The application process for osteopathic (D.O.) medical schools is in many ways similar to the application process for allopathic (M.D.) schools. However, D.O. schools use a separate application service (AACOMAS) and look for applicants who have demonstrated interest in osteopathic medicine. If you are planning to apply to D.O. schools, you can begin preparing by taking the following steps:
- Become familiar with osteopathic medicine. Doing so will help you to decide if this option is right for you and will be important as you write your personal statement and eventually interview for D.O. schools. Start out with a visit The American Association of Osteopathic Colleges of Medicine (AACOM) site at http://aacom.org and then delve more deeply into the history and philosophy of osteopathic medicine.
- Shadow or volunteer with an osteopathic physician. D.O. schools want to know that you have explored osteopathic medicine specifically and not just medicine in general. In addition, some osteopathic schools require letter of reference from a D.O. as part of the application process. Lining up a shadowing experience and getting to know an osteopathic physician well enough to obtain a strong letter of recommendation can take a while, so start with this step 6-12 months before you plan to apply.
- Learn about the osteopathic school application process. Osteopathic schools require a primary application, supplemental/secondary application, letters of reference and, for most schools, an interview. The centralized application service for osteopathic schools is AACOMAS (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service) and is found at https://aacomas.aacom.org/. The application cycle begins in May when AACOMAS starts accepting primary applications. Supplemental applications are usually submitted during the summer and fall and interview season begins in the late summer and can continue into the next spring.
Many applicants choose to apply to both allopathic and osteopathic schools. For some applicants, D.O. schools are the only focus. Either way, to ensure that your application is complete, timely and competitive, get started early taking the steps to prepare for the application cycle.
For experienced advising on your osteopathic medical school application, contact Dr. Eaton at (626) 768-2154 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 20 minute phone consultation.