Osteopathic Pre-Med

Overview

Osteopathic medicine is a unique form of American medical care that was developed in 1874 by Andrew Taylor Still, M.D. Osteopathic medicine embraces a holistic philosophy, considering the body as a unit of interrelated systems that work together to ensure good health. Although osteopathic physicians practice traditional forms of medicine, such as prescribing medication and performing surgery, they are trained to use an additional tool, osteopathic manipulative treatment, to assist in diagnosing and treating patients.

Osteopathic physicians focus special attention on the musculoskeletal system, which reflects and influences the condition of all other body systems. This system of bones and muscles makes up about 2/3 of the body's mass, and a routine part of the osteopathic patient examination is a careful evaluation of these important structures. D.O.s know that the body's structure plays a critical role in its ability to function. D.O.s are trained to identify structural problems and to facilitate the body's natural tendency towards health and self-healing.

Job Market and Salaries

About half of all osteopathic physicians practice in primary care areas such as family practice, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology and internal medicine. D.O.s represent 6% of the total U.S. physician population. D.O.s are more likely than M.D.s to practice in small cities and towns and in rural areas. Each year 100 million patient visits are made to D.O.s.

Credentials

To become an osteopathic physician an individual must be a graduate from one of 20 osteopathic medical schools. The osteopathic curriculum involves four years of academic study. After completing osteopathic medical school, D.O.s often serve a one-year internship. After the one-year internship, D.O.s enroll in a residency program of their choice which lasts two to six years, depending on the area of medicine they choose to perform.

Prerequisites

General Chemistry

Chem 220 and Chem 230

General Biology

Biol 202 and Biol 204

Organic Chemistry

Chem 310/311 and Chem 320/321

Physics

Physics 202/204 or Physics 232/242

English

English 201

Psychology

One semester

Math

One semester
-or-
Computer Science
CS 150

The average GPA of entering students in 2005 was 3.45.

Applicants are required to take the MCAT. The average MCAT scores for entering students in 2005 were: Verbal Reasoning: 8.30; Physical Sciences: 8.04; Biological Sciences: 8.64.

It is strongly encouraged that applicants obtain clinical experience.

Many schools require that at least one letter of recommendation be written by a D.O.

More Information

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
Association of American Medical Colleges
American Osteopathic Association

Program Contact

Paige Baugher
Assistant Professor of Biology
503-352-3165
paige.baugher@pacificu.edu