Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) see patients, prescribe medications, perform surgeries, and deliver babies in hospitals, medical centers, and offices across the United States and overseas. Whether they are primary care providers or specialists, DOs use all the standard tools of modern medicine, but also have additional therapeutic modalities with which to care for their patients.

What distinguishes DOs?

Osteopathic Medicine is a whole-person approach that emphasizes the body’s interconnectedness. Osteopathic physicians are trained to use a hands-on approach called Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) for the patients, in addition to using traditional diagnostic and therapeutic techniques. DOs treat each patient as an individual, not a set of symptoms.

Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM)

Beyond their basic and clinical medical training, Osteopathic physicians (DO) receive training in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM). That is, in addition to their basic science and clinical training, DOs are additionally able to use their hands to diagnose and treat injury and illness and encourage the body’s natural tendency toward good health. OMM enables physicians to treat their patients with the appropriate combination of medical procedures, medication, AND manipulation. This form of treatment can often result in immediate relief and/or increased speed of healing.

Altus Assessments’ CASPer online test

Beginning with the 2019-2020 application cycle, we are requiring that all applicants to COMP-Pomona or COMP-Northwest take the Altus Assessments’ CASPer online test.  CASPer is an online, video-scenario based, situational judgement test designed to measure professional/personal characteristics, such as empathy and communication skills.

We will be using the test to further assess some of the qualities currently used in making admissions decisions.  We know that non-academic characteristics are just as important as grades and MCAT scores. We want to make sure that we are using the most relevant data available to inform our decisions on admission.

More information on the CASPer online test can be found at https://altusassessments.com/.

For details on our CASPer test requirements please refer to the CASPer Requirements section of the Apply Now page. Please contact the Admissions Office at 909-469-5335 if you have any questions.


Susan M. Hanson, MS
Executive Director of Admissions, Department of Health Sciences Education

Doctors That DO

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine believe there’s more to good health than the absence of pain or disease. They practice a whole-person approach to medicine, focused on looking beyond your symptoms to understand how lifestyle and environmental factors impact your wellbeing. Learn more about your partner in health www.DoctorsThatDO.org .

Interested in learning more? Two students of Osteopathic Medicine wrote A Brief Guide to Osteopathic Medicine that provides an easily understood summary of the history, philosophy, different techniques involved in OMM, and the many opportunities available for osteopathic medical students and graduates.

Why choose WesternU?

We have a nationally recognized program and offer you:

  • Excellent residency placements (PDF) in a variety of medical and surgery specialties.
  • A record of consistently high first-time pass rates for COMLEX board exams.
  • Clinical training that develops professional and communication skills.
  • A private health professions-focused institution that fosters interprofessional learning.
  • Faculty who care deeply about students and are committed to their success.
  • Long humanistic tradition of treating patients as people first; treating students with respect; and fostering camaraderie among students.
  • Outstanding student support services including tutoring and disability resources.
  • Diverse student body and rich array of student club and volunteer opportunities.
  • Great Southern California location with tremendous clinical training opportunities as well as access to major cultural and recreational resources.
  • A chance to join well-respected WesternU-COMP alumni, who enjoy a lifelong connection with the University.
  • Learn more about the academic outcomes of our graduates on the Academic Outcomes page.

The training you receive at WesternU will provide solid preparation for the postdoctoral training years that follow your undergraduate osteopathic medical education. We will help you build the foundation you need for a rewarding career as a physician caring for patients and their families.

Learn More

Take a look at our visit options and consider attending a WesternU Preview. If you’d like to discuss specifics with an advisor, schedule an advising appointment, online, on campus, or over the phone. When you request additional information we’ll make sure you receive program updates and deadline reminders. Of course, you can always find us on social media.