American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education?

    The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is a private professional organization responsible for the accreditation of nearly 7,800 allopathic residency education programs. Residency education is the period of clinical education in a medical specialty that follows graduation from medical school, and prepares physicians for the independent practice of allopathic medicine. The ACGME's volume of accredited programs makes it one of the largest private accrediting agencies in the country, if not the world. 

  • How can I find an osteopathic internship or residency?

    For more information about an osteopathic internship or residency, use the Opportunities database.

  • How can I find statistics/rankings to help me choose the best osteopathic medical college?

    The AOA does not rank its colleges. All osteopathic medical colleges must comply with the standards and procedures found in the Accreditation of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine manual. For more information, visit the Predoctoral Accreditation section.

Licensing Exam 

  • What is the COMLEX?

    The COMLEX-USA is the primary pathway by which osteopathic physicians apply for licensure to practice osteopathic medicine and is currently accepted for licensure in 50 states.

  • How can I find out more information about the test? 

    For more information about the COMLEX, visit the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners website.

  • What is the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners and what is its connection to the COMLEX?

    The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) is the organization that develops and administers the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) sequence for osteopathic physicians. 

About the AOA 

  • How long is the term of the AOA President?

    The term of the AOA president and president-elect is one year. View a complete list of the current AOA leadership.

  • How can I locate a staff member or department at the AOA?

    Call the AOA at (312) 202-8000 or (888) 62-MY-AOA (888-626-9262) to be connected to a specific staff member or department.

  • How can I access your list of current job listings?

    View a list of jobs at the AOA. If you are a DO seeking a position, visit DO-Jobs Online.

  • What has the osteopathic medical profession done to prepare for future bioterrorist threats?

    The AOA Task Force on Bioterrorism has created materials for addressing patient anxiety and stress as a result of possible bioterrorist attacks. These bioterrorism resources are available to members by logging in at the upper right and clicking on AOA Member Resources.

  • What does the AOA do to address timely public health care issues?

    The AOA prides itself on helping to create and improve access to health care for all Americans. To this extent, the association has created women’s health, end-of-life care, and minority health care initiatives. Each of these initiatives seeks to promote health care, continuing medical education and public programs for these groups.

 Research and Publications 

  • I am doing research on a specific medical term. Where can I get information on this topic?

    he best place for online research is PubMed, administered by the National Library of Medicine. To conduct online research related to osteopathic medicine, you should search OSTMED, the osteopathic literature database.