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Research Reveals Upward Trends in OME

AACOM’s institutional research serves as a significant source of data for its member colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) and reports in osteopathic medical education (OME). AACOM reports shed light to research trends and help identify attributing factors for changes in OME.

Growing Interest in OME

The Trends in Osteopathic Medical School Applicants, Enrollment, and Graduates 2016 report includes data tables and figures for growth in OME since 1977. Applicant information is compiled from the AACOM Application Service (AACOMAS) data; and enrollment and graduate data is provided by the U.S. COMs via the Annual Osteopathic Medical School Questionnaire.

Growing interest in osteopathic medicine is supported by the trend in AACOMAS applicant data, which has more than doubled in the last decade from 8,258 (2005-06) to 20,447 (2015-16). Similar growth can be seen in the number of first-year enrollment, total enrollment, and graduates.

Data also displays a coordinated linear increase in total enrollment and the number of osteopathic medical colleges—including COMs, branch campuses, and remote teaching sites—over time. In only the past five years, total enrollment has grown from 20,663 (2011-121) to 25,876 (2015-16); and in order to accommodate for this growth, the number of colleges has increased from 34 to 44.

Diversity in Total and First-Year Enrollment

Two newly-published enrollment reports provide insight to diversity in OME, based on gender and race/ethnicity.

The 2015‐16 Osteopathic Medical College Total Enrollment by Gender and Race/Ethnicity report shows that despite the increase in total enrollment from 2014-15 (24,564) to 2015-16 (25,876), the percentage of female medical students remains unaffected at 44.4 percent.

Alternatively, the increase in total enrollment from 2014-15 to 2015-16 resulted in a URM uptick from 7.8 percent to 8.1 percent, respectively. From the 2015‐16 Osteopathic Medical College First‐Year Enrollment by Gender and Race/Ethnicity report, a similar and slightly more significant URM trend can be seen in the first-year enrollment, which has increased from 8.5 percent (2014-15) to 9 percent (2015-16).

Get more of the latest research in OME on the AACOM Reports web page.