Applying to Osteopathic Medical School is easy!
Complete instructions for applying to a DO program in the US can be found on the website for the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM): www.aacom.org. Specifically, applications are processed by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS), a centralized service through which all the steps of the application process are run. Follow these steps to get set up:
- Download the AACOMAS Application Instructions;
- Go to the AACOMAS Application Login Page and register to make an account;
- Complete the online application using the Application Instructions, and submit when ready.
REMEMBER! Admissions are ROLLING, which means the earlier you submit, the more likely it is that you will be given an offer. So submit early.
Note: HERE is a great research paper published in the Canadian Medical Education journal (CMEJ) regarding osteopathic medical education for Canadian citizens. It was done by members of COMSA.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WILL MY CANADIAN PREREQUISITES BE ACCEPTED BY DO SCHOOLS?
Canadian prerequisites are acceptable. When schools state they want coursework to have been completed in the US, they accept coursework done in both the US or Canada. If someone was to have done their prerequisite in (say) Mexico, or anywhere else in the world, they would then have to have their credits looked over by an agency for equivalence to the US credit systems. Fortunately for Canadians, the American education system is nearly identical to the Canadian one, so we do not need to go through that process. Just send in your transcripts to AACOM, and it should be fine; if there is any confusion, simply call the AACOM office and explain that you are Canadian.
DO I HAVE TO HAVE MY COURSEWORK VERIFIED IN ORDER TO APPLY?
Typically no - it is usually sufficient to have a your undergraduate university send your transcript to AACOMAS. If you encounter an issue you can confirm this with AACOMAS.
WHAT IS A COMPETITIVE MCAT SCORE?
This is dependent upon the schools you apply to and the rest of your application (GPA, community service, etc.). As more and more people apply each year, this number has slowly crept up. Aim as high as possible, but Canadians typically need a 501+.
DO I HAVE TO TAKE AN ENGLISH CREDIT?
It really depends on the school. A general arts course (e.g. sociology) can sometimes be sufficient, but check with each school you are interested in applying to. Some may give you credit for courses you have already taken.
WHAT IS A CREDIT/SEMESTER HOUR AND WHAT IS THE CANADIAN EQUIVALENT?
For AACOM (or AAMC) application purposes, full credit courses (1.0 credit) with labs are considered to have 8 semester hours. Full credit (1.0 credit) courses without lab are considered to have 6 hours. Half credit courses (0.5 credit) with lab are considered to have 4 credits, while half credit (0.5 credit) courses without lab are considered to have 3 credits . Basically, what this means is that Canadian schools do not give you 2 extra semester hours for labs in the courses. And yes, half credit courses (with OR without lab) are only "worth" 3 semester hours, while full credit courses (with or without lab) are only “worth” 6 hours. BUT the AACOM knows this Canadian difference, so they will adjust accordingly (and if not, your school will know of this difference so your school admission will adjust accordingly). On your AACOM application, you should write down the full name of the course followed by whether this course has a lab or not (e.g. BIO150Y1Y - Organisms in their environment with/without lab). A vast majority of problems can be avoided by doing this.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR THE INTERVIEW?
Make sure you have a thorough understanding of how the American health care system works. It is very different from ours.
- The Medical School Interview by Jeremiah Fleenor has some great tips. It is a very quick read.
- Shadow a DO in Canada or in the US. Contact COMSA at email@example.com to arrange shadowing in Canada.