Letter from AACOM's President and CEO

Stephen C. Shannon

Dear Future Physician: 

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. In other words, osteopathic medical schools are educating the kind of physicians this country needs, and that fact is being increasingly recognized throughout the nation. It is also reflected in the increase of applications to the COMs over the past decade. (See the latest application data). 

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

To learn more about the nation's osteopathic medical colleges, please review the Osteopathic Medical College Information Book, and contact us or individual colleges for any further information. I wish you the very best in your pursuit of a fulfilling career in medicine. 


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