Osteopathic Medicine as a Career
DO schools require an undergraduate degree prior to matriculation, and then students complete a four-year DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) program and then typically several more years of residencies and internships. For more information see Explore Health Careers.org: Physician (D.O.)
Find out more about the history/evolution of osteopathic medicine.
- Meet with the pre-health advisor at least once every semester and add your name to the pre-med email list. The pre-health advisor assists students in choosing courses, preparing a strong resume, navigating the very complicated application process, reviewing personal statements, and conducting mock interviews.
- Choose a college major that you enjoy and that provides a good “back-up plan” and career path in case you change your mind about medicine. Common majors include biology, microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry, exercise science, psychology, nutrition, etc.
- Carefully check admission requirements at DO schools of most interest. Consider reviewing the Osteopathic Medical School Directory. In general, DO schools require at a minimum:
- A year of general chemistry (Chem 111 and 112) with labs
- A year of general physics (Phys 111 and 112 or Phys 211 and 212) with labs
- A year of organic chemistry (Chem 277 and 372) with labs
- A year of biology (Bio 115 and 116) with labs
- Additional courses that may be required or highly recommended include biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, anatomy, physiology, statistics, English, calculus etc. Review courses listed on the Pre-medicine web page that are needed preparation for the MCAT 2015 including Biochem 300 or 380 , Psych 101 and Soc 101.
- Maintain a competitive GPA. Successful applicants have an average GPA of 3.50. See AACOM Applicant and Matriculant Data - Fall 2013 (pdf)
- Complete the University of Utah Med School Self Assessment (pdf)
- Get significant DO shadowing and clinical experience and maintain a formal log (Professional Development Activities Log). Find out firsthand what the profession is like, decide if it is right for you, explore different areas of the field and in different settings, and be sure to meet clinical experience requirements of your preferred schools.
- Develop strong relationships with faculty mentors, health care professionals, and others who will be writing letters of reference
- Join the U of I Premed Club and get involved in extracurricular, leadership, and volunteer activities
The application process consists of taking the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), applying through the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMCAS), submitting college transcripts and letters of reference, and then participating in invited interviews.
Other Helpful Links
- American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
- National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners
Almost all medical schools require the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). The MCAT is comprised of four sections:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
You will want to be certain to prepare extensively before taking the MCAT, including completing a targeted study plan in addition to the minimum recommended preparatory coursework (e.g. general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, biochemistry, psychology, and sociology). Most students spend approximately 300-350 hours over four to six months preparing for the MCAT. You may choose to study independently, or complete a formal preparation course.
Here are some helpful links: