Allopathic Medical Schools (MD degree)

There are over 140 medical schools in the US that offer MD degrees and train physicians. Some offer dual degrees (MD/MBA, MD/MPH, MD/PHD etc.). There are four states (Alaska, Delaware, Montana and Wyoming) that lack a medical school. However, these states participate in a regional education program (WWAMI), where state residents from Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho can attend the University of Washington School of Medicine. The process of training as a physician is a long one. Four years of medical school are followed by residencies, which can range from as few as three years in internal medicine and pediatrics to five or more years in surgery. Medical schools are often referred to as allopathic medical schools because they are considered to use traditional, conventional ways of treating disease with drugs and therapy.

Osteopathic Medical Schools (DO degree)

There are also 34 medical schools in the US that offer a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. Osteopathic medical schools initially began with a focus on the manipulation of joints and bones (osteopathic manipulative medicine). Today, however, osteopathic schools train physicians in the same manner as allopathic schools. Physicians with DO degrees are eligible for the same residency positions as those with an MD degree, and are fully-licensed and able to practice throughout the US. Osteopathic schools may still take a broader, holistic view of medicine, focusing on wellness and disease prevention.


Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) - listing and information of all allopathic medical schools in the US (some information is free; other information requires a year's subscription at $28/year or $36 for 2 years).

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) - website with a variety of information on allopathic medical schools.

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) - website with a variety of information on osteopathic medical schools.

AACOM's Choose DO Explorer - listing and information of all osteopathic medical schools in the US.

Wikipedia also has a list of all allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, and medical schools being developed.

International Students and Medical Schools

International students have the ability to apply to medical schools in the U.S., but there are challenges. Only some medical schools in the U.S. will accept international applicants. These schools are usually open to applicants from any state in the U.S., so the number of applicants is very large and the competition is keen. International students are also not eligible for federal financial aid and will need to find their own funding. (Note: international students refer to those here on a visa; students who hold a green card are considered in the same category as a U.S. citizen and are eligible for government loans). Clark University maintains a list of medical schools that accept international students. 

International students can complete their degree at Duke and then apply to medical schools outside of the U.S. These schools include the Medical School for International Health at Ben-Gurion University in Israel (affiliated with Columbia), Oxford and Cambridge in England, Poznan in Poland, St. George's in London, Atlantic Bridge in Ireland, in Australia, and at Duke NUS in Singapore. For Canadian citizens, application to Canadian medical schools is possible, but difficult, and the timeline and assessment of candidacy are different. If you are from Canada, we recommend you talk with prehealth advisor Brittany Morhac as an upperclassmen.