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Frequently Asked Questions 
PCOM Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Learn more about PCOM's Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) program including important terms, career options and the admissions process.


What is a DO?

DO 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. DOs graduate from colleges of osteopathic medicine and are qualified to be licensed to practice all branches of medicine and surgery in all 50 states.

Osteopathic principles

DOs employ the osteopathic philosophy, which states that DOs 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. DOs also believe that the musculoskeletal system can impede essential blood and nerve supply. To correct disorders that arise from this and restore proper functioning, DOs use manipulative therapy as an additional modality of treatment.


What is OMM?

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.

What career opportunities will I have as a DO?

Osteopathic medicine’s comprehensive approach serves the general practitioner superbly. Many DOs 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.

Where will I do my clerkships?

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. Visit our clinical education page for additional details.

Who attends PCOM?

Visit our program statistics page for demographic information.

Where is PCOM located?

PCOM is one of the oldest colleges of osteopathic medicine, founded in 1899. Our Philadelphia 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.

How will I finance my education?

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. Visit our financial aid section for more information.

What are the prerequisites for the DO program?

Can I take prerequisites courses at a community college?

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.

What is the interview process like?

If the committee would like an interview, you will be contacted with an email 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.

Due to COVID-19, we will conduct online interviews only for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle at all PCOM locations.

Do I need a letter of recommendation from a DO?

No, a letter from a DO is not required but is strongly recommended.

How do I apply?

Visit our application requirements page for details regarding the admissions and application process.

Where can I find the curriculum for the program?

The PCOM course catalog contains details regarding the curriculum. Visit our course catalogs page to download the most recent catalog.

Do you accept international students?

PCOM does not accept applicants for our Doctor of Osteopathic (DO) Medicine program who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents (green card). Please visit our international applicants page for additional details.

Is it okay to take the MCAT more the once?

Visit our application requirements page for details regarding MCAT scores.

Do you accept AP credits for prerequisites?

Yes, we will accept AP credits as long as your undergraduate institution gives you credit for it and it is on your transcript.

Do you accept transfer students into the DO program?

Visit our application requirements page for details regarding transfer students.

Where can I find information regarding the AOA and ACGME single accreditation?

You can find out more information regarding the residency merger at the American Osteopathic Association.

How do I submit my letters of recommendation?

Visit our application requirements page for details regarding letters of recommendation.

How will the change to the AACOM Grade Replacement Policy affect application review?

The Faculty Committee on Admissions follows a holistic approach in reviewing applications for the DO program. Our committee members look not only at grades and test scores when evaluating applications, but also read the entire application as submitted by the applicant, along with the letters of recommendation and personal statements. There are no cutoffs or minimums. Our admissions process will continue to be what it has been and will be unaffected by the change in the AACOMAS policy.