Category Archives: Osteopathic

AACOM Launches New Search Tool for Osteopathic Medical Colleges

We are excited to announce that the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) has launched the Choose DO Explorer, the Association’s first online search tool created to help prospective medical students more readily find information about admission to osteopathic medical colleges.

The Explorer provides information on school locations, dual degree options, institutional campus settings, mean overall GPA and MCAT scores for enrolled students, and application deadlines, among other relevant college details. 

With 25 percent of all U.S. medical students now attending a college of osteopathic medicine, the field has become one of the fastest growing health professions in the nation. As part of the Choose DO initiative, the Explorer reflects AACOM’s commitment to promoting osteopathic medical education as a preferred pathway for future physicians and looks to increase the number of qualified physicians available to meet U.S. health care needs.

Enhancements and added searchable criteria will be made to the Explorer in the future.

2020 AACOMAS Cycle Opening Information

AACOM is pleased to share that the 2020 AACOMAS application cycle will open for submissions on Thursday, May 2, 2019. Medical Schools will begin to receive applicant data from AACOMAS on Friday, June 14, 2019. The initial application fee remains flat at $195 for the primary application and one college designation and $45 for each additional college designation.

All students seeking to explore osteopathic medicine should look at the resources at https://choosedo.org/. 2019-2020 Application Deadlines by college can be found here: choosedo.org/college-application-deadlines.

Applicants are encouraged to explore the 35 colleges of osteopathic medicine and their pages in the Student Guide to Osteopathic Medical Colleges.

Key Updates to the 2019-2020 AACOMAS Application cycle:

  • The Personal Statement Character length has increased from 4,500 characters to 5,300 characters.
  • We have one new college designation: California Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

In the coming months, AACOM is thrilled to be launching an online search database as a companion to the Student Guide to Osteopathic Medical Colleges. This database will allow prospective applicants to view and compare colleges of osteopathic medicine through key data points, such as location, campus setting, dual degrees and more. We will update you as soon as this resource is made available.

Osteopathic Medical School Online Fair January 17, 2019

AACOM, along with our Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, will be hosting another online Medical School Fair on Thursday, January 17th from 9am-9pm ET. In the AACOM Online Booth we have a variety of interesting topics planned throughout the day, see below for schedule. All of our member colleges have exciting activities happening in their booths as well!

9:00 -10:00         Osteopathic Medical Student Panel

10:00 -11:00      Ask AACOM: Questions and Answers about the Application Process to Medical School

11:00-11:30       The Cut Suite Video Presentation (Surgical Simulator) from Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine followed by Q and A

11:30-12:00       Financial Aid: Financial literacy is an important part of the equation when considering medical school. Financial aid officers from our schools will be on hand to chat about general financial aid options. In addition, we will share information about AACOM’s Financial Aid Debt Management Modules as a helpful resource to make educated and informed decisions about financing your education.

12:00-12:30pm AACOM’s Office of Gov’t Relations: Learn about federal policies that impact your access to medical education, how to advocate for your future through AACOM’s ED to MED campaign, and other opportunities, such as internships and informational resources

12:30-1:00pm    Ask AACOM: Questions and Answers about the Application Process to Medical School

1:00-3:00pm      Featured Doctor: Come chat with Dr. Stephen Shannon, President & CEO of AACOM; Board Certified in Osteopathic Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine

3:00-4:00pm      Ask the Advisor: Pre Health advisors from the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions will be on hand to answer questions you may have

4:00-5:00pm      OMM Fellows: Learn about Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) from OMM Fellows at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

5:00-7:00pm      Featured Doctor: Come chat with Dr. Tyler Cymet, Chief of Clinical Education at AACOM; Primary Care Internal Medicine Physician

7:00-9:00pm      Ask AACOM: Questions and Answers about the Application Process to Medical School

DOs receive international recognition as fully licensed physicians

Last week, the AOA announced that the United Nation’s International Labor Organization (ILO), “has issued a letter affirming that U.S.-trained osteopathic physicians are fully licensed physicians who prescribe medication and perform surgery. The acknowledgment draws a clear separation between American DOs and osteopaths. Within the international standards that classify jobs to promote international comparability across occupations, U.S.-trained DOs are now categorized with all other physicians as medical doctors.”  

The article goes on to state:  “This recognition is expected to make it easier for DOs to gain practice rights in different countries, and will assist the AOA in executing its strategic priority to expand the international impact of osteopathic medicine.”

2018-19 AACOMAS Application Cycle Updates

The 2018-2019 AACOMAS application cycle will open for submissions on May 3, 2018. Please find important information about the upcoming cycle below, including key AACOMAS dates, updates for the 2018-19 cycle, and tips for applying.

Key AACOMAS Dates

  • May 3: 2018-2019 AACOMAS application cycle opens for submissions.
  • June 15: Schools begin receiving and processing 2018-2019 cycle applications.
  • Academic Update (Coursework) Periods:
    • Sept 3, 2018 – Oct 12, 2018
    • Dec 13, 2018 – Feb 15, 2019
    • Mar 14, 2019 – Apr 12, 2019

More information about Academic Update is included below.

Increase AACOMAS Fee Waiver Funding
AACOM is proud to announce that, for the first time, fee waivers were awarded to all eligible financially disadvantaged students who applied to the AACOMAS Fee Assistance Program in the 2017-2018 cycle. Historically, AACOM waived the application fee for approximately 800 students and exhausted funds in July of each application cycle. This left nearly 700 eligible fee waiver applicants without waivers each year. Due to an increase in funding for the 2017-2018 cycle, AACOM doubled the reach of the fee waiver program and awarded nearly 1,700 financially disadvantaged applicants with fee waivers. AACOM will continue to review this fund to ensure we can assist as many future physicians as possible and diversify the pipeline.

Updates for the 2018-2019 AACOMAS Cycle

  • College Information Resources
    The 2018-2019 Osteopathic Medical College Information Book (CIB) is now available for free online. The College Information Book contains an overview of the profession, lists key data about each of the 34 accredited U.S. colleges of osteopathic medicine, and is an essential resource for students applying in the upcoming AACOMAS cycle.
  • Applicant Help Center
    The online AACOMAS Instructions and FAQs has also been redesigned to provide a more intuitive and user-friendly experience for applicants. The new AACOMAS Applicant Help Center will contain a quick start guide and easy-to-navigate online interface. The Help Center contents will now be fully searchable to ensure applicants can efficiently find the information they need to apply successfully. The new AACOMAS Applicant Help Center will launch on May 3 with the 2018-2019 AACOMAS cycle.

Tips for Applying

  • Apply Early (but don’t rush!)
    While AACOMAS opens for submissions on May 3, applications are not released to colleges for review until June 15. Encourage students to apply early (by August 1) to increase  their chances of obtaining an interview at a college of osteopathic medicine. Students should also be encouraged to take their time in carefully completing their application.
  • Fee Waivers
    AACOMAS fee waivers are available at the start of each cycle. Once approved for a fee waiver, applicants must submit their AACOMAS application within 14 days (including holidays and weekends). For these reasons, encourage applicants to carefully review all fee waiver instructions and adjust their application timeline accordingly.
  • FAQ: Missing Official MCAT Scores
    Failure to release official MCAT scores to AACOMAS may delay a college from reviewing an applicant’s file. Follow the following two-step process below to ensure their official MCAT scores are submitted correctly:

    1. Applicants must accurately self-report their name, date of birth, and AAMC ID (distributed upon registering for the MCAT exam) into the AACOMAS application. The information entered into AACOMAS must match exactly what is on the MCAT.
    2. Applicants must visit the AAMC’s online MCAT Score Reporting System and electronically release official scores to AACOMAS.
  • Academic Update (Coursework) Periods
    Academic Update Periods are windows throughout the application cycle when  applicants  enter and submit newly completed or planned courses to AACOMAS after their application has been submitted and verified. Failing to submit updated coursework within these three periods may delay a college’s review of the applicant’s file. Encourage applicants to submit updates and final transcripts to AACOMAS during the designated Academic Update Periods outlined at the top of this communication.

AACOM Minority Student Scholarship

AACOM 2018 Arnstein Minority Student Scholarship Program Accepting Applications

AACOM’s 2018 Sherry R. Arnstein Minority Student Scholarship Program application cycle is now open. The program, named after former AACOM Executive Director Sherry R. Arnstein, recognizes incoming and continuing underrepresented minority students at AACOM’s member colleges.

Help AACOM spread the word by forwarding this email to eligible students matriculating to or currently enrolled at your schools.

Eligible applicants must be:

  1. African American; Native American (American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian); mainland Puerto Rican; or Hispanic American
  2. Currently enrolled in his/her first, second, or third year at an AACOM member college, or have been accepted and plan to matriculate at an AACOM member college
  3. In good academic standing
  4. Not a previous Arnstein Minority Scholarship awardee

Entries must be submitted by March 31, 2018. All entries must be complete and meet all specified requirements. Late or incomplete entries will not be considered.

Awardees will be notified in August 2018.

Visit AACOM’s Sherry R. Arnstein Minority Student Scholarship Program web page for more information.

2018 MCAT Registration

Attention: 2018 MCAT registration will open on October 18, 2017 for January-June test dates. July-September test dates will open in February 2018.

New this year: Start your registration early! Any time between 10:00 AM ET on October 12 and 5:00 PM ET on October 17, you will be able to fill out the necessary background and biographical information, as well as complete the necessary consent forms in the MCAT Registration System. You will not be able to select your date and location at this time.

Starting the registration process early will allow you more time to enter your personal information and read the important MCAT policies and forms carefully before you begin searching for a test date and location on October 18. Completing your personal information and consent forms in advance does not give you priority in selecting your test date and location.

Follow @AAMC_MCAT on Twitter and the MCAT registration website for further announcements.

AACOMAS Change: Repeat Coursework Policy-Effective 2017-2018 AACOMAS Application Cycle

If you are planning to apply to US Osteopathic Medical Schools, please see an important announcement posted this week by the American Association of Osteopathic Medical Schools (AACOM) regarding the policies on repeated work for individual DO medical schools.  We are awaiting word as to whether a central document may become available so we can see the policy for each individual US DO medical college. Once we have such information, we will post out in a timely manner.

 

Notice: Change to AACOMAS Repeat Coursework Policy for 2017-2018 AACOMAS Application Cycle

In an effort to increase transparency, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) Board of Deans has approved the following resolution regarding the AACOMAS Repeat Coursework Policy:

Effective May 1, 2017, AACOMAS will include all course attempts in the GPA calculation. This change applies to students matriculating into the 2018-2019 academic year. In the event of multiple attempts of the same course, AACOMAS will no longer drop initial course attempts from the GPA calculation.

The current AACOMAS Repeat Coursework Policy drops initial course attempts from the GPA calculation. Over the past several years, this policy has caused confusion among applicants, pre-health advisors, and colleges, and is one of the top questions received by AACOMAS customer service. AACOM recognizes the need to streamline application policies and instructions, and we anticipate this new policy will ensure a fair, consistent, and transparent application process for all applicants.

In the upcoming 2017-2018 AACOMAS application cycle, applicants will continue to identify repeated courses during coursework entry, but they will no longer enter 0.00 credit hours for initial attempts. Credit hours for all attempts will be entered as they appear on the official transcript and all grades will be averaged. The AACOMAS application instructions will be updated in advance of the 2017-2018 application cycle to reflect this change in policy. We anticipate that this change will enable applicants to move through the coursework entry section of the AACOMAS application more quickly and with greater accuracy.

Effective May 1, 2017, applicants using the 2017-2018 application cycle Reapplicant feature in AACOMAS for matriculation into the 2018-2019 academic year must adhere to the new policy. Therefore, AACOMAS will automatically update previously verified repeated coursework to ensure all applications adhere to the new policy.

Osteopathic medical schools may continue recalculating and weighing applicant GPAs and repeated courses per their established admissions practices. The scope of this policy change is limited to the AACOMAS verified GPA calculation.