Black Students Are Underrepresented at the Nation’s Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

There are now 26 colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. Osteopathic medicine uses the tools of traditional medical practice but takes a more holistic approach to health. Doctors of osteopathic medicine also use manual techniques, known as osteopathic manipulative treatment, to relieve pain, reduce stress, restore range of motion, and to help the body’s self-healing systems.

In 2010 there were 545 black students enrolled at the nation’s osteopathic medical schools. They made up 3 percent of all students at these schools. In contrast, blacks make up about 7 percent of all enrollments at traditional medical schools.

Black women account for nearly two thirds of all African-American students of osteopathic medicine.

In 2010 the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine had the largest number of black students. The 71 black students made up 6.6 percent of the student body. There were 69 black students at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s School of Osteopathic Medicine and 61 black students at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of the New York Institute of Technology.

In 2010 there were no blacks among the 149 students at the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Yakima, Washington, and no black students among the 550 students at Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Vallejo, California. There was only one black among the 722 students at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine.