Aspiring medical students are presented with a crucial decision when starting their journey towards becoming a physician – whether to pursue a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) from an osteopathic medical school or a Doctor of Medicine (MD) from an allopathic medical school. Although both paths lead to a career in medicine, they differ in various ways.

Osteopathic medicine is a branch of the medical profession in the United States that emphasizes the practice of evidence-based medicine, commonly known as allopathic medicine. This approach is guided by a philosophy and set of principles that originated from osteopathy, its predecessor.

Philosophical Foundation

Osteopathic medicine is based on a holistic philosophy, which means that it prioritizes treating the entire person, rather than just their symptoms or illnesses. Osteopathic physicians, also known as DOs, are trained to consider how the different systems in the body are interconnected and the significance of preventative care. They frequently use hands-on, manipulative techniques as part of their treatment methods.

Allopathic medicine, which is mainly represented by MDs, follows a conventional approach to treating diseases and symptoms with medications or surgical interventions. Although MDs also consider the patient's overall health, their training is usually more focused on treating specific diseases rather than providing holistic care.

Curriculum & Training

OMM techniques are taught in osteopathic medical education to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal issues and promote wellness, setting it apart from allopathic programs.

MD programs typically do not include osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) in their curriculum. Instead, they focus on rigorous scientific and clinical education, with an emphasis on medical specialties and clinical rotations.


If you're planning to apply to medical schools in Virginia, you will need to meet certain prerequisites, although the exact requirements may vary between schools. Most medical programs in Virginia require you to have a bachelor's degree and have completed coursework in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Additionally, you will need to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and show good academic performance, active participation in extracurricular activities, and relevant clinical or research experience.

If you're wondering about the competitiveness of the admission process for medical schools in Virginia, you should know that it can be quite challenging since there are limited seats and a large number of applicants. To increase your chances of getting accepted, you should aim for a competitive GPA, MCAT score, and write a persuasive personal statement that showcases your passion for medicine and your unique qualities.

Out-of-state applicants can also apply to Virginia medical schools, although in-state residents may be given priority. Keep in mind that out-of-state applicants usually face more competition for the limited seats available, so it's important to check the admission policies of each school you're interested in to ensure that you meet their specific requirements.



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