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Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine FAQs


Q. What is a D.O.?
A: D.O. stands for Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine is a fully trained physician who prescribes drugs, performs surgery and selectively utilizes all accepted scientific methods of treatment to maintain and restore health. D.O.s graduate from colleges of osteopathic medicine and are qualified to be licensed to practice all branches of medicine and surgery in all 50 states. D.O.s employ the osteopathic philosophy which states that D.O.s treat disease in the context of the whole person, considering the function and interrelation of all body systems, as well as such factors as nutrition, environment and psychology. D.O.s also believe that the musculoskeletal system can impede essential blood and nerve supply. To correct disorders that arise from this and restore proper functioning, D.O.s use manipulative therapy as an additional modality of treatment. For more information about Osteopathic Medicine click here.

Q. What is OMM?
A: Osteopathic manipulative medicine, or OMM, is hands-on care. It involves using the hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury. Using OMM, an osteopathic physician will move your muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance.

Q. What career opportunities will I have as a D.O.?
A: Osteopathic medicine's comprehensive approach serves the general practitioner superbly. Sixty-five percent of D.O.s enter one of the primary care specialties including general practice, general internal medicine, OB/GYN and pediatrics. An osteopathic education will also give you a strong foundation for pursuing any specialty or subspecialty of your choice.

Q. Where will I do my clerkships?
A: PCOM considers the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the state of Georgia as its campuses. Third and fourth year clinical clerkships take place in affiliated hospitals, five health care centers and in numerous outpatient facilities and physicians' offices, in both rural and urban settings. It is also possible to arrange elective rotations throughout the U.S. and around the world. For more information about clinical rotations click here.

Q. Who attends PCOM?
A: In 2012, the entering D.O. Class of 2016 consisted of 268 first-time students from different colleges and states. The average class GPA was 3.46, the science GPA was 3.37 and the mean MCAT score was 28. Students averaged 23 years of age with a range from 21 to 39; 49 percent are women and 18 percent are under-represented minorities.

Q. Where is PCOM located?
A: PCOM is one of the oldest colleges of osteopathic medicine founded in 1899. Our campus is located on 17 park-like acres that are only 15 minutes from the historic area of Philadelphia and close to Philadelphia's prestigious Main Line. PCOM-Georgia Campus,  founded in 2005, is located just north of downtown Atlanta. The campus's curriculum, activities and academic calendar mirror that of the Philadelphia campus.

Q. How will I finance my education?
A: Tuition and Fees are $42,965. Applicants should not be discouraged by the high cost of a medical education. Funds are available. PCOM offers a variety of financial aid programs from scholarships to low-interest loans, and provides counseling and financial planning seminars for all students. For more information about financial aid click here.

Q. What are the prerequisites of the D.O. Program?
A: The Admissions Committee requires the following courses:

8 credit hours each of:

General Biology with Lab
General Chemistry with Lab
Organic Chemistry with Lab
General Physics with Lab

Additionally 3 credits of English Composition and 3 credits of Literature are required.

Q. Can I take prerequisites courses at a Community College?
A: Yes, as long as take the courses are taken at a regionally accredited institution, then the admissions committee will accept the credits. However, in order to stay competitive for the program it would be better to take the courses at a four-year institution.

Q. What is the interview process like?
A: If the committee would like an interview, you will be contacted with an e-mail invitation. On your day of your interview, you will either go to breakfast or lunch and will meet individually with several members of the admissions committee for an open file interview. After all of the interviews are conducted, there will be a student lead campus tour.

Q. Do I need a letter of recommendation from a D.O.?
A: No, a letter from a D.O. is not required but is strongly recommended.

Q. How do I apply?
A. PCOM participates in AACOMAS, the centralized application service for colleges of osteopathic medicine. Beginning in early May, prospective osteopathic medical students may submit their application through a secure Web server, AACOMAS-On-Line, at www.aacom.org. Applicants may still submit a paper application which may be downloaded and printed from the website or requested by calling (301) 968-4190. PCOM supplemental applications are sent to all applicants upon receipt of the completed AACOMAS application.

Q. What is the deadline to apply for the D.O. program?
A: The deadline for the AACOMAS application is February 1st, and the deadline for the PCOM Supplemental application is March 1st. However, PCOM operates on a rolling admission basis, and EARLY applications are strongly encouraged.

Q Where can I find the curriculum for the program?
A: Click here for the Adobe pdf version of the College Catalog for easy review and printing.

Q. Do you accept international Students?
A: Yes, we do accept international students; however, one would have to show the ability to pay since one would not be eligible for Federal aid.

Q. Is it ok to take the MCAT more the once?
A: You may take the MCATs more than once, but MCAT scores are only valid for 3 years from desired matriculation. We will take your highest valid score and look at that break down when we make our evaluation.

Q. Do you accept AP credits for prerequisites?
A: Yes, we will accept AP credits as long as your undergraduate institution gives you credit for it and it is on your transcript.

Q: Do you accept transfer students into the DO program?

A: PCOM does not routinely accept transfer students; however, a transfer application may be considered under extenuating circumstances and depending on places available in the class. Consideration will be given only to a student who is in good standing at an AOA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine or
who is eligible for re-admission to the previously attended college of osteopathic medicine.

The initial request for transfer must originate from the dean of the college or university from which the student wishes to transfer and must be directed to the  dean of the PCOM campus to which he or she is applying. Application materials must be submitted and a formal interview with the Faculty Committee on Admissions will be required.  Application materials include an AACOMAS application (a copy of their original will be accepted from the current COM), a PCOM supplemental application, an official transcript from their current COM,  a statement from the applicant indicating the reason(s) for transfer, a letter from their current COM (Dean or Associate Dean of the COM) supporting the transfer and COMLEX score(s) if applicable.

If accepted, a transfer student will be given credit for courses successfully passed at the previous college that meet PCOM’s curriculum requirements. A minimum of two years must be completed at PCOM for a student to be eligible to receive the DO degree. All academic information is forwarded to the Registrar’s Office and Dean’s Office for the necessary evaluation of credits and registration for PCOM classes.