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DO Schools Lead in Primary Care, Rural Care and Caring for Underserved in U.S. News’ Medical Schools Ranking

Colleges of osteopathic medicine make up nine of the 10 top programs with the most graduates practicing in primary care

By AOA Media Team

04.02.21

CHICAGO—This year, three osteopathic medical schools ranked on the U.S. News and World Report annual list of the best medical schools for primary care.

Additionally, osteopathic medical schools make up nine of the top 10 U.S. medical schools with the most graduates practicing in primary care specialties, according to a new U.S. News list published this year. These schools include:

  1. Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
  2. Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
  3. Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
  4. Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  5. University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
  6. A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
  7. Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
  8. Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine–California
  9. Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine

“Our long tradition of a whole-person approach to health care makes osteopathic physicians a natural fit for primary care,” said Marc G. Kaprow, DO, President of the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association and Clinical Associate Professor, Internal Medicine at Nova Southeastern University’s Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, which also ranked on the list for most primary care graduates. “It is an honor to be a part of a profession that retains traditional values while also growing and adapting to the evolving needs of health care.”

Underserved Areas

Listed second on the U.S. News list for most graduates practicing in medically underserved areas was the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences. Moreover, four of the 10 medical schools with the most medical school graduates practicing in underserved areas are osteopathic colleges.

“A physician shortage is looming, and osteopathic physicians are answering the call,” said AOA President Thomas Ely, DO, an AOA board-certified osteopathic family physician in Clarksville, Tennessee. “Colleges of osteopathic medicine, and our graduating physicians, are truly serving the communities that need them most.”

Rural Care

The Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of Pikeville ranked first on the list of medical schools with the most graduates practicing patient care in rural areas, with 31% of its graduates going on to practice in rural care. Additionally, three of the first five ranked schools were colleges of osteopathic medicine, including William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine (2nd) and A.T. Still University of Health Sciences—Kirksville (4th).

Currently, DOs make up approximately 11% of the physician population in the US. The profession is one of the fastest-growing in healthcare, with 25% of incoming medical students choosing to attend a college of osteopathic medicine.

“What the annual U.S. News & World Report list makes clear is that our growing physician community is having a dramatic impact on the fields of primary care, in rural America and caring for underserved populations, among others,” said Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, an emergency physician who serves as CEO of the AOA. “I am ever-proud of the commitment of our osteopathic medical school graduates. That’s inclusive of all of our physicians, many of whom work in non-primary specialties including psychiatry, anesthesiology, surgery, emergency medicine, and many more.”

About the American Osteopathic Association

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 151,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages, funds and disseminates scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. To learn more about DOs and the osteopathic philosophy of medicine, visit www.osteopathic.org.

Media Contact

Jessica Bardoulas
Director of Media Relations, American Osteopathic Association
jbardoulas@osteopathic.org