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Frequently Asked Questions 
PCOM Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Learn more about PCOM's Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) program in Philadelphia, PA including important terms, career opportunities, the admissions process, single accreditation and more.


About Osteopathic Medicine

What is a DO?

DO stands for Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. A DO 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 specialties of medicine and surgery in all 50 states.

DOs employ the osteopathic philosophy which states that osteopathic physicians treat disease in the context of the whole person, considering the function and interrelation of all body systems, as well as factors such as nutrition, environment and psychology. 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.

Learn more about osteopathic medicine or the difference between a MD and DO degree.

What is OMM?

Osteopathic manipulative medicine, or OMM, 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 which include stretching, gentle pressure and resistance.

PCOM’s osteopathic medical students are trained in various OMM techniques. Our three campus locations feature OMM labs and practice rooms for medical students to train their manipulative therapy skills.

Learn more about osteopathic medicine and OMM.

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, 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 including emergency medicine, surgery, neurology and more.

View our residency match lists to see where recent PCOM DO graduates have matched.

About the Admissions Process

What are the requirements for admission to the program?

Visit our DO application requirements for detailed information regarding prerequisites, the application process, interview procedures and related admissions topics.

See also: Preparing for Medical School: Guide to a Competitive Application

Do I need a letter of recommendation from a DO?

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

Is it okay to take the MCAT more than once?

Visit our application requirements page for details regarding MCAT scores.

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 2021-2022 admissions cycle at all PCOM locations.

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).

Visit the Office of Admissions' international applicants page for more details.

About PCOM's DO Program

How will I finance my education?

Applicants should not be discouraged by the cost of 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 resources for all students.

Learn more about financial aid at PCOM.

What courses will I take?

View the DO program course sequences for an overview of the DO curriculum as well as course listings:

How long does it take to obtain a degree?

The osteopathic medicine program requires four years of full-time study to complete.

Where will I do my clerkships?

Third- and fourth-year clinical clerkships take place in affiliated hospitals, 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.

What are the residency match rates for PCOM’s DO programs?

Students graduating from colleges of osteopathic medicine currently have the opportunity to apply to residency programs through the AOA (American Osteopathic Association), the ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) as well as the military. View our program statistics for recent match rates:

What are the board pass rates for DO students at PCOM’s locations?

View our program statistics for details regarding recent COMLEX I, II and III pass rates:

Accreditation Information

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

Visit for information regarding the single graduate medical education residency merger.

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.

Where can I ask more questions?

For additional information, please complete our request information form or contact the admissions office:

PCOM (Philadelphia, PA)


PCOM Georgia (Suwanee, GA)


PCOM South Georgia (Moultrie, GA)