2020-2021 Student Guide to Osteopathic Medical Colleges - CHOOSEDO.org - Choose DO

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2020-2021 Student Guide to Osteopathic Medical Colleges - CHOOSEDO.org - Choose DO
                                                                                                                                 Student Guide to Osteopathic
                                                                                                                                 Medical Colleges

                                                                       2020-2021 STUDENT GUIDE TO OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL COLLEGES

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2020-2021 Student Guide to Osteopathic Medical Colleges - CHOOSEDO.org - Choose DO
Visit ChooseDO.org to access the online version or download a free
PDF copy.
                                                                         Special Note
                                                                         The 2020-2021 Student Guide
                                                                         to Osteopathic Medical Colleges
About the manufacture of this publication:                               is published by the American
                                                                         Association of Colleges of
• Environmentally friendly vegetable-based inks were used throughout     Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM).
  the print process.
                                                                         The Student Guide is a collaboration
• All printing papers used were certified to follow the                  between AACOM and the colleges
  “Going Green” world environmental initiative.                          of osteopathic medicine. AACOM
                                                                         would like to thank everyone who
                                                                         provided and/or reviewed content.
     10% Post-Consumer Waste
                                                                         Although AACOM has attempted
                                                                         to verify the accuracy of the data
                                                                         submitted by the colleges, AACOM
Copyright ©2020 American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic          cannot, as such, guarantee the
                                                                         accuracy of the data and as such the
Medicine. All Rights Reserved.
                                                                         information in this book is provided
                                                                         to you “as is.” AACOM assumes no
                                                                         responsibility and shall not be liable
                                                                         for damages of any kind whatsoever
                                                                         based upon your use or reliance
                                                                         on the information provided in this
                                                                         book. The AACOM Application
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any      Service (AACOMAS) and the
form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying,   individual colleges are subject to
recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without   applicable federal, state, and local
written permission from the American Association of Colleges of          laws prohibiting discrimination.
Osteopathic Medicine.

Cover photos courtesy of University of New England College of
Osteopathic Medicine (UNE COM).
2020-2021 Student Guide to Osteopathic Medical Colleges - CHOOSEDO.org - Choose DO
2020-2021 Student Guide to Osteopathic Medical Colleges

         Choose DO is an effort by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, a
         national organization representing osteopathic medical education in the United States.

         The information contained in this publication is subject to change throughout the application
         cycle. To view the most up-to-date version of this publication, visit ChooseDO.org.

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2020-2021 Student Guide to Osteopathic Medical Colleges - CHOOSEDO.org - Choose DO
Photo courtesy of PCOM Georgia.

2020-2021 Student Guide to Osteopathic Medical Colleges - CHOOSEDO.org - Choose DO
Photo courtesy of Nova Southeastern University
                                                                                                                                                      Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-KPCOM)

                                             TABLE OF CONTENTS
Welcome Letter from AACOM’s President ........................................................... 3                  General Admission Requirements..................................................................... 16-17
Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine – Admissions Offices................................ 4-5                            • Mean Grade Point Averages for Entering Students
Timeline: Prepare to Apply to Osteopathic Medical Colleges ....................6-9                                   • Mean MCAT Scores for Entering Students
Overview of Osteopathic Medicine ..................................................................10-11             • Letters of Recommendation
• Osteopathic Medicine is a Distinctive Form of Medicine                                                             • Criminal Background Checks and Drug Testing
• DOs Work in Partnership with Their Patients and Are Trained to Look                                                Financial Aid................................................................................................................... 18
  at the Whole Person                                                                                                • Federal Programs
• Fifty-Six Percent of All DOs Choose to Practice in the Primary Care                                                • AACOM Scholarships
  Disciplines of Family Practice, General Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics                                          • AACOMAS Fee Waiver
• Osteopathic Medical Students Learn how Structure Influences Function                                               Application Deadlines................................................................................................. 19
• DOs Conduct Clinical and Basic Science Research to Help Advance                                                    Diversity in Osteopathic Medical Education....................................................... 20
  the Frontiers of Medicine                                                                                          About the AACOM Application Service (AACOMAS)...............................21-23
• Tenets of Osteopathic Medicine                                                                                     • Accessing the Application
• What Does a DO Do?                                                                                                 • Official MCAT Scores
• Consider a Career in Osteopathic Medicine                                                                          • Academic History and Transcripts
• Osteopathic Medicine in an International Context                                                                   • SPAM Blocking and Technical Compatibility
• Learning About the Practice of Osteopathic Medicine and Shadowing a DO                                             • Application Fees
Overview of Osteopathic Medical Education and Accreditation .......... 12-13                                         • Early Decision Program
• Accreditation                                                                                                      • Application Traffic Guidelines
• Osteopathic Medicine Four-Year Curriculum                                                                          • Applicant Protocol
Graduate Medical Education.................................................................................... 14    • AACOMAS Certification and Release Statements
• GME                                                                                                                • Note to Applicants
• Osteopathic Recognition                                                                                            The Admissions Interview................................................................................... 24-25
• Residency Match                                                                                                    • Interview Suggestions
Board Examinations and Licensure........................................................................ 15          • Interview Resources
• Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensure Exam (COMLEX-USA)                                                      Suggested Sources for More Information..................................................... 26-27
• United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE)                                                                Individual College Descriptions (with table of contents)............................28-70

                                                                                                               2020-2021 STUDENT GUIDE TO OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL COLLEGES                                                                                     1
2020-2021 Student Guide to Osteopathic Medical Colleges - CHOOSEDO.org - Choose DO
Photo courtesy of A.T. Still University School of
                                            Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA)
2020-2021 Student Guide to Osteopathic Medical Colleges - CHOOSEDO.org - Choose DO
                                             Leading Osteopathic Medical Education

                                                   PRESIDENT’S LETTER
                                                                          Congratulations on your decision
                                                                           to pursue a career in medicine!
                                                                 I invite you to explore what it means to be an
                                                                  osteopathic physician and to “Choose DO.”

Dear Future Physician:
This guide is designed to provide aspiring physicians with information about osteopathic            The American Association of Colleges
medicine, the nation’s osteopathic medical colleges, applying to osteopathic medical school,        of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM)
and other resources you may find helpful as you go through this process.                            leads and advocates for the osteopathic
Osteopathic medicine’s traditional principles and practice have been recognized as central to       medical education community to improve
the nation’s health care system. Osteopathic tenets seek to improve the health care system          the health of the public.
by embracing care of the whole person to help each live well. We rely upon our principles           AACOM represents and advances
to champion the quality practice of medicine, balance human need and scientific evidence,           the continuum of medical education by
promote a diverse practice community with shared values, and build a healthier society.             supporting our member institutions as
Our values are patient-centered and health-oriented with a focus on preventive care.                they educate the future physician
Osteopathic medical schools are educating the very physicians needed to deliver this kind           workforce; increasing awareness of
of care. DOs (doctors of osteopathic medicine) enjoy a great amount of recognition for their        osteopathic medical education and
excellence and contributions to the medical profession.                                             osteopathic medicine; promoting
                                                                                                    excellence in medical education, policy,
Over the past 10 years, the number of students applying to osteopathic medical schools has
                                                                                                    research, and service; and fostering
nearly doubled. For the incoming class of 2020, more than 23,000 aspiring physicians applied
                                                                                                    innovation and quality throughout
to become osteopathic medical students (compared to more than 12,600 in 2009-10).
                                                                                                    medical education.
The education received by osteopathic medical students is rigorous and thorough. Incoming
DO students are required to have strong undergraduate science backgrounds, excellent                About AACOM
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores, and must meet stringent admissions criteria.          Founded in 1898 to support and
DO students participate in years of classroom, clinical, internship, and residency training         assist the nation’s osteopathic medical
before they become board-certified physicians who are able to choose among the full range            schools, AACOM represents all 36
of medical specialties and are licensed to practice medicine in every state in the U.S.—and in      accredited colleges of osteopathic
more than 65 countries abroad.                                                                      medicine—currently educating nearly
I hope you will take time to carefully review the resources available for you in this book and on   31,000 future physicians, 25 percent of
our website as you consider your options for medical education. I invite you to “Choose DO”         all U.S. medical students—at 57 teaching
and apply to become an osteopathic physician, and wish you the very best in your pursuit of a       locations in 33 U.S. states, as well as
fulfilling career in medicine.                                                                      osteopathic graduate medical education
                                                                                                    professionals and trainees at U.S.
                                                                                                    medical centers, hospitals, clinics, and
                                                                                                    health systems.
Robert A. Cain, DO, FACOI, FAODME
AACOM President and CEO                                                                             www.aacom.org
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

                                                                    2020-2021 STUDENT GUIDE TO OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL COLLEGES                    3
2020-2021 Student Guide to Osteopathic Medical Colleges - CHOOSEDO.org - Choose DO
                                         Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine – Admissions Offices
                  The American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA)
                     accredits 36 colleges of osteopathic medicine offering instruction at 57 locations in 33 states.

Alabama College of Osteopathic                  Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine         Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine
Medicine (ACOM)                                 (BCOM)                                          (ICOM)
445 Health Sciences Blvd., Dothan, AL 36303     3501 Arrowhead Dr., Las Cruces, NM 88001        1404 E. Central Dr., Meridian, ID 83642
(334) 699-2266                                  (575) 674-2210                                  (208) 795-4266
www.acom.edu                                    https://bcomnm.org                              www.idahocom.org

Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of      California Health Sciences University College   Kansas City University of Medicine and
Midwestern University (AZCOM)                   of Osteopathic Medicine (CHSU-COM)              Biosciences College of Osteopathic
19555 North 59th Ave., Glendale, AZ 85308       2500 Alluvial Avenue, Clovis, CA 93611          Medicine (KCU-COM)
Toll Free: (888) 247-9277                       (559) 712-4222                                  Locations: Kansas City and Joplin, MO
(623) 572-3215                                  https://osteopathic.chsu.edu                    1750 Independence Ave., Kansas City, MO 64106
www.midwestern.edu                                                                              (816) 654-7160
                                                Campbell University-Jerry M. Wallace
Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine        School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM)
(ARCOM)                                         4350 US Hwy 421, Lillington, NC 27546
                                                                                                Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
7000 Chad Colley Blvd., Fort Smith, AR 72916    Toll Free: (855) 287-6613
(479) 308-2200                                  (910) 893-1770
                                                                                                Locations: Erie and Seton Hill, PA; Elmira, NY
www.acheedu.org/arcom/                          https://medicine.campbell.edu
                                                                                                1858 West Grandview Blvd., Erie, PA 16509
A.T. Still University Kirksville College of     Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of      (814) 866-6641
Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM)                Midwestern University (CCOM)                    www.lecom.edu
800 West Jefferson St., Kirksville, MO 63501    555 31st St., Downers Grove, IL 60515
                                                                                                Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Toll Free: (866) 626-2878 x2237                 Toll Free: (800) 458-6253
                                                                                                Bradenton Campus (LECOM Bradenton)
(660) 626-2237                                  (630) 515-7200
                                                                                                5000 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton, FL 34211
www.atsu.edu/                                   www.midwestern.edu
                                                                                                (941) 756-0690
                                                Des Moines University College of                www.lecom.edu
A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic     Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM)
                                                                                                Liberty University College of Osteopathic
Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA)                 3200 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312
                                                                                                Medicine (LUCOM)
5850 East Still Cir., Mesa, AZ 85206            (515) 271-1499
                                                                                                306 Liberty View Ln., Lynchburg, VA 24502
Toll Free: (866) 626-2878 x2237                 www.dmu.edu/do
                                                                                                (434) 592-7444

2020-2021 Student Guide to Osteopathic Medical Colleges - CHOOSEDO.org - Choose DO
Lincoln Memorial University–DeBusk                  Philadelphia College of Osteopathic               University of North Texas Health Science
College of Osteopathic Medicine                     Medicine (PCOM)                                   Center at Fort Worth/Texas College of
(LMU-DCOM)                                          4170 City Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19131            Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC/TCOM)
Locations: Harrogate and Knoxville, TN              (215) 871-6700                                    3500 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76107
6965 Cumberland Gap Pkwy., Harrogate, TN 37752      www.pcom.edu                                      Toll Free: (800) 535-TCOM (8266)
Toll Free: (800) 325-0900                                                                             (817) 735-2204
                                                    PCOM Georgia
(423) 869-7090                                                                                        www.unthsc.edu/
                                                    625 Old Peachtree Rd., NW, Suwanee, GA 30024
                                                    (678) 225-7500                                    University of Pikeville–Kentucky College of
                                                    www.pcom.edu/campuses/georgia-campus              Osteopathic Medicine (UP-KYCOM)
Marian University College of Osteopathic                                                              147 Sycamore St., Pikeville, KY 41501
                                                    PCOM South Georgia
Medicine (MU-COM)                                                                                     (606) 218-5257
                                                    2050 Tallokas Rd., Moultrie, GA 31768
3200 Cold Spring Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46222                                                          www.upike.edu/osteopathic-medicine
                                                    (229) 668-3162
(317) 955-6183
www.marian.edu/osteopathic-medical-school/                                                            Edward Via College of Osteopathic
                                                    Rocky Vista University College of                 Medicine–Auburn Campus (VCOM-Auburn)
Michigan State University College of
                                                    Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM)                     910 South Donahue Dr., Auburn, AL 36832
Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM)
                                                    Locations: Parker, CO and Ivins, UT               (334) 442-4050
Locations: East Lansing, Detroit, and
                                                    8401 S. Chambers Rd., Parker, CO 80134            www.vcom.edu/auburn
Clinton Township, MI
                                                    (720) 874-2477
965 Wilson Rd., East Lansing, MI 48824
                                                    www.rvu.edu                                       Edward Via College of Osteopathic
(517) 353-7740
                                                                                                      Medicine–Carolinas Campus
                                                    Rowan University School of Osteopathic            (VCOM-Carolinas)
New York Institute of Technology College of         Medicine (RowanSOM)                               350 Howard St., Spartanburg, SC 29303
Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM)                      One Medical Center Dr., Stratford, NJ 08084       (864) 327-9906
Locations: Old Westbury, NY and Jonesboro, AR       (856) 566-7050                                    www.vcom.edu/carolinas
Northern Blvd., P.O. Box 8000                       https://som.rowan.edu
                                                                                                      Edward Via College of Osteopathic
Old Westbury, NY 11568
                                                    Sam Houston State University College of           Medicine–Louisiana Campus
(516) 686-3997
                                                    Osteopathic Medicine (SHSU-COM)                   (VCOM-Louisiana)
                                                    925 City Central Ave., Conroe, TX 77304           4408 Bon Aire Drive, Monroe, LA 71203
Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran              (936) 294-2356                                    (318) 342-7131
C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine            www.shsu.edu/com                                  www.vcom.edu/louisiana
                                                    Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine             Edward Via College of Osteopathic
Locations: Fort Lauderdale and Clearwater, FL
                                                    (TouroCOM)                                        Medicine–Virginia Campus (VCOM-Virginia)
3200 S. University Dr., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33328
                                                    Locations: New York City and Middletown, NY       2265 Kraft Dr., Blacksburg, VA 24060
Toll Free: (866) 817-4068
                                                    2090 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., Suite 519,        (540) 231-6138
(954) 262-1101
                                                    New York, NY 10027                                www.vcom.edu/virginia
                                                    (212) 851-1199, x. 42588 or 42589
                                                                                                      West Virginia School of Osteopathic
Ohio University Heritage College of                 https://tourocom.touro.edu/
                                                                                                      Medicine (WVSOM)
Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM)
                                                    Touro University College of Osteopathic           400 Lee St. North, Lewisburg, WV 24901
Locations: Athens, Cleveland, and Dublin, OH
                                                    Medicine–California (TUCOM-CA)                    Toll Free: (800) 356-7836 or (888) 276-7836
102 Grosvenor Hall, 1 Ohio University
                                                    1310 Club Dr., Vallejo, CA 94592                  www.wvsom.edu
Athens, OH 45701
                                                    (707) 638-5200
Toll Free: (800) 345-1560                                                                             Western University of Health Sciences/
(740) 593-4313                                                                                        College of Osteopathic Medicine of the
www.ohio.edu/medicine                               Touro University Nevada College of                Pacific (Western U/COMP)
                                                    Osteopathic Medicine (TUNCOM)                     Locations: Pomona, CA and Lebanon, OR
Oklahoma State University Center for Health
                                                    874 American Pacific Dr., Henderson, NV 89014     309 East Second St., Pomona, CA 91766
Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
                                                    (702) 777-1750                                    (909) 469-5335
                                                    www.tun.touro.edu/programs/osteopathic-medicine   Lebanon: (541) 259-0200
Locations: Tulsa and Tahlequah, OK
1111 West 17th St., Tulsa, OK 74107                 University of the Incarnate Word School of
(918) 561-8324                                      Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM)                     William Carey University College of
https://health.okstate.edu/com                      7615 Kennedy Hill, San Antonio, TX 78235          Osteopathic Medicine (WCUCOM)
                                                    (210) 283-6998                                    710 William Carey Pkwy., Hattiesburg, MS 39401
Pacific Northwest University of Health
                                                    https://osteopathic-medicine.uiw.edu              (601) 318-6316
Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
                                                    University of New England College of
200 University Pkwy., Butler-Haney Hall,
                                                    Osteopathic Medicine (UNE COM)
Yakima, WA 98901
                                                    11 Hills Beach Rd., Stella Maris Hall,
(509) 249-7888
                                                    Biddeford, ME 04005
                                                    (207) 602-2212

                                                                          2020-2021 STUDENT GUIDE TO OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL COLLEGES                      5
2020-2021 Student Guide to Osteopathic Medical Colleges - CHOOSEDO.org - Choose DO

                          Prepare to Apply to Osteopathic Medical Colleges
   This timeline assumes you plan to start medical school in the summer/fall following your college graduation, and that you will complete your
undergraduate education in four years. Recommendations for post-college are included at the bottom of this timeline if you wish to take a gap year
        or different undergraduate path. Please consult with your health professions advisor to establish your own personalized schedule.

                                                  Premedical Student Checklist

     Pre-          Year One                          Year Two                Year Three                       Year Four                       Post-
    College                                                                                                                                  College

                          Pre-College                                     • Learn more about the osteopathic medical profession and
                                                                            philosophy by reading books, researching online, etc. Sign up to
• Meet with your high school counselor to discuss pursuing a health
                                                                            receive The DO (https://thedo.osteopathic.org ) and other health
  professions career and create an academic plan.
                                                                            related resources.
• If your high school offers a pre-health track, work with your
                                                                          • Review the Choose DO website (https://choosedo.org) and Choose
  counselor to enroll in the courses.
                                                                            DO Explorer (https://choosedo.org/explorer) to assist with your
• Take Advanced Placement (AP) math and science classes to                  medical school research.
  prepare for more difficult college level coursework.
                                                                          • Begin researching medical schools online. Focus on admissions
• Take elective classes that help develop a background in the health        requirements and average entering student statistics (average GPA,
  professions and strong communication skills.                              MCAT, etc.).
• Maintain a competitive GPA.                                             • Attend recruitment events (https://choosedo.org/events/) and visit
• Develop strong time-management and study skills.                          medical school campuses.
• Volunteer with health-related organizations (hospitals, the American    • Join online mailing lists of programs of interest and start following
  Red Cross, nursing homes, hospices, etc.).                                them on social media.
• Request assistance from your high school counselor, family              • Get involved in pre-health organizations and extracurricular
  members, or family physicians to schedule job shadowing                   activities on campus. Keep records of your experiences.
  opportunities.                                                          • Join or start a Pre-Student Osteopathic Medical Association
• Research health professions career opportunities through                  (Pre-SOMA) (https://studentdo.org/pre-soma/) chapter at your college.
  explorehealthcareers.org (https://explorehealthcareers.org).            • Work to develop a relationship with your science faculty members by
• Research and attend summer health programs offered by colleges.           visiting during office hours, participating in extracurricular activities, etc.
• Join or develop a student organization that is geared toward a health   • Begin to gain clinical experience in health care fields through
  professions career.                                                       shadowing, volunteering, employment (CNA, EMT, etc.), and
                                                                            internship opportunities. Keep records of your experiences.
• Join or start a local chapter of HOSA (www.hosa.org).
                                                                          • Look for opportunities to shadow physicians in clinical settings and
                            Year One                                        keep records of your experiences. Request assistance through a
• Meet with your university’s health professions advisor to discuss an      health professions advisor. Find DOs specifically at doctorsthatdo.org.
  overall premedical curriculum. If your college does not have a health   • Talk with upperclassmen about how they gained experiences in
  professions advisor, view resources at the National Association of        the health professions or about their medical school application
  Advisors for the Health Professions                                       process.
• Start taking prerequisite coursework, which typically begins with the                                   Year Two
  Biology and/or the Inorganic Chemistry sequence.                        • Meet with your health professions advisor to discuss current
                                                                            coursework and activities, and begin thinking about preparation for
• Maintain a competitive GPA and reach out to on-campus academic
                                                                            the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
  resources, such as the tutoring center, for assistance.
  (See General Admissions Requirements                                    • Maintain a competitive GPA and reach out to on-campus academic
  https://choosedo.org/general-admission-requirements/ for the              resources, such as the tutoring center, for assistance.
  average GPA for entering students.)                                       (See General Admissions Requirements
                                                                            (https://choosedo.org/general-admission-requirements/) for the
• Develop strong study skills by forming study groups and using
                                                                            average GPA for entering students).
  on-campus academic resources.

Photo courtesy of Western University
                                                                                              of Health Sciences/ College of Osteopathic
                                                                                              Medicine of the Pacific (Western U/COMP)

                                                                            • Continue to keep records of extracurricular and clinical
• Begin researching the cost of applying to osteopathic medical
  school. Keep in mind that the average applicant applies to nine
  colleges of osteopathic medicine.
                                                                                                  Year Three – Fall
• Attend recruitment events (https://choosedo.org/events/) and visit
                                                                            • Meet with your health professions advisor about evaluations/letters
  medical school campuses.
                                                                              of recommendation. Inquire about the availability of a pre-health
• Attend health professions fairs in your area to learn more about            committee.
  schools of interest.
                                                                            • Begin serious preparation for the MCAT exam, which is offered
• Stay involved in pre-health organizations and get involved in               between January and September each year. Utilize the Association
  community service—seek leadership opportunities.                            of American Medical College (AAMC)’s MCAT prep resources
• Join or start a Pre-SOMA (https://studentdo.org/pre-soma/)                  (https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/
  chapter at your college.                                                    taking-mcat-exam/prepare-mcat-exam/) for official guidance.
• Determine requirements of evaluations/letters of recommendation           • Attend recruitment events (https://choosedo.org/events/) and visit
  for each program of interest and build relationships with professors,       medical school campuses to meet with admissions counselors or
  advisors, and medical professionals. They are future resources for          attend an open house.
  evaluations/letters of recommendation.                                    • Stay involved in pre-health organizations, volunteer experiences,
• Work on your communications skills through public speaking                  and extracurricular activities, especially those that focus on helping
  courses and leadership opportunities.                                       underserved populations.
• Look for opportunities to shadow physicians in clinical settings.         • Keep in touch with individuals who might write an evaluation/letter
                                                                              of recommendation.
• Investigate participating in undergraduate research. This can take
  several months to coordinate.                                             • Pursue and complete research opportunities.
• Research summer health care opportunities (work, education                • Set aside time to work on your personal statement. Revisit and
  abroad, internship, etc.).                                                  rework the statement over an extended period. It is highly
                                                                              recommended that you work with your university’s writing center
• Continue prerequisite coursework.
                                                                              for assistance.
• Continue researching medical schools online by reviewing admissions
                                                                            • Research and plan how you will pay the application fees to apply to
  requirements and average entering student statistics (GPA, MCAT, etc.).
                                                                              medical school. Keep in mind that the average AACOMAS applicant
• Continue to gain clinical experiences through shadowing, volunteer-         applies to nine colleges of osteopathic medicine.
  ing, employment (CNA, EMT, etc.), and internship opportunities.

                                                                      2020-2021 STUDENT GUIDE TO OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL COLLEGES                       7

                                              Photo courtesy of Marian University College
                                              of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM)
• Continue prerequisite coursework.                                        • Submit secondary application materials upon receipt.
• Continue maintaining a competitive GPA and reach out to                  • Use the Check Status tab in AACOMAS to monitor your application.
  on-campus academic resources, like the tutoring center, for              • Meet with your health professions advisor or career center to work
  assistance. (See General Admissions Requirements                           on interview skills. If possible, complete a mock interview.
  (https://choosedo.org/general-admission-requirements/) for
  the average GPA for entering students.)                                                               Year Four
• Continue researching medical schools online by reviewing                 • If invited, participate in interviews at medical schools.
  admissions requirements, average entering student statistics (i.e.,
  GPA, MCAT, ideal applicant), and mission and vision statements.          • Complete prerequisite coursework. Continue to include upper-level
                                                                             science courses.
• Continue to gain clinical experiences through shadowing,
  volunteering, employment (CNA, EMT, scribe, etc.), and internship        • Maintain a competitive GPA. (See General Admissions
  opportunities.                                                             Requirements (https://choosedo.org/general-admission-
                                                                             requirements/) for the average GPA for entering students.)
                   Year Three – Spring                                     • Continue to gain additional clinical and/or research experience.
• Meet with your health professions advisor to review the details of       • Stay involved in pre-health organizations and volunteer activities.
  your application.
                                                                           • Use the Check Status tab in AACOMAS to monitor your application.
• Take the MCAT exam.
                                                                           • Share news of upcoming interviews and acceptances and thank
• Stay involved in pre-health extracurricular activities.                    those who helped along the way—health professions advisors,
• Contact the individuals who will be writing evaluations/letters of         professors, physicians, family, and friends.
  recommendation for you. Give them plenty of time (at least four to       • Complete the AACOMAS Academic Update in early December to
  six weeks) to write a quality evaluation/letter of recommendation.         submit fall coursework.
• Research medical schools that interest you. Contact each school to       • Consider post-application plans, whether you are accepted or not.
  inquire about their specific admissions criteria and schedule a time       Think about what you will do between the time you are accepted
  to visit their campus. (See a schedule of College Recruiting Events        and begin school or the steps you will take should you need to
  https://choosedo.org/events/).                                             reapply.
• Review the Choose DO website (https://choosedo.org) and Choose           • Complete the FAFSA application for financial aid when it becomes
  DO Explorer (https://choosedo.org/explorer) to assist with your            available in the fall.
  medical school research.
                                                                           • If you are not accepted or invited to an interview, contact the
• Make a list of the medical schools to which you plan to apply and use      schools where you applied to request formal feedback on how to be
  the Choose DO Explorer (https://choosedo.org/explorer) to do so.           more competitive should you reapply.
• Start the AACOMAS (https://aacomas.liaisoncas.com) application           • Explore next steps to increase your competitiveness. These steps
  process in May.                                                            may include gaining additional clinical experience, retaking the
• Submit your application when you are ready; earlier is better but          MCAT exam, enrolling in a master’s program or postbaccalaureate
  complete/accurate is best.                                                 certificate program (https://choosedo.org/postbaccalaureate-
                                                                             premedical-programs/), taking additional upper-level science
• Continue prerequisite coursework. If possible, enroll in upper-level       courses, and reapplying for admission.
  sciences courses, such as Biochemistry and/or Gross Anatomy.
• Continue to gain clinical experiences by shadowing or volunteering,                Post-College (Gap Year or
  employment (EMT, scribe, etc.).                                                 Non-Traditional Career Changer)
                  Year Three – Summer                                      • Speak with programs of interest for guidance on the best path to
                                                                             strengthen your application.
• Apply to AACOMAS (https://aacomas.liaisoncas.com). Apply
  early and read all application directions carefully to avoid delays.     • Meet with a health professions advisor to gain insight into your
  Application processing begins in June. Colleges of osteopathic             competitiveness for medical school or your career goals.
  medicine make admissions decisions on a rolling basis, so they           • Take additional courses if prerequisite courses are more than five
  review applications, conduct interviews, and make admissions               years old or to strengthen your background in science.
  decisions throughout the admissions cycle. Keep in mind that             • Gain additional clinical experience to strengthen your background in the
  interview slots may be awarded and/or classes may be filled if             health professions and to confirm your desire to go to medical school.
  you apply close to the deadlines. Submitting materials early and
  accurately will support timely processing and help avoid delays.         • Retake the MCAT exam if your scores are older than three years or
                                                                             older than allowed by programs of interest.
• Work with evaluators to submit evaluations/letters of
• Order all official transcripts and have them submitted to AACOMAS.
• Release MCAT scores to AACOMAS electronically using the
  AAMC’s MCAT Score Reporting System.

                                                                     2020-2021 STUDENT GUIDE TO OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL COLLEGES                       9

                                          Overview of Osteopathic Medicine
 n Osteopathic Medicine is a                       There are more than 114,000 DOs in                 and clinical outcomes of OMM. The center
 Distinctive Form of Medicine                      the United States.2 DOs boast a strong             serves as a catalyst for developing and
                                                   history of serving rural and underserved           conducting multicenter, collaborative clinical
 Osteopathic medicine is a distinct pathway        areas, often providing their distinctive           research studies. Their present focus is on
 to medical practice in the United States.         brand of compassionate, patient-centered           developing a registry to study chronic pain in
 Osteopathic medicine provides all of the          care to some of the most economically              the United States and to assess prevention
 benefits of modern medicine, including            disadvantaged members of our society.              and treatment options based on emerging
 prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of                                                          aspects of Precision Medicine and the
 technology to diagnose disease and evaluate       n Osteopathic Medical Students                     biopsychosocial model.
 injury. It also offers the added benefit of       Learn how Structure Influences
 hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a                                                           See more information about osteopathic
                                                   Function                                           medicine (https://choosedo.org/learn-
 system known as osteopathic manipulative
 medicine (OMM). Osteopathic medicine                                                                 about-osteopathic-medicine/).
                                                   In addition to studying all the typical subjects
 emphasizes helping each person achieve a          you would expect student physicians to
 high level of wellness by focusing on health
                                                                                                      n Tenets of Osteopathic Medicine
                                                   master, osteopathic medical students
 promotion and disease prevention.                 complete approximately 200 hours of                The American Osteopathic Association’s
                                                   training in osteopathic manipulative               House of Delegates approved the “Tenets
 n DOs Work in Partnership With                    medicine. This system of hands-on diagnosis        of Osteopathic Medicine” as policy, which
 Their Patients and Are Trained to                 and treatment helps alleviate pain, restore        follows the underlying philosophy of
 Look at the Whole Person                          motion, and support the body’s natural             osteopathic medicine.3 The tenets are:
 They consider the impact that lifestyle           structure to help it function more efficiently.    1. The body is a unit; the person is a unit of
 and community have on the health of each          One key concept osteopathic medical                   body, mind, and spirit.
 individual, and they work to erase barriers       students learn is that structure influences        2. The body is capable of self-regulation,
  to good health. DOs are licensed to              function: If there is a problem in one part of        self-healing, and health maintenance.
 practice the full scope of medicine in all 50     the body’s structure, function in that area
 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico,                                                       3. Structure and function are reciprocally
                                                   and in other areas may be affected. For
 and other territories of the United States, as                                                          interrelated.
                                                   example, restriction of motion in the lower
 well as in more than 65 countries abroad.1        ankle can restrict motion in the knee, hip, and    4. Rational treatment is based upon an
 They practice in all types of environments,       lumbar spine, causing symptoms elsewhere              understanding of the basic principles
 including the military, and in all specialties,   in the body. By using OMM techniques, DOs             of body unity, self-regulation, and
 including family medicine, obstetrics,            can help restore motion to these areas and            the interrelationship of structure and
 surgery, and cardiology.                          eliminate pain.                                       function.
 From their first day of medical school, DOs       Another integral tenet of osteopathic
 are trained to look at the whole person,
                                                                                                      n What Does a DO Do?
                                                   medicine is that the body has an innate ability
 which means they see each person as               to heal itself. Many OMM techniques are            • Throughout the country, DOs practice the
 more than just a collection of body parts         aimed at reducing or eliminating impediments         full scope of medicine in all specialties
 that may become injured or diseased. DOs          to proper structure and function so that this        of the medical field, from pediatrics and
 are taught that the whole person is greater       self-healing mechanism can assume its role in        geriatrics to sports medicine and trauma
 than the sum of his or her parts, and that        restoring a patient’s health.                        surgery.
 patients should be treated as partners in                                                            • DOs receive the same medical training as
 the health care process. They are trained         n DOs Conduct Clinical and Basic                     other physicians, as well as 200 additional
 to communicate with people from diverse           Science Research to Help Advance                     hours of OMM training. OMM is a hands-
 backgrounds, and they are given the               the Frontiers of Medicine                            on approach to diagnose and treat illness
 opportunity to practice these skills in the                                                            and injury.
                                                   In addition to their strong history of providing
 classroom and a variety of other settings.
                                                   high-quality patient care, DOs conduct             • OMM has been proven to be effective in
 n 56 Percent of all DOs Choose                    clinical and basic science research to help          treating a variety of injuries and illnesses.
                                                   advance the frontiers of medicine and to             For example, the use of OMM in treating
 to Practice in the Primary Care
                                                   demonstrate the effectiveness of the                 patients with pneumonia has been found
 Disciplines of Family Practice,                   osteopathic approach to patient care.                to shorten the length of hospital stays and
 General Internal Medicine, and                    Founded in 2002, the Osteopathic Research            reduce complications associated with
 Pediatrics.                                       Center (ORC) (www.unthsc.edu/texas-                  pneumonia.
 Because of their whole-person approach to         college-of-osteopathic-medicine/tcom-
                                                                                                      • DOs are trained to focus on the whole
 medicine, 56 percent of all DOs choose to         research/the-osteopathic-research-center/)
                                                                                                        person, working with patients to achieve
 practice in the primary care disciplines of       in Fort Worth, TX, serves as a professional
                                                                                                        high levels of wellness and disease
 family practice, general internal medicine, and   research center for osteopathic medicine,
 pediatrics. The remaining 44 percent go on to     including researching the mechanisms
 specialize in any number of practice areas.2

n Consider a Career in                            DOCARE International (https://docareintl.org)       • The American Osteopathic Association
Osteopathic Medicine                              is a medical outreach organization that provides      (AOA) membership office. The AOA
                                                  care in underserved areas throughout the world.       maintains an online national directory of
Do you want to be the type of physician who                                                             practicing DOs. A locality search will give
sees your patient as more than a symptom          Admissions policies at U.S. osteopathic medical
                                                  colleges vary with regard to applicants who are       you contact information and in many cases
or disease? Do you want to be the kind of                                                               will link you to your state’s osteopathic
physician who gets involved in his or her         neither U.S. citizens nor hold permanent resident
                                                  status in the United States. The International        association website.
community and who spends time getting to
know his or her patients as people? Are you       Students page lists schools that will consider      • State osteopathic associations. Many of
the kind of person who is compassionate           applicants who are not U.S. citizens.                 the state associations compile lists of their
and enjoys meeting and getting to know a          (https://choosedo.org/international-students/)        members who have indicated an interest
diverse range of people from many different       Prospective applicants to osteopathic medical         in having prospective osteopathic medical
backgrounds and socioeconomic groups?             colleges should consider that in the typically        students shadow them.
Are you the kind of person who has solid          seven-plus years between entering medical           • Your college’s health professions advisor.
communication skills and a healing touch?         school and going into practice, the conditions      • Your college’s Pre-Student Osteopathic
If you answered “yes” to some or all of these     and regulations on practice outside the               Medical Association Pre-SOMA) chapter
questions, osteopathic medicine may be a          United States may change significantly.               (https://studentdo.org/pre-soma/).
good career option for you.
                                                  Prospective osteopathic physicians can              • Once you have found a doctor near you,
Generally, osteopathic medical schools are        participate in overseas medical missions              call or send the doctor a letter. (Remember,
looking for a variety of personal qualities in    and volunteer work. Participation in such             most doctors are very busy, so please be
the applicants they admit to their schools        programs is generally arranged by the                 understanding if you cannot speak directly
and, ultimately, to the osteopathic profession.   sponsoring organization, and U.S. physicians          to the DO.) If you explain your interest and
Osteopathic medical schools admit many            —both DOs and MDs—have practice rights                share your enthusiasm for the profession,
students from nontraditional backgrounds.         extended to them while participating in               many DOs will be delighted to host you for
Many of these students come to osteopathic        these programs. Many osteopathic colleges             a day or two. They will be able to show you
medicine as a second career and have a            sponsor such programs, which may be open              what they do so that you can decide if you
diverse set of experiences.                       to participation by their students, faculty, and      want to study osteopathic medicine.
Osteopathic medical schools have admitted         alumni.
                                                                                                      Current osteopathic medical students are
students who have been administrators, man-
agers, or executives in business; attorneys;
                                                  n Learning About the Practice                       another good source of information about
                                                  of Osteopathic Medicine and                         osteopathic medical education, as are
professional musicians; newspaper reporters;                                                          the Pre-SOMA chapters on undergraduate
allied health care providers; and many others.    Shadowing a DO
                                                                                                      campuses. The colleges have student
Many of these students have families, and         Colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs)             ambassador programs, alumni, student
some are single parents.                          encourage applicants to learn more about            government leaders, and members of the
Admission to osteopathic medical school is        the profession by identifying an osteopathic        Student Osteopathic Medicine Associa-
competitive and selective. A person who is        physician to shadow. Many of the colleges           tion (SOMA), all of whom are eager to talk
well-rounded, has a broad background with the     require applicants to get to know a DO and          about their schools with prospective medical
qualities listed above, and has demonstrated      request a letter of recommendation as part          students.
academic excellence has the best chance for       of the application process. Applicants should
                                                  meet with and spend time shadowing the              For further information, contact the
admission to osteopathic medical school.                                                              admissions office at the schools in which
                                                  physician. This provides the applicant with
                                                                                                      you are interested.
n Osteopathic Medicine in an                      exposure to the osteopathic profession and
International Context                             enhances awareness of osteopathic medical
                                                  philosophy. Working with a physician will
The practice of osteopathic medicine outside      prepare the applicant for the application
of the United States varies. In more than         interview. Completing this crucial step also
65 countries, DOs have full practice rights       demonstrates the applicant’s commitment to
as they do in the United States. However,         the osteopathic profession.
only U.S. DOs are trained as fully licensed
physicians. In some countries, DO training is     Students should contact a DO before
concentrated on OMM, and practice rights          applying for admission, beginning as early as       1
                                                                                                       Source: American Osteopathic Association
are typically limited to manipulation. The        possible while in undergraduate education.
most up-to-date information on this topic is      The best ways for finding DOs are:
available from the Osteopathic International
                                                                                                        Source: American Osteopathic Associa-
                                                  • Osteopathic college admissions and                tion; 2018 Osteopathic Medical Profession
Alliance (https://oialliance.org) and the
                                                    alumni offices. Admissions and alumni             Report (https://osteopathic.org/about/aoa-
American Osteopathic Association
                                                    officials at schools have many contacts in        statistics/)
                                                    the osteopathic profession. Contact them,
Specific information about Canadian
                                                                                                       Source: The Journal of the American Osteo-
                                                    and let them know that you are looking to
osteopathic medical practice is available from                                                        pathic Association (JAOA), February 2002,
                                                    shadow and learn more about becoming
the Canadian Osteopathic Association                                                                  Vol. 102, 63-65 (https://jaoa.org/article.
                                                    a DO.
(www.osteopathic.ca).                                                                                 aspx?articleid=2092562)

                                                                    2020-2021 STUDENT GUIDE TO OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL COLLEGES                          11

              Overview of Osteopathic Medical Education and Accreditation
Osteopathic medicine is a science-based
discipline with a strong philosophical
grounding that focuses on the whole person.
It follows the French and Italian model of
medical education, emphasizing examination
and understanding of the people being
cared for.
This is in contrast to MD-granting (allopathic)
medical schools, which are rooted in the
German model of education, emphasizing
laboratory-based evaluation of patients.
Nevertheless, osteopathic medical school
curricula are very similar to those used at
U.S. allopathic medical schools, although the
exact program varies by college.
Osteopathic medical school accreditation
standards require training in internal medicine,    Photo courtesy of Marian University College
obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, family           of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM)
practice, surgery, psychiatry, radiology,
preventive medicine, and public health.
Osteopathic medical schools emphasize               a hands-on approach that is used to diagnose      During the year preceding the graduation of
early clinical contact. While the first two years   and treat people in a primary or adjunctive       its first class, a pre-accreditation COM will
focus on the biomedical and clinical sciences,      way, enhancing overall health and the holistic    conduct various activities that will allow it to
the second two years delve deeper into              functioning of the human body. OMM                attain fully accredited status.
patient-oriented clinical training. Most schools    education usually occurs through year-long
include time for elective courses as well.          first- and second-year theoretical and skills     Osteopathic Medicine
DO clinical education follows a distributive
                                                    courses and through subsequent clinical           Four-Year Curriculum
                                                    experiences. OMM education is in addition
model wherein students are exposed to                                                                 Each osteopathic medical school has its
                                                    to and integrated with medical training on
practicing in diverse health care settings.                                                           own curriculum. Some are discipline-based,
                                                    current and emerging theories and methods
Although in-hospital experiences are an                                                               focusing on each science separately. Others
                                                    of medical diagnosis and treatment.
important aspect of clinical education,                                                               allow students to learn through patient-based
osteopathic medical students receive                For more information on osteopathic               or problem-based learning. Many use a mix of
significant training in community hospitals as      medicine, see the overview (https://              methods. Osteopathic medical school starts
well as out-of-hospital ambulatory settings. In     choosedo.org/learn-about-osteopathic-             with a foundation in the basic sciences of
many schools, a community-based primary             medicine/).                                       medicine. In addition, students learn a core
care rotation in a rural or underserved area is                                                       set of clinical examination skills and gain
a required aspect of fourth-year training. For      Accreditation                                     an understanding of the various systems of
information on each school’s curriculum, see        Osteopathic medical schools are accredited        the body. Lectures, laboratories, and other
the individual college pages on page 28.            by the American Osteopathic Association           learning experiences are designed to prepare
Although osteopathic medical education has          Commission on Osteopathic College                 students for the clinical portion of medical
changed dramatically since its beginnings in        Accreditation (COCA), recognized to accredit      school—the clinical clerkship years.
1874, osteopathic medical schools maintain          osteopathic medical education by the U.S.         Integration of the basic and clinical sciences
the core values advanced by the profession’s        Department of Education. Learn more here          through early clinical exposure is an important
early proponents. These values are held as          (https://osteopathic.org/accreditation/).         part of the curriculum. While specific learning
central distinguishing tenets of osteopathic        Many osteopathic medical schools are              methods and curricular offerings vary from
philosophy and practice: providing care             also accredited by a regional educational         college to college, the chart on page 13
that is holistic, patient-centered, preventive,     accrediting organization.                         provides a general guide to the material
and focused on health rather than disease,                                                            covered in the osteopathic medical school
delivered within a primary care context.            New colleges of osteopathic medicine
                                                                                                      curriculum. Please check with the college to
                                                    (COMs) hold pre-accreditation status during
The osteopathic medical school curriculum is                                                          which you are applying.
                                                    their first four years of student enrollment. A
perhaps most distinguished by the inclusion         college holding pre-accreditation status may
of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM),         admit students and offer medical instruction.

Core Clinical              Other Clinical
      Year 1            Year 2                Clerkships                 Clerkships
                                            (Years 3 and 4)            (Years 3 and 4)
Anatomy           Gerontology               Emergency               Anesthesiology
Physiology        Cardiology                Medicine                Cardiology
Clinical Skills   Gastrointestinal          Family Medicine         Dermatology
Radiology         System                    Internal Medicine       Gastroenterology
Osteopathic       Hematopoietic System      Obstetrics &            Laboratory Medicine
Principles &      Osteopathic Principles    Gynecology
Practices         & Practices               Osteopathic
                                            Principles &            Neurology
Microbiology &    Pharmacology
Immunology                                  Practices               Oncology & Hematology
Neuroscience                                Pediatrics              Orthopedics
Histology                                   Psychiatry &            Otorhinolaryngology
                  Respiratory               Behavioral Science
Biochemistry                                                        Pediatric Subspecialties
                  Ethics &                  Surgery
Pathology         Jurisprudence                                     Public Health
Doctor/Patient    Family Medicine                                   Pulmonary Medicine
Communication     Genitourinary System                              Radiology
                  Reproductive System                               Rural Medicine
                  Pediatrics/Growth &                               Surgical Subspecialties
                  Development                                       Urology

                                                                      Photo courtesy of A.T. Still University Kirksville
                                                                      College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM)

                                     2020-2021 STUDENT
                                     2020-2021 STUDENT GUIDE
                                                       GUIDE TO
                                                             TO OSTEOPATHIC
                                                                OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL
                                                                                    COLLEGES                        13

                                                   Graduate Medical Education
An Overview of Graduate
Medical Education (GME)                                 Osteopathic Physician (DO)
                                                        Medical Education Timeline
The education students receive in an
osteopathic medical school is undergraduate
medical education, and the subsequent                 Academic Degrees
training provided in a residency and fellowship       • 4 years undergraduate study
program is graduate medical education (GME).            (Bachelor’s degree)
After graduating from an osteopathic medical          • 4 years osteopathic medical school
school, students seeking licensure continue             (DO degree)
training in graduate training programs called
“residency,” the first year of which may be
                                                      Graduate Medical Education
called an “internship” or a “transitional year.”
Successful completion of a residency program          • Complete training to become a physi-
is required for specialty board certification.          cian includes supervised postdoctoral
                                                        graduate medical education (GME)
GME typically focuses on one field of
practice. Examples include family medicine,
pediatrics, emergency medicine, surgery,              Board Certification/Licensure
preventive medicine, dermatology, radiology,          • 3 – 7 years internship/residency
and others.
                                                      • 1 – 3 years specialty fellowship
As of June 30, 2020, the single GME
accreditation system under the Accreditation
Council for Graduate Medical Education
(ACGME) is established. With the single
GME accreditation system, GME programs
previously accredited by the American
                                                                                                           Photo courtesy of Idaho College of
Osteopathic Association (AOA), are now
                                                                                                           Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM)
accredited by the ACGME. As a result of this
new system, there will be significant changes
to GME that will ease the application and
participation process, as well as broaden
opportunities to participate in GME programs.
                                                    In pursuing GME, osteopathic medical school         Residency Match
                                                    graduates can choose the following options:
                                                                                                        Graduating osteopathic medical students
Osteopathic Recognition                             1. Residency (Categorical): A graduate              apply to hospitals and programs that offer
                                                       of a college of osteopathic medicine can         their preferred GME programs. Applications
In the single GME accreditation system,                match directly into a residency program          to GME programs are administered through
osteopathic medical school graduates have              and start specialty training. A “categorical”    the Electronic Residency Application Service
the option to pursue ACGME programs with               position is one that offers full residency       (ERAS). Following interviews that provide
an osteopathic emphasis or programs with               training required for board certification in     students and programs with information
“Osteopathic Recognition” designation. Any             that specialty.                                  about each other, students submit their
ACGME-accredited program can apply to
                                                    2. Preliminary: The doctor of osteopathic           choices, ranked from their first to last choice.
receive Osteopathic Recognition, which
                                                       medicine chooses to go into a specialty          Programs also rank the applicants they would
indicates that osteopathic principles and
                                                       and will be in a first-year program that         like to have working in their programs.
practices are integrated within the training
program.                                               may be separate or linked to the specialty       DO students typically enjoy a high rate of
                                                       training they will pursue. Some specialties      placement into GME programs. The 2020
Osteopathic medical students can pursue                will require a preliminary year.                 match is the first single match system admin-
programs with Osteopathic Recognition in
                                                    3. Transitional Year: A one-year training           istered by the National Resident Matching
all the options below. Students can view an
                                                       program in multiple clinical disciplines         Program (NRMP). This single system will
up-to-date list of programs with the ACGME
                                                       is designed to facilitate choice of and          simplify the matching process for osteopathic
Osteopathic Recognition designation on the
                                                       preparation for a specific specialty.            medical school students who previously could
ACGME’s website at https://apps.acgme.org/
                                                                                                        participate in the AOA National Matching
ads/Public/Reports/Report/17.                       4. Military GME
                                                                                                        Service (NMS). A result of the new process
Learn more and keep up with changes on the          5. Fellowship: A graduate of a residency            will be a shift in the way the match rate
transition to the single accreditation system at       training program may choose to pursue            percentage is reported, and AACOM will
www.aacom.org/singlegme.                               further training in a particular subspecialty.   continue to provide details on these changes.


                                           Board Examinations and Licensure
Osteopathic physicians are licensed in all           Many foreign countries recognize the U.S. DO           clerkship training. Level 2-CE is taken during
50 states, the District of Columbia, other           degree and grant full licensure to American-           the clinical clerkship years prior to graduating
territories and areas of the United States,          trained DOs who wish to practice internationally.      from osteopathic medical school. COMLEX-
and many foreign countries. Licensure is             The scope of licensure is determined by                USA Level 2-PE is an examination developed
determined by each state through the                 each country. For more information, visit the          to test physical examination skills and is also
appropriate licensing board.                         International Osteopathic Medicine page on             taken prior to graduation. Level 3 is taken
To be licensed as an osteopathic physician,          the AOA website (https://osteopathic.org).             during GME.
one must:                                                                                                   The COMLEX-USA Level 1 and 2 (CE and
                                                     Comprehensive                                          PE) are required for graduation from an
• Graduate from an accredited U.S. college of
  osteopathic medicine (COM)
                                                     Osteopathic Medical                                    osteopathic medical college. Each of the
                                                     Licensure Exam                                         osteopathic colleges has its own requirements
• Successfully complete a licensure exam
  sequence accepted by a state’s licensing
                                                     (COMLEX-USA)                                           for progression through the stages of the
                                                                                                            COMLEX-USA before graduation.
  board.                                             The Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical
                                                     Licensure Exam (COMLEX-USA) is a                       All 50 states in the United States accept
• Successfully complete more than one year                                                                  COMLEX-USA as a licensure exam for
  of graduate medical education (GME),               standardized test of medical knowledge. The
                                                     goal of the exam is to assess competency in            the practice of medicine by osteopathic
  depending on state licensure requirements.                                                                physicians. To learn more about the COMLEX-
                                                     the areas of knowledge related to practicing
• Stay abreast of the latest medical                 medicine. It tests the medical knowledge               USA exam, please visit www.nbome.org.
  developments related to their specialty            and clinical skills that are considered essential
  training through continuing medical                for an osteopathic physician to practice               United States Medical
  education (CME) programs. CME                      medicine without supervision. The COMLEX-              Licensure Examination
  requirements are determined by each
  state’s licensure board. The American
                                                     USA includes standardized test questions               (USMLE)
                                                     and a pass/fail observed clinical examination
  Osteopathic Association (AOA) also                                                                        The United States Medical Licensure
                                                     performed by the student.
  requires its members to complete a certain                                                                Examination (USMLE) is the standard
  number of CME credits to maintain board            The COMLEX-USA comprises Level 1, Level 2              examination for graduates of U.S. MD-granting
  certification.                                     CE and PE (Cognitive Evaluation and                    medical schools and graduates of international
                                                     Performance Evaluation), and Level 3. It is            medical schools seeking to practice in the
For state-specific licensure information, visit      administered by the National Board of                  United States. Osteopathic medical students
www.fsmb.org/fcvs/state-requirements/.               Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME).                 and residents also are eligible to take the
Learn more about CME through the AOA                 The NBOME is independent from the colleges             USMLE. The USMLE consists of Step One,
(https://osteopathic.org/cme/).                      of osteopathic medicine and has as its role            Step Two CK and CS (Clinical Knowledge and
                                                     the protection of the public.                          Clinical Skills), and Step Three.
Find information on osteopathic specialties and
subspecialties certification (https://osteopathic.   Level I of the exam is taken by the end of the         To learn more about the USMLE exam, please
org/life-career/aoa-board-certification).            second year of medical school prior to the             visit www.usmle.org.

                                                                                Photo courtesy of Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM)

                                                                       2020-2021 STUDENT GUIDE TO OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL COLLEGES                                 15
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