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Intern & Resident Postdoctoral Training
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Postdoctoral training is a fundamental part of becoming an osteopathic physician providing the opportunity to utilize the hands-on approach central to the tenets of osteopathic medicine. Following graduation, osteopathic graduates complete an approved 12-month internship. Many graduates then choose to complete a residency program in a specialty area.


An internship is an educational program requiring extensive participation in patient care. It serves as the link between predoctoral and postdoctoral clinical training and provides a year of maturation and transition from application of predoctoral knowledge to clinical decision-making skills.  The internship exposes graduates to core disciplines including internal medicine, family practice, general surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics and emergency medicine.  

Internships are offered in the following formats:

Traditional rotating internship: provides a broad-based, rotating curriculum covering each core discipline.

Special emphasis internship: provides a broad-based curriculum covering each core discipline with an emphasis in a particular specialty area but does not grant residency credit but fulfills only internship requirements.

Specialty track internship: provides the majority of rotations in a specific specialty but also provide exposure to the core disciplines. This program grants joint credit for the internship and first year of residency training. Osteopathic students, interns and residents can find information about internship and residency programs through the Opportunities database.


Recognizing the need for a new system to structure and accredit osteopathic graduate medical education, the American Osteopathic Association established the Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institution (OPTI) in 1995. Each OPTI is a community-based training consortium comprised of at least one college of osteopathic medicine and one hospital.


OPTI-West is a non-profit corporation. It is an educational consortium that provides a collaborative arrangement for the sole purpose of supporting Osteopathic Graduate Medical Education Programs. It is established to promote excellence through collaborative arrangements among the partners.OPTI-West and its partner institutions are committed to providing an academic and employment environment in which all staff and employees are treated with respect and dignity. It is their policy that no one shall be excluded from participation or subject to discrimination because of race, sex, color, creed, handicap or national origin. Inquiries regarding this policy may be made to, the Director of Human resources of Western University or the Director of Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.  

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