Prospective and current osteopathic students looking to secure a spot in a quality residency program are often curious about DO schools with the best match rates. With the slight possibility of not becoming a resident doctor after graduation looming over them, students will want to start planning early. While choosing a particular school does not immediately translate to a residency match, researching how every institution can benefit your future is a good strategy when figuring out how to choose a medical school.
This article lists the DO schools with the absolute highest match rates where you are almost sure to be matched should you complete your program. We also cover some tangible ways to improve your chances of a match when applying for residency and the benefits of seeking professional residency help.
Disclaimer: Please note: although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa.
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List of DO Schools with the Best Match Rates
The following schools listed are the DO schools with reported match rates of 99% or above. It is important to note that these numbers can vary from year to year, as each batch of students has a different composition, especially in terms of specialty choice. Some schools will also compile these statistics after a few years or lump multiple campus locations together to tally their results.
Wondering about how the residency match works? Watch this video:
1. Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine – 99.85%
At CUSOM, the majority of recent graduates specialize in internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, and pediatrics. Other specialties of interest for Campbell students include anesthesiology, psychiatry, and traditional residency.
2. Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine – 99.78%
OSUCOM has had a 100% match rate for their residency placements for six of the last seven years.
3. West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine – 99.75%
In a recent year, 60% of WVSOM students received their first-choice option in the residency match, against a national average of 48%.
4. Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine (Kansas City and Joplin campuses) – 99.6%
This result for the Kansas City University campuses represents a three-year average. Almost half of their graduates matched in internal or family medicine residency programs.
5. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (Erie and Bradenton campuses) – 99.6%
For these results, the Erie, Pennsylvania, and Bradenton, Florida, data are aggregated.
6. A.T. Still University of Health Sciences - School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona – 99.5%
At A.T. Still’s Arizona school, their yearly postgraduation positions booklet displays the hospitals and medical centers where their graduates match across the United States, divided by specialty.
7. Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - Nevada – 99.5%
The Nevada campus of Touro College has the highest four-year average match rate among the four different campuses.
8. Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (Virginia, Carolinas, Auburn campuses) – 99.38%
Like many other osteopathic schools, there is a large majority of graduates in internal medicine and family medicine, with over 450 graduates in each of these specialties over a four-year period.
9. University of Pikeville - Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine – 99.38%
Over a four-year period, in addition to matching to residency programs in the state of Kentucky, a large number of KCOM grads have also matched to programs in Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois.
10. Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine – 99.3%
Idaho’s results illustrate that 99.3% of their graduates received matches to residency programs in a one-year cycle.
11. A.T. Still University of Health Sciences - Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine – 99.25%
About two-thirds (67.4%) of ATSU graduates match in primary care specialties, such as family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics.
12. Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine – 99.25%
In recent years, 40–50% of Rowan’s graduating class was placed in New Jersey-located programs.
13. Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine – 99.02%
In addition to a high match rate, Des Moines’s DO program has a very high graduation rate overall compared to many schools across the United States.
14. Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine – 99.0%
Recent reports from ACOM show that students were placed in 22 specialties in 35 of the 50 American states.
15. Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine – 99.0%
In a recent annual report, 76% of MSUOM graduates (219 students) remained in Michigan for their residency programs.
16. Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Philadelphia campus) – 99.0%
According to their website, PCOM has maintained a 99% match rate every year since 2017.
When researching medical schools with the best match rates, you will find that some of the highest-ranked schools with positive reputations also produce the most matches. Osteopathic schools, on average, have lower match rates than their allopathic counterparts, although they each use the same residency match services. Despite this, DO school rankings show that a number of osteopathic schools have higher match rates than some of the lower-ranked or even top-ranked allopathic schools. That being said, there are many circumstances that can influence any given school’s match rates, such as the specialty choices of its students or its location.
Osteopathic schools focus on primary care specialties, such as a family medicine residency or internal medicine residency. These specialties lend themselves to better match rates, even for allopathic students. Due to a smaller osteopathic presence overall, many schools have pathways to support their students once they are ready to begin their careers as medical residents. DO schools also tend to have resources, specific connections with hospitals that lend themselves to osteopathic medicine, and research exposure for their students.
How to Improve Your Match Chances
The prospect of not receiving a match is scary for osteopathic students looking to start their residency. To become a doctor of any kind, there are no guarantees, even if DO school match rates are generally high. To have the best chance at success, you must put your best foot forward at every step of the process. Even with most medical students finding a match in the US and Canada, it is still important to do everything you can to stand out. Here are a few key aspects of your residency application that will improve your chances of getting a match:
Having quality clinical experience, especially if it is in your specialty, can show that you are the type of medical student that goes above and beyond. When you are figuring out how to prepare for your residency applications, it can be very helpful to plan to spend multiple hours working directly in the field you are pursuing. Understanding how to choose medical school electives is a crucial part of any med school experience. While you are going through your program, you should always be looking for opportunities to add to your residency CV and help secure your spot.
Clinical experience will grow your skills and help you gain knowledge as you prepare for the next stage of your career in osteopathic medicine. Search for available opportunities by reaching out to physicians you have shadowed or through faculty members at your school. Since DO schools are closely aligned with the osteopathic medicine facilities in their community, there are sure to be connections you can use to your advantage to identify some worthwhile professional opportunities. If you are an international medical graduate wanting to gain experience in the US or Canada, certain IMG electives and clinical experience can bolster your application.
The Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) is divided into three levels, all of which are important for becoming an unsupervised, practicing osteopathic physician in the United States. These assessments test science knowledge, safety measures, prognosis, and patient interaction, among other subjects, as well as legal and ethical issues related to the field of medicine.
COMLEX Level 1 and Level 2-CE must be taken first, typically during your medical school years. How you score on these exams is one of the main deciding factors for who residency program directors let into their programs. COMLEX Level 3 is usually taken during the first year of residency but can be completed once you have graduated from your MD or DO program.
The first two steps cannot be retaken. You cannot go back and improve your score, so it is important to do as well as possible. A great score on COMLEX Level 1 and 2 will definitely support your candidacy for residency. If you previously applied for residency but were not matched, acing Level 3 is one of your best shots at improving your residency application after going unmatched. Reading through case studies and taking multiple practice tests is the best way to study for these grueling examinations.
Once you figure out how to choose a medical specialty, attending a conference about that particular discipline could be a worthwhile opportunity to immerse yourself in the professional community you wish to be a part of. When you participate in a conference, you benefit from the expertise of the top physicians in your field. By attending influential talks and presentations, you can learn about current research and innovation as well as significant debates. Familiarity with the main topics of discussion in your specialty underscores your dedication to the medical profession and to the patients you will eventually help. As a member of a profession having an impact on people’s lives on a daily basis, it’s essential to stay up to date as you transition to residency, and program directors will value your efforts if you include such experiences in your application.
During conferences, you can also network with other medical professionals, which may lead to observing and shadowing opportunities that you could list as part of your application. You might also get ideas about where to pursue your residency.
Note that conferences may not be feasible for every single medical student due to cost, travel, or other circumstances. However, virtual events are also worth considering.
The residency interview is often one of the last milestones before being matched. According to data from the NRMP, it is also the most prominent factor that residency programs use to rank their applicants. Getting through to the interview stage shows that your ERAS or CaRMS profile has made a strong enough first impression, but prospective residents often make it or break it in the interview room. If you bomb the interview, your previous credentials and all the hard work you put in will not mean much. There is a lot of pressure to do well in this moment, but stress can be relieved with the right medical residency interview prep. Practicing the right techniques to properly address common residency interview questions you will face is key to your success.
While you will surely come across standard questions, such as the ever-present “tell me about yourself” question, what program directors really want to see are interpersonal skills that will translate well to the social demands of a residency placement. Half the battle is learning the proper strategies for how to articulate your candidacy during the interview. The right ERAS interview prep or CaRMS interview prep will raise your confidence and help to clinch that coveted residency match.
No part of medical school is easy, especially if you are worried about matching for residency. One way you can alleviate your stress is by being informed. If you are currently a student in osteopathic medicine or wish to go down this path, DO schools have generally high match rates to begin with. The schools listed above have the highest guarantee to get you matched to a residency program, but it is truly difficult to compare when the differences between DO school percentages are so miniscule. The discrepancies between most osteopathic medical school match rates are not enough to warrant a major shift in direction.
The important thing to remember is to follow your passion when choosing a school. Do not let match rates be the only factor in your decision. Deciding where you want to further your medical education is not to be taken lightly, so consider every aspect of that school before applying. Focus on creating a perfect application, rather than graduating from a school with the highest possible match rates. Doing well on exams and in coursework, as well as brushing up on your interview skills, will serve you better in the long run. You must still complete years of medical education before even getting to residency, so make sure those years are spent in a place where you and your enthusiasm for medicine can thrive.
If you need extra help, admissions experts are available to assist with any part of the medical school and residency process. At the end of the day, doing everything you can to succeed is the best match rate you can gift yourself.
1. What are the DO schools with the best match rates?
There are many osteopathic medical schools with match rates over 99%, but the absolute best of the best over a four-year range are Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.
2. Why might DO schools have high match rates?
Many graduates from DO schools head for specialties that are the “easiest” to match with, such as family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics. Osteopathic schools also have connections with hospitals, medical centers, and other institutions that can offer students clinical experience opportunities in those specialties, leading to higher match rates.
3. What are some reasons someone might not be matched?
There are multiple reasons for why some candidates do not match at all the first time around. They might not have known how many residency programs to apply to and applied to too few of them or did not pick the right specialty that linked with their experience. These students could also have application documents that need further editing or did not perform well in the interview portion.
4. What is a residency rank order list?
A residency rank order list is a compilation of all the residency programs you would like to be a part of. It should be ordered from your first choice until your last choice. Programs create the same type of lists. When a match occurs, it means both parties ranked each other highly.
5. Can I retake any of the COMLEX-USA exams?
According to the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, you cannot retake any level unless it is to pass a previously failed exam. If you have failed previously, you may retake the exam a maximum of four times in a 12-month period.
6. Is there anything specific I can do to increase my chances of matching?
Logging hours of professional experience in your specialty is definitely key to matching to a residency program because it is representative of the work you will be doing in the field. The more time you have spent getting exposed to medicine by shadowing or clinical opportunities, the more equipped you will be for residency.
Perfecting your residency letter of intent and other application documents will also help. It is always better to prepare early, so start to organize yourself as soon as you can.
7. What is a residency prep company?
A residency prep company can be made up of admissions specialists or academic consultants. They provide useful information and strategies to medical students at all stages of their application to help them stand out to program directors.
8. What specific services can academic consultants offer?
Academic consultants can give you private help that is tailored to your needs. Through application review, a residency mock interview, or CASPer prep, you will receive expert feedback that is meant to boost your scores and help you get matched to your top-choice residency program.
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