ach year, AACOM asks the colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) to conduct the AACOM Graduating Seniors Survey. The survey queries graduating seniors on a variety of topics and develops a comprehensive snapshot of the student self-reported debt and financing of medical education, the education experiences, and satisfaction with their medical education. The survey also looks at plans for graduate medical education (GME), specialty selection, and career plans.

The 2014-15 Academic Year Graduating Seniors Survey Summary Report includes results from a total of 3,998 expected 2015 graduates’ responses to the survey from 31 COMs and their branch campuses. The preliminary count of 2015 graduates is 5,361; the response rate for the Graduating Student Survey is approximately 74.6 percent.

Scholarships, Satisfaction, and Specialty Selection


The mean osteopathic medical education (OME) debt reported by 2015 graduates is $229,934, an increase of 4.1 percent over the mean debt reported by 2014 graduates. Eighty-eight percent of graduates report having debt. The mean loan totals for primary care loans, other state-issued loans, and osteopathic association loans increased substantially compared to previous years.

Seventy-nine percent of graduates reported being very satisfied or satisfied with their osteopathic medical training. The mean satisfaction rating is 3.9 on a scale from 1 to 5; 1 being “very dissatisfied” and 5 being “very satisfied.” Showing a slight increase over previous years, 33 percent of graduates reported plans to specialize in the primary care disciplines of general internal medicine, general pediatrics, and family medicine. The highest rated influence on specialty choice continues to be the “Intellectual content of the specialty” with a rating of 3.3 on a 0 “no influence” to 4 “major influence” scale. Although the conventional wisdom is that debt levels have a major influence on specialty selection, this factor is one of lowest scoring of the factors at 1.9 on the scale.

View the 2014-15 Graduating Seniors Survey Summary Report for the full data and details.

Learn more by visiting the AACOM Reports web page.

Inside OME Header
January 2016
Vol. 10, No. 1

Entering and Graduating Class Surveys