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Osteopathic Medicine

The doctorate of osteopathic medicine, D.O., is awarded at 26 osteopathic medical schools in the United States (as opposed to allopathic medical schools, which offer an M.D.). Many schools have branch campuses making 34 locations for students to study osteopathic medicine.
What is a doctor of osteopathic medicine? D.O.'s practice "traditional" medicine as well as using a holistic approach to medicine. The holistic aspect is called osteopathic manipulative medicine.

The majority of D.O.s practice in primary care, although the number of those practicing in specialties is increasing.

Click on any of the links below to find out more information on course requirements, the application process and various dentistry organizations/associations.

Application Information Application Process
Deciding To Be A Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Important Deadlines
Information on Osteopathic Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine Organizations/Associations
Summer Programs
Undergraduate Course Requirements
Osteopathic Medical Schools in the U.S.

Application Information/Application Process

AACOMAS (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service) is the official application service for colleges of osteopathic medicine. 19 /20 schools in the U.S. require applicants to apply through AACOMAS. AACOMAS is a member of AACOM (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine). 

For questions about AACOMAS applications:
First contact your local pre-health advisor
At the University of South Alabama, this is Dr. Cindy Stanfield
You may also contact AACOM
Phone: (301) 968-4190

The AACOMAS application is available in paper format or on-line.
The on-line site is open for applications starting May 5, 2011.
The application cycle is June 1 to March 15, although individual colleges may have other deadlines ranging from December to February.

Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the colleges where you will be applying.

MCAT
The standardized test for colleges of osteopathic medicine applications is the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). The MCAT is given twice a year, April and August. MCAT scores should be sent directly to AACOMAS.

Transcripts
Official transcripts should be sent to AACOMAS.

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Deciding to Be A Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

Making a career choice is an important and difficult decision. Making the decision to become an osteopathic doctor requires a commitment of time and money. It is important that you evaluate what the career entails.

You should answer the following and other questions on becoming and being a physician:
What is it like to be a physician?
What are your plans for your family life and how will being a physician affect it?
Do you have the perseverance to complete 4 years of undergraduate training, 4 years medical school,     and then several years of residency before becoming an independent physician?
Are you confident that you can handle emotionally-straining situations, such as the death of a patient?

One thing to keep in mind is that the decision to become a doctor of osteopathic medicine must be YOUR choice. You must want it, and you should know why you want it. It is not easy to become a physician, and once you become one, the job is a demanding one with lots of pressure.

Once you decide you want to go to osteopathic medical school, you have more decisions to make on how to get there. You will enroll in an undergraduate program (which can be any major, it does not have to be a science). In addition to satisfying your degree requirements, you will also have to take the required pre-osteopathic medicine curriculum. You must decide to take your coursework seriously, from the first semester of your freshman year. You must participate in other activities that make you a better candidate for osteopathic medical school, such as shadowing a physician (preferably a D.O., or both a D.O. and M.D. so that you can make comparisons), philanthropic activities, holding office in clubs/organizations, or working in health-related areas. You will be competing with many outstanding students, and you must stand out among the crowd to be accepted.

If and when you decide to go to osteopathic medical school, find a good resource for information on the requirements and deadlines. Be organized! Start thinking about how you can finance your education.  Decide to which osteopathic medical schools you will apply. Decision-making factors include geographical location, tuition, requirements for admission, curriculum, and faculty.

Are you interested in going into osteopathic medicine only because you have not been accepted by an allopathic medical school? If this is your reason for applying to an osteopathic medical school, then investigate osteopathic medicine. Will you be satisfied with a D.O.?

There is help available. Speak with your pre-health advisor and other faculty members. Speak with doctors of osteopathic medicine.

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Important deadlines
AACOMAS application deadline
Varies by schools from December 1 to March 1

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Information on Osteopathic Medicine
Student Doctor
What is osteopathic medcine

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Osteopathic Medicine Organizations/Associations
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
American Osteopathic Association

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Undergraduate course requirements

Major- Choose a major in an area that interests you. You do not have to be a science major to go to osteopathic medical school. However, you must complete certain course requirements. Most osteopathic medical schools require the same courses as allopathic medical schools, listed below:

1 year of physics with lab
1 year of general chemistry with lab
1 year of organic chemistry with lab
1 year of biology with lab
1 year of english

Requirements do vary between schools. Five schools require behavioral science courses in addition to those listed above. Resources are available to determine requirements of individual schools. All osteopathic medical schools have a web site (below).

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Osteopathic Medical Schools in the U.S.

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences
Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
ATSU/KCOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
ATSU/KCOM Website

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences
School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona
ATSU-SOMA Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
ATSU-SOMA Website

Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
of Midwestern University
AZCOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
AZCOM Website

Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
of Midwestern University
CCOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
CCOM Website

Des Moines University
College of Osteopathic Medicine
DMU-COM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
DMU-COM Website

Georgia Campus
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
GA-PCOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
GA-PCOM Website

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
College of Osteopathic Medicine
KCUMB-COM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
KCUMB-COM Website

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
LECOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf, 302k)
LECOM Website

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Bradenton Campus
LECOM-Bradenton Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
LECOM-Bradenton Website

Lincoln Memorial University
DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine
LMU-DCOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
LMU-DCOM Website

Michigan State University
College of Osteopathic Medicine
MSUCOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
MSUCOM Website

Nova Southeastern University
College of Osteopathic Medicine
NSU-COM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
NSU-COM Website

New York College of Osteopathic Medicine
of New York Institute of Technology
NYCOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
NYCOM Website

Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
College of Osteopathic Medicine
OSU-COM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
OSU-COM Website

Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine
OU-COM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
OU-COM Website

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
College of Osteopathic Medicine
PNWU-COM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
PNWU-COM Website

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
PCOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
PCOM Website

Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine
PCSOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
PCSOM Website

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
RVUCOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
RVUCOM Website

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - New York
TOUROCOM-NY Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
TOUROCOM-NY Website

Touro University - California
Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine
TUCOM-CA Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
TUCOM-CA Website

Touro University - Nevada
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
TUNCOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
TUNCOM Website

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
School of Osteopathic Medicine
UMDNJ-SOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
UMDNJ-SOM Website

University of New England
College of Osteopathic Medicine
UNECOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
UNECOM Website

University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth
Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
UNTHSC/TCOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
UNTHSC/TCOM Website

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas Campus
VCOM-CC Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
VCOM Website

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Virginia Campus
VCOM-VC Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
VCOM Website

Western University of Health Sciences
College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
Western U/COMP Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
Western U/COMP Website

West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
WVSOM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
WVSOM Website

William Carey University
College of Osteopathic Medicine
WCU-COM Page of the College Information Book (pdf)
WCU-COM Website

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