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Applications to Osteopathic Medical Schools Soar to Record Levels

April 19, 2021

Preliminary numbers show diverse pool of applicants; full “Fauci Effect” still to come

IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

(Bethesda, MD) – Celebrating the efforts of its member schools and the growing appeal of osteopathic medicine, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) today reported a record number of applications during the recently closed 2020-2021 application cycle. More than 28,000 prospective medical students sent in applications, representing a 19.26 percent increase from the previous cycle. Preliminary numbers indicate a diverse and highly qualified applicant pool.

“We are gratified that the upward trend we’ve seen in recent years has continued, and that more and more students are choosing osteopathic medical education,” said Robert A. Cain, DO, AACOM President and CEO. “Especially in these complicated and stressful times, we find the osteopathic philosophy of treating the whole person—mind, body and spirit—is more relevant than ever with people and patients. We also salute our colleges for the adaptive and varied ways they’ve been engaging with prospective students during this pandemic.”

Applications to osteopathic medical schools have been on an upward trend since 2017.  Preliminary data from this year’s applicant pool show an increase in diversity across all categories. The average GPA of applicants increased while the average age of applicants held steady. The age statistics, along with the smaller number of reapplicants this cycle, tend to demonstrate the “Fauci Effect” is still a couple of years away. Applying to medical school is a multi-year process, so this cycle’s applicants were well on their way to applying before COVID-19 changed the world. AACOM expects students inspired by Dr. Fauci and other front line medical professionals during the pandemic to boost application numbers in the coming years. Full data for this cycle’s applicant pool and matriculating class will be available in Fall 2021. The 2020-2021 application for osteopathic medical school closed April 12, 2021.

“There is no doubt the students applying to our schools have a passion to learn and serve their communities,” said Jayme Bograd, AACOM Director of Application Services, Recruitment and Student Affairs. “We are excited and moved that the osteopathic medical philosophy has resonated with so many, and we will continue to work with our colleges to attract and educate the doctors of tomorrow.”

About AACOM
Founded in 1898 to support and assist the nation's osteopathic medical schools, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) represents all 37 colleges of osteopathic medicine—educating nearly 31,000 future physicians, 25 percent of all US medical students—at 58 teaching locations in 33 US states, as well as osteopathic graduate medical education professionals and trainees at US medical centers, hospitals, clinics and health systems. For more information about AACOM and the application process, please visit www.aacom.org.

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