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Osteopathic Medicine Navigator

The purpose of the Osteopathic Medicine Guide is to provide transparency, inform applicants of expected timeframes for receiving your license, and outline steps you can take to reduce mistakes and mitigate delays. To provide the greatest clarity on the licensing process from start to finish, we will break it down into three phases, providing estimated times for each stage of the process, and recommendations for how to reduce processing times.

An Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon (OS):

  • is a graduate of an accredited Osteopathic Medical School
  • has passed a three-part national examination, as well as a diagnostic and practical examination
  • is fully qualified to perform surgery and prescribe medications
  • practices a "whole body" approach to medicine, with a focus on preventative health care
  • is specially trained in Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment
  • uses their hands to diagnose and treat the patient
  • receives extra training in the body's musculoskeletal system - the body's interconnected system of nerves, muscles and bones

Initial Licensure for Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon Phases and Timeline:

Phase I

3 weeks
in calendar days.

Phase One measures the time between a submitted application and the Board staff’s initial determination of the application status. This phase may include exam authorizations or a follow-up request in the case of incomplete applications. 

Phase II

5 weeks
in calendar days.

Phase Two measures the time for an applicant or third party entity to respond to the Department with all application requirements.  This phase lasts from the date that a follow-up request is sent to the applicant until all items are received by the Department.  This phase may include education or training documents, background checks, or time while the applicant is completing training hours or preparing for a licensing exam.

Phase III

1 day
in calendar days.

Phase Three measures the time between the Department's receipt of a complete application and a licensure decision.

Renewing an Existing Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon License

On average, renewal licenses for Osteopathic Medicine are issued within three calendar days.

The expiration date for Osteopathic Physician and Surgeons is October 31st of even numbered years.


Tips for reducing processing time:

To help reduce your processing time, please note the following suggestions and information:  

Osteopathic medicine applications are processed in the order they are received. Please submit your application as soon as possible.

An official state criminal history record check (CHRC) is required from your current state of residence. For applicants living, working, or completing training in Pennsylvania, your CHRC will be generated automatically as part of your application and the required fee will be included at checkout.

  • In addition to the background check from your current state of residence, you will need to submit official state CHRCs from every state where you have lived, worked, or completed training during the last 10 years. An FBI background check can be submitted in lieu of state checks where you previously lived, worked or trained. No record checks can be dated more than 90 days prior to the date you submit your application.

You are required to complete three hours of Board-approved continuing education on the topic of child abuse recognition and reporting. Learn more about Approved Child Abuse CE Providers. Confirmation of the course completion must be sent directly to the Board from the education provider. When registering for a course, please be sure to indicate that you are applying for Pennsylvania licensure to ensure your confirmation is sent to the Board.

Any application that includes criminal history, disciplinary action taken in another state, malpractice complaints, etc., must be accompanied by a written explanation from you explaining the circumstances of the situation. Every page of requested documents must be submitted; partial copies are not acceptable. This includes copies of all legal or court documents, disciplinary action from another Board, or a complete copy of a malpractice complaint filed in court.

The Board requires verification of completion of an American Osteopathic Association-approved internship. When your training hospital is verifying completion of your training, be sure they verify your internship year.

If your first year of training was not an American Osteopathic Association-approved internship, you must contact the American Osteopathic Association to have your first year of training recognized by them. A copy of the recognition letter must be submitted as part of your application.

A resume or curriculum vitae must be submitted listing all activities from graduation of medical school to the present date. The listing must include to/from dates listed in a month/year format with no gaps in time. Additionally, you must list the location (state/jurisdiction) of each activity.

License verifications are required from any states/jurisdictions where you hold or have ever held a health-related professional license, registration, authorization, or permit to practice. Verifications are required regardless of the current status of the license. Additionally, verifications are required for training licenses/permits.

Process Overview

How to Apply for a Professional License.


What Happens to My Application?


  1. Sign in or create account at

  2. Select the Osteopathic Medicine Board to apply and plain-language questions will appear to help you get started

  3. Application appears – review checklist, upload required documents, follow prompts

  4. Review all information and edit as needed

  5. Pay the required fee and your application is submitted

  6. Keep an eye on your email or get real-time updates at