medical education accreditation system began—DOs matched into residency programs in 38 specialties.

DOs at all experience levels practice in a breadth of specialties, according to the latest Osteopathic Medical Profession (OMP) Report, which found that nearly 44% of actively practicing DOs are in a non-primary-care specialty.

Over the past several decades, the number of DOs choosing non-primary-care specialties has steadily grown, says AOA CEO Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, FACEP.

“As an emergency physician, I can attest to the fact that osteopathic physicians provide a unique and valuable perspective on the practice of medicine in all specialties,” Dr. Klauer says. “Osteopathic medicine’s approach to caring for the whole person—mind, body and spirit—can be applied across the full spectrum of medicine, and our philosophy resonates with patients as they seek information and want to partner with their physicians while receiving care.”

At the same time, the osteopathic medical profession’s connection to primary care remains strong. Today, nearly 57% of actively practicing DOs are in a primary care specialty such as family medicine, internal medicine or pediatrics.

The list below includes the eight most common specialties for DOs—the three previously mentioned primary care specialties and five specialties outside of primary care.

See the full OMP report here.

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