ATSU offers two distinct osteopathic medical programs for future medical students. Osteopathic medicine is a unique form of American medical care that was developed in 1874 by Andrew Taylor Still, M.D. Dissatisfied with the effectiveness of 19th-century medicine, Dr. Still believed that many of the medications of his day were ineffective or even harmful. In response, he was one of the first in his time to study the attributes of good health in order to achieve a better understanding of the process of disease.
Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.s) practice in all branches of medicine and surgery, from psychiatry to emergency medicine. However, D.O.s are trained to be primary care physicians first and specialists second. The majority (about 60 percent) of D.O. graduates become primary care physicians who practice in small towns and rural areas, often taking care of entire families and whole communities.
Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
ATSU’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM) offers a residential program culminating in a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree. KCOM students spend the first two years studying the basic sciences and clinical introductions in a classroom setting. The Complete DOctor, a course specific to KCOM, incorporates early clinical experiences with didactic study in medical law and ethics, physical exam skills, cultural diversity and spirituality in medicine, and communication skills.
School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona
ATSU's School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (SOMA) is the University's newest college of osteopathic medicine and was recently granted provisional accreditation by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). The school's unique curriculum and teaching methods will emphasize cutting-edge technology and individualized, active, self-directed learning. In addition, students will spend three of their four years of training in community health centers located in underserved communities across the country.