The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine graduated its largest class ever Saturday with 180 students earning degrees.
Nationally, the number of students graduating from osteopathic medical colleges grew 9 percent this spring, with about 4,500 earning degrees, according to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.
And the number of physicians with a DO instead of a MD attached to their names is expected to continue to increase. More than 20 percent of all first year medical students attend one of the nation’s 29 osteopathic colleges, according to the association.
The association estimates that 5,300 students osteopathic physicians will graduating annually by 2015.
“Growth in the number of osteopathic medical students and graduates is evidence that the primary care-based, patient-centered, prevention-focused philosophy of osteopathic medicine rings true with aspiring physicians and aligns with the type of care all should have,” said Dr. Stephen Shannon, president and CEO of the association in a statement. “Osteopathic medicine has emerged as a leading force in the changes needed in the nation’s health care system.”
Already Doctor’s of Osteopathy accounted for the other 4.4 percent of all licensed physicians with the Virginia Board of Medicine, according to a 2009-2010 workforce survey published by the state in March.