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Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPHDear Future Physician:

Congratulations on your decision to pursue a career in medicine! The resource you are reading through is designed to provide aspiring physicians with information about osteopathic medicine, the nation's osteopathic medical colleges, applying to osteopathic medical school, and other resources you may find helpful as you go through this process.

Recently, osteopathic medicine’s traditional principles and practices (particularly those focused on patient-centered, preventive care) have been heralded as central features of the kind of health care system that reform efforts aim to implement. Osteopathic medical schools are educating the kind of physicians this country needs, and are often recognized for their excellence and contributions to the medical profession. In fact, over the past 10 years the number of students applying to osteopathic medical school has nearly doubled. Last year, more than 20,000 aspiring physicians applied to become osteopathic medical students (compared to more than 11,000 in 2007-08).

The education received by osteopathic medical (DO) students is rigorous and thorough. Incoming DO students are required to have strong undergraduate science backgrounds, excellent Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores, and must meet stringent admissions criteria. DO students participate in years of classroom, clinical, internship, and residency training before they become board-certified physicians, able to choose among the full range of medical specialties, licensed to practice medicine in every state in the country, and in more than 65 countries abroad.

I hope you will take time to carefully review the resources available for you on our website as you consider your options for medical education. I wish you the very best in your pursuit of a fulfilling career in medicine. 

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Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH
President and CEO
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine