How are DOs licensed and certified?
Like all physicians in the U.S., Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, are licensed to practice medicine by licensing boards in each state. Requirements vary by state.
Typically, licensure requires successful completion of a medical licensing exam administered by the state licensing board or acceptance of a certificate issued by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners upon completion of a rigorous series of exams.
The Federation of State Medical Boards provides a directory of state licensing boards that can be contacted for information regarding physician licensure.
DOs earn board certification when they achieve expertise in a medical specialty or subspecialty by meeting the requirements of a specialty certifying board. Physicians in the U.S. can become board certified through the American Osteopathic Association or the American Board of Medical Specialties. The board certification process involves a combination of written, practical and simulator-based tests.
Learn more about the DO difference.