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Latest Figures Show Osteopathic Medical School Enrollment at All-Time High

December 13, 2017 


Paul DeMiglio 
Senior Media Specialist 

(Bethesda, MD)—This fall, first-year student enrollment at the nation’s colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) increased 6.9 percent from last fall’s enrollment figures, according to data recently released by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM). This rise in first-year matriculation brings the preliminary fall 2017 student enrollment total at U.S. COMs to 28,981—a 5.3 percent increase from fall 2016, and an all-time high for osteopathic medical school enrollment.

This growth is attributed to a number of factors, including several new campuses which welcomed students for the first time this school year: Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM), Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine - Southern Utah Campus (RVUCOM-SU), and the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM).

"The osteopathic medical profession continues to grow and attract more aspiring medical students every year. The innovative education models that our colleges use integrate cutting-edge technology with hands-on instruction techniques to train future physicians to deliver high-quality care that is holistic, prevention-focused, and patient-centered,” said Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, President and CEO of AACOM.

“Students enrolling in an osteopathic medical school know that they will graduate with the skills and competencies they need to meet the demands of our evolving health care system.”

AACOM projects continued enrollment increases over the next few years, as several established COMs are planning additional teaching locations and a number of developing colleges are making their way through the accreditation pipeline, including AACOM’s newest member college, Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM), which received permission to recruit students from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA)’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) this December.


The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) represents the 34 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. These colleges are accredited to deliver instruction at 49 teaching locations in 32 states. In the current academic year, these colleges are educating nearly 29,000 future physicians—more than 20 percent of all U.S. medical students. Six of the colleges are public and 28 are private institutions. 

AACOM was founded in 1898 to support and assist the nation's osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. AACOM’s mission is to promote excellence in osteopathic medical education, in research and in service, and to foster innovation and quality among osteopathic medical colleges to improve the health of the American public.