MD or doctor of medicine is the traditional degree for people entering medicine. A degree known as the DO degree, or the doctor of osteopathy, developed in the late 1800’s as an alternative to the MD degree. Doctors with a DO degree get basically the same training as MD’s but with additional training in manipulation of the bones. At this point all states recognize the MD and DO degree as both qualified to practice medicine. The American Medical Association allows both types of doctors to become members.
So what is the difference in the BS/MD programs and the BS/DO programs? For many people the MD degree is still considered the preferred degree even though both programs will allow you to become a doctor. As a result, in most cases the BS/MD programs are more competitive to get into than the BS/DO programs. That is not to say that the BS/DO programs are easy to get accepted to, just easier than the BS/MD programs.
The official website of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine is the place to start for more detailed information about earning the DO degree. The site includes a list of all of the Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine in the US. Each of the colleges listed have a link to a college information book that states whether they have a BS/DO program with any undergraduate colleges.
The length of these programs are generally 8 years although like the BS/MD programs some can be completed in less time.
If your goal is to become a doctor and you want to look at alternatives to the normal route of applying to medical school while in college, the BS/DO programs are something to consider.
Want more information about BS/MD programs? Check out the Guide to BS/MD Programs.