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Applying to Osteopathic School

Doctors of osteopathic medicine are physicians who use all of the scientifically accepted methods of diagnosis and treatment available today to treat patients just like allopathic physicians (M.D.). However, osteopathic medicine provides a further dimension which emphasizes the relationship between body structure and organ function while treating the entire person as whole, instead of a specific disease or illness. An important dimension in osteopathic medical care is osteopathic manipulation, a therapeutic procedure geared toward the correction of musculoskeletal disorders, thereby aiding in restoring the normal functioning of other body systems. Most osteopathic medical physicians are in general practice and place their emphasis on preventative medicine, while others go on to specialize in many areas of medicine. At the present there are fifteen American Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.

1. Planning

A decision to pursue a career in osteopathic medicine should be based on some type of experience in osteopathic medical care. Knowing a doctor of osteopathic medicine is very important since most osteopathic medical schools require a letter of recommendation from a D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy). Also, it is advantageous to volunteer in an osteopathic medical hospital or similar institutions; the former are located throughout the metropolitan are, including Saddle Brook and Union. Finally, speak to your pre-professional advisor and discuss the idea of becoming an osteopathic medical physician.

2. Where to Apply

Entrance Requirements - Generally, the course requirements for admission to osteopathic medical schools are the same as for medical school. The applicant must demonstrate adequate performance in the basic sciences, including biology, general chemistry, and physics. In addition, each applicant must take the MCAT.

Osteopathic Medical Colleges - There are currently fifteen colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. Twelve of these schools participate in the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, or AACOMAS, a centralized application service. A list of the fifteen schools is provided below; schools preceded by an asterisk do not participate in AACOMAS.

  • Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Chicago, IL 60615
  • College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Pomona, CA 91766
  • Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kirksville, MO 63501
  • Michigan State University, College of Osteopathic Medicine, East Lansing, MI 48824
  • * New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, Biddeford, ME 0400S
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey School of Osteopathic Medicine, Camden, NJ 08103
  • New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, LI, New York 11568
  • North Texas State University, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Fort Worth, TX 76107
  • Ohio University, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Athens, OH 45701
  • The Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, Tulsa, OK 74101
  • * Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19131
  • Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine, North Miami Beach, FL 33162
  • * The College of Osteopathic Medicine, The University of Health Sciences, Kansas City, MO 64124
  • University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, Des Moines, IA 50312
  • West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, Lewi sburg, WV 24901

Information pertinent to the application process for each osteopathic medical school and for an overview of osteopathic medicine may be obtained by writing to the following:

AACOMAS, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 609, Bethesda, MD 20814

American Osteopathic Association, Dept. of Public Relations, 212 East Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60611

Applicants should also write to the admissions office of the respective colleges to obtain college catalogs and/or bulletins that can provide more information. Applicants should note, most osteopathic medical schools are state-supported and only accept a limited number of out-of-state students. Seton Hall students have been accepted into New Jersey, Philadelphia, Kirksville, Kansas, Des Moines, California, Chicago, New England, New York, Ohio, and Florida Schools of Osteopathic Medicine.

3. How To Apply

MCAT - Each osteopathic medical school requires all applicants to take the MCAT. In order for the twelve osteopathic medical schools participating in AACOMAS to receive your scores, you must list the code 600 on the MCAT answer document. The non-AACOMAS schools use different code numbers which are listed in the MCAT registration packet. For more information about the MCAT, please see, the Medical School section of this Chapter.

AACOMAS - This centralized application processing service allows you to complete one application which can be used to apply to as many as ten osteopathic medical schools. The AACOMAS application process provides you with the opportunity to list college honors, extracurricular activities, academic and personal data, and community and health-related activities. Prior to submitting AACOMAS application materials, a complete set of official transcripts from each U.S. or Canadian college or university you have attended, must be sent to AACOMAS. It is important that all application materials be filled out accurately; if they are not, the entire application will be sent back to you. AACOMAS encourages the applicant to submit the required materials early in the application cycle, which begins in July of each year. To obtain an application packet free of charge, write to: American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 609, Bethesda, MD 20814

Application Deadlines - Most osteopathic medical schools have set December 1 as the deadline date for receipt of application materials and official college transcripts. Students should consult the osteopathic medical school bulletin for specific information on deadlines for required materials.

Finances - The tuition for the fifteen osteopathic medical schools averages about $16,000 a year, excluding room and board, books, supplies, fees, and miscellaneous expenses. The accepted osteopathic medical student should contact the financial aid office for information on loans and scholarships. An additional source of information is the "Guide to Sources of Financial Aid for Osteopathic Medical Students". This guide can be obtained from AACOMAS (see address above).


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