Preparing for an interview at any medical school requires certain steps: familiarizing yourself with the school, honing your general interview skills and making sure that you can discuss any aspect of your application in depth. However, to be successful at an osteopathic medical school interview, you need to also ensure that you are ready for the unique questions often asked by these schools.
D.O. schools are seeking applicants who are familiar with the osteopathic approach and are genuinely interested in attending an osteopathic school. This is not to say that an applicant should not apply to both allopathic and osteopathic schools. However, any candidate for an osteopathic school, whether applying exclusively to D.O. schools or applying to both D.O. and M.D. schools, must demonstrate that he or she has explored osteopathic medicine in depth.
To get ready for an interview at an osteopathic school, make sure that you do the following
- Learn about the history of osteopathic medicine. While you don’t need to be an expert on the topic, you should be familiar with the roots of the profession and understand how it evolved to its present form.
- Know the philosophy of osteopathic medicine. Understand what OMM (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine) is and its role in patient care. Osteopathic medicine also emphasizes holistic and preventive care as well as primary care medicine. The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine website http://www.aacom.org/Pages/default.aspx is a good starting point in learning about the profession.
- Consider what makes you a good fit for an osteopathic medical school. Why do you want to become a D.O.? What aspects of your background demonstrate that you have qualities and interests that align with the osteopathic philosophy and mission? For example, you may have volunteered for a program that promotes nutrition and exercise for the prevention of obesity, thus demonstrating an interest in preventive care. A history of shadowing or volunteering with an osteopathic physician also shows that you have explored the profession and came to an informed decision about applying to D.O. schools. Integrate such examples and details into your response to questions about your interest in osteopathic medicine.
During the interview, you will very likely encounter typical interview questions as “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” While such a question can reveal some information about you as a person and as a future physician, it is the D.O. focused questions that give you the opportunity to show that not only will you be a great physician, but you will specifically be a superb osteopathic physician.