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Physician - DO

Osteopathic medicine is a distinct form of medical practice founded here in the United States. Osteopathic (DO) physicians, similar to their allopathic (MD) colleagues, are licensed to provide all the benefits of modern medicine to their patients - including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of the latest technology to diagnose and treat disease. The comprehensive approach of osteopathic medicine, usually within the scope of primary care, emphasizes helping each patient achieve their highest level of wellness by focusing (first) on health promotion and disease prevention. In addition, DO practitioners offer the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine.

Biola offers an excellent educational foundation, and individualized advising/preparation, for any student interested in becoming an osteopathic physician (DO). Since the admission prerequisites for osteopathic and allopathic programs are very similar, Biola offers a comprehensive pre-med program to prepare students for admission to either type of medical school. Over the last 5 years, Biola has almost tripled the annual number of graduating seniors earning admission to medical school, with close to a 90% success rate across all applications. This includes a subset of students pursuing the Doctor of Osteopathic medicine degree, who have been accepted to a variety of respected osteopathic medical schools both locally and around the country.

Biola’s excellent science curricula and faculty equip each student with the knowledge base necessary for a future medical career, as evidenced by medical school admission test (MCAT) scores significantly above the national average. To further support students as they prepare for admissions testing, Biola has contracted with one of the leading (national) professional test prep companies to offer convenient on-campus review courses for pre-med and pre-health students.

Science instruction and teaching at Biola is always implemented in the context of the sovereignty of God, and as a tool to further explore and appreciate His creation. A distinctive of the pre-med program at Biola University is that it offers excellent preparation for medical school as an integrated part of the much larger on-campus Christian community.

Every pre-med student has access to personal advising from BOHPA, the Biola Office of Health Professions Advising. Specifically, every pre-med has the opportunity for multiple advising appointments with the chief advisor, who himself is an MD degree graduate from the UCLA school of medicine.

Every pre-med student is eligible to enroll in the upper division clinical shadowing program (BIOS460) at Biola University. This semester-long experience for juniors and seniors provides weekly or semi-monthly opportunities to observe and interact directly with a physician seeing patients in clinical practice. Since most of the osteopathic medical schools require that each applicant has experience shadowing with a practicing DO prior to application, the BIOS460 program is a great way to get this needed experience. Clinical shadowing allows students to explore the osteopathic field, gain valuable clinical exposure, provide sources for letters of recommendation, and make decisions about future career paths.

Biola has a wonderful pre-med and pre-health peer-to-peer community in the student Health Careers Club (HCC). The HCC provides opportunities for like-minded students to gather, fellowship, learn, and share the pre-med journey together. Student officers of the HCC plan monthly activities and presentations directly related to the medical field. Speakers from various specialties are brought in to discuss their clinical work and topics in their field. Christian professionals and sponsoring missions organizations are also scheduled for students interested in short-term and long-term missions. Unlike some of the larger state schools, the Health Careers Club at Biola University ensures that no student has to undertake the challenging pre-med journey alone.

We look forward to helping you achieve your healthcare goals and dreams!

Recommended Majors

The Biola majors recommended (and ideally suited) for pre-med students are:


Additional Career Info

To learn more about a career as an osteopathic physician, click on the “Physician (DO)” heading under the “Medicine” tab at