Osteopathic Medical Schools Come Together to Promote the Field
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Osteopathic Medical Schools Come Together to Promote the Field

September 12, 2023

Kari Shotwell, Executive Director of Admissions at PCOM, addresses the crowd at the Osteopathic Medical School ExpoOsteopathic medicine has grown immensely since it was first developed in 1874. According to the American Osteopathic Association, the total number of osteopathic physicians is quickly approaching 150,000—representing a 30% increase in the past five years alone.

For Kari Shotwell, MS/ODL ‘10, executive director of admissions, there is a sense of excitement about the field and the direction it’s heading.

“I’m thrilled about the energy surrounding the work we do,” she said. “The people who work in this space really care about the osteopathic tradition. They’ve bought into it and care about seeing it grow and be a collegial space.”

In keeping with the collegial spirit, Shotwell organized the Osteopathic Medical School Expo, which was hosted by and held at PCOM on September 9. The event came about as a professional development opportunity for those working in admissions at osteopathic medical schools. Shotwell thought it could turn into something more.

“You don’t gather 30 to 40 admissions officers without having an event to recruit!,” she said.

Wide angle photo of the crowd at the Osteopathic Medical School ExpoWith close to 60 osteopathic medical school campuses across the country, 25 were represented at the expo with 183 students in attendance.

“An event like this is important for students to learn more about what medical school is like and speak to students who are currently in it,” said Maanav Patel (DO ’26). “There was a huge turnout—which is great, not only for PCOM, but all of the other schools as well.”

Shotwell hopes the impact of this collaborative event will ripple throughout the osteopathic community.

“There are a lot of colleges and competitors that wouldn’t necessarily work together,” she shared. “But when we do work together to promote osteopathic medicine we’re speaking for the whole profession, and I think that’s really neat. It’s celebratory and we’re all happy to support each other.”

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    Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.

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