The growth of osteopathic medicine continues to be robust and sustained, according to the latest Osteopathic Medical Profession (OMP) Report. In the coming academic year, the total number of DOs and osteopathic medical students will top 168,000 for the first time. The number of DOs, nearly 135,000, is up 80% over the past decade.
The AOA produces the OMP Report to track expansion and growth within the osteopathic medical profession and examine demographics and trends related to DOs and osteopathic medical students. Beginning this year, publication of the OMP report has transitioned to July, aligning with the AOA annual business meeting.
More trainees, young DOs
Over 33,800 osteopathic medical students are learning at 37 colleges of osteopathic medicine in 33 states, according to the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. One in four American medical students attends an osteopathic medical school. Today, two-thirds of actively practicing DOs are under age 45.
Across the country, the nation’s more than 117,000 DOs in active practice are working in a wide variety of communities, practice settings and specialties. The number of female DOs has grown dramatically in recent years—today, 43% of actively practicing DOs are women, and nearly three-quarters of actively practicing female DOs are under age 45.
While the majority of DOs—nearly 57%—practice in the primary care specialties of family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics, nearly 44% have chosen non-primary care specialties. The top five non-primary care specialties for DOs are emergency medicine, OB-GYN, anesthesiology, general surgery and psychiatry.
The profession’s strong base in primary care also contributes toward addressing physician shortages in medically underserved regions. In fact, six out of the 10 U.S. medical schools that produce the most primary care residents are osteopathic medical schools, according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of medical schools for 2022, including campuses in Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Top 8 DO specialties, 2020-2021
|Specialty||Number of practicing DOs||Percentage of practicing DOs|
Where DOs practice
Although DOs practice medicine in all 50 states, half of all DOs live in eight states—California, Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, Michigan, Texas, Ohio and New Jersey. Rounding out the top 10 states for DOs are Illinois and Arizona.