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Letter to Prospective Students

April 10, 2020

Dear Future Applicant,

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), our Board of Deans, and our nation’s 36 osteopathic medical schools recognize that these unprecedented times have impacted your path toward medical school in numerous ways. As we focus on the health of our nation, it is important to ensure the next generation of doctors are given clear guidance for application and acceptance into medical school. Osteopathic physicians across the country have risen to the occasion during this pandemic. We are honored that you seek to join them in providing individual, holistic, patient-centered care while bravely serving our nation in this time of crisis.

Congruent with our philosophy, AACOMAS participating schools intend to adapt their application review process to the following to mitigate the many obstacles you may face:

  • Accept all pass/fail/satisfactory/unsatisfactory coursework, regardless of whether your school required this, including pre-requisite coursework in the context of your entire academic history
  • Accept all online coursework, including laboratory credits
  • Review your application without all required laboratory coursework, if you can demonstrate that your institution was unable to provide these courses due to COVID-19; proof of completion may later be required
  • Review your application and extend interview invitations prior to receiving your MCAT score, by evaluating experiences, academic metrics, and attributes that you have demonstrated in your application. In some instances, our colleges will accept you without MCAT scores, but many will await required MCAT scores before extending an offer to join a class
  • Consider reducing the required number of health care experience hours and other extracurricular experiences you planned to complete
  • Most of our schools will continue to require a letter of recommendation from a physician (DO or MD)

If you plan to take an MCAT exam, please ensure you are currently registered for an upcoming exam and indicate your planned MCAT date in your AACOMAS application. We encourage you to apply early and when ready without MCAT scores. As in previous application cycles, AACOMAS does not delay the delivery of your application without MCAT scores.

If any of your institutions cannot provide official transcripts due to this pandemic, the AACOMAS application will provide an exception process for you to get your application verified and delivered to the colleges you select in your AACOMAS application. Keep in mind that our colleges will require official transcripts when operations resume at your previously attended institutions.

It would add value to your AACOMAS application to answer the COVID-19 essay that will be presented to you. This is your opportunity to highlight how you have dealt with and shown perseverance during this pandemic.

We encourage you to continue to apply early and when ready. Now more than ever, our communities need physicians that are willing to face uncertainty. We wish you the best of luck in your journey to enter the field of medicine.


Robert A. Cain, DO, FACOI, FAODME

AACOM President & Chief Executive Officer