How to Select the Right Program for You
When applying to osteopathic medical schools, one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing which school to attend. There are over 40 osteopathic medical schools in the United States today. When going through the list of potential schools to attend, it’s important to consider specific factors that will contribute to your medical education and your happiness as a medical student. After all, you will spend four years of your life in this program. It’s important to ensure the program you select has everything you are looking for in your medical education.
When deliberating my options, the most important factors I weighed included:
- Cost of tuition
- Board-pass rates
- School reputation
- Residency match statistics
What is right for you might not be right for another student, so making this decision based on your specific needs is essential to thriving during your medical education. Of course, different schools may offer a better match for each person’s particular goals, needs, and desires. Below is a list of some of the best medical schools in the United States to consider in your search for the perfect fit for you.
1) Midwestern University- Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Location: Downers Grove, IL
- Tuition: $78,762
- Passing Rate: Level I 94.9%, Level II 97.6% COMLEX
- Percent Matched: 98%
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) is one of the most prestigious medical schools in the nation due to its rigorous education, top-notch clinical rotation opportunities, and impressive residency specialty matches. CCOM was founded in 1900 and is one of the original osteopathic medical schools in the US. CCOM uses a traditional approach in the first two years of medical education and follows a didactic curriculum. This tried and true method is clearly effective, as the passing rates for COMLEX Level I and Level I are above the national average. This education does come at a price tag, with tuition rates at $78,762, the highest in the nation.
It is located in Downers Grove, Illinois, a suburb about 25 miles outside Chicago. This location offers many benefits, including a low cost of living and easy access to the diversity of Chicago. Living in such a diverse area allows medical students to treat patients from various backgrounds and exposes them to various clinical scenarios throughout training.
For those interested in obtaining a dual degree, CCOM is an excellent choice. Medical students have the opportunity to enroll in the Masters of Public Health or Masters of Biomedical Science concurrently with their DO degree.
Application process: https://www.midwestern.edu/admissions/apply
2) New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Location: Old Westbury, NY
- Tuition: $60,450
- Passing rate: Level I 93.40%, Level II 98.15% COMLEX
- Percent Matched: 99.5%
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (NYITCOM) main campus is in Old Westbury, New York, and offers a well-rounded education. NYITCOM uses a systems-based approach during the first two years of medical education, which includes a combination of faculty presentations and small group discussion-based sessions. It was founded in 1977 and it was the first osteopathic medical school in New York. Over the years, NYITCOM has obtained an impressive reputation in the New York area.
In terms of location, Old Westbury, a suburb of New York City, offers all of the benefits of a suburban lifestyle with the nearby excitement of the city only a short train ride away. Tuition rates are $60,450, for both in and out-of-state students, which is on the higher end for DO programs.
NYITCOM has a 93% first-time pass rate on COMLEX Level I and 98% on COMLEX level II, one of the highest in the nation. This, combined with the school’s excellent reputation for producing top-tier physicians, makes NYITCOM one of the best DO schools in the United States.
School homepage: https://www.nyit.edu/degrees/osteopathic_medicine_do
Application process: https://catalog.nyit.edu/medicine/admissions/application_procedure/
3) Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Tuition: $57,534
- Passing Rate: Level I 87%, Level II 93% COMLEX
- Percent Matched: 99%
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one of the country’s leading cities for medical education. The campus is just minutes from Philadelphia’s city center, a walkable and compact downtown area filled with food, shopping, and culture. This diverse epicenter is the perfect place to spend four years training in medicine.
PCOM was founded in 1899 and has been a leader in the DO field for over 100 years. Due to its success, PCOM has branch campuses in Suwanee, Georgia, and Moultrie, Georgia.
PCOM also offers dual degree programs in a Master in Public Health, a Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Science in Forensic Medicine and Organizational Leadership
School homepage: https://www.pcom.edu/
Application process: https://www.pcom.edu/admissions/apply/#howtoapply
4) Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Tuition: $58,488 for Florida Residents; $65,547 for Out-of-State students
- Passing Rate: Level I 94%, Level II 95% COMLEX
- Percent Matched: 100%
Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSUCOM) is located in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was founded in 1981 and is the oldest osteopathic medical school in Florida. It is a suburban setting, with proximity to city centers such as downtown Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Medical students can elect to spend their clinical rotations in these urban centers. The diverse culture and sunny weather make NSUCOM an excellent choice for medical students from many backgrounds.
The program’s strong mission is to educate well-rounded providers to support medically underserved populations. They uphold this standard by requiring a unique three-month clinical rotation in a rural setting where many residents have little access to health care. Here students will learn how to treat diverse cultural groups whose lifestyles and attitudes may differ from what you see in traditional training sites. This is an excellent opportunity for those interested in practicing Family or Internal Medicine in more rural locations.
NSUCOM possesses one of the highest board pass rates in the nation but also has one of the highest out-of-state tuition rates, coming in at $65,547. Financially speaking, NSUCOM might be a better choice for in-state applicants. Due to the large size of NSU, NSCOM also offers an impressive list of dual degree programs. This includes a Master of Science in Disaster and Emergency Management, a Master of Science in Medical Education, a Master of Science in Nutrition, a Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics, a Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Public Health.
School homepage: https://osteopathic.nova.edu
Application process: https://osteopathic.nova.edu/apply-now/index.html
5) Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Location: Erie, PA
- Tuition: $37,740
- Passing Rate: Level I 97%, Level II 94% COMLEX
- Percent Matched: 99%
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (LECOM) main campus is located in Erie, Pennsylvania, and offers students an outstanding education at a very reasonable tuition. In-state and out-of-state student tuition is $37,740, which is very inexpensive compared to other DO programs. LECOM is the nation’s largest medical college and has campuses in four locations: Erie, PA; Greensburg, PA; Bradenton, FL; Elmira, NY.
LECOM has a unique curriculum and offers four learning pathways for students to choose from. This includes Lecture-Discussion Pathway (LDP), Problem-Based Learning Pathway (PBL), Directed Studies Pathway (DSP), and Primary Care Scholars Pathway (PCSP). The unique learning pathways allow students to personalize their medical education toward their future career goals. Additionally, LECOM is the only osteopathic medical school with its own teaching hospitals.
LECOM has a high first-time pass rate on Level I and Level II COMLEX. LECOM offers students the opportunity to apply for one of its unique dual-degree programs, making it a perfect choice for those looking to further enhance their medical education.
School homepage: https://lecom.edu/college-of-osteopathic-medicine/
Application process: https://lecom.edu/college-of-osteopathic-medicine/com-apply/
6) Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
- Location: Pomona, CA
- Tuition: $63,008
- Passing Rate: Level I 94%, Level II 97% COMLEX
- Percent Matched: 99%
Western University of Health Sciences – College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) is located in Pomona, California, a city in Los Angeles. Pomona is an urban area with close proximity to downtown Los Angeles that offers various cultural experiences. The unique blend of cultures in Los Angeles makes COMP a great place to live, learn, and study medicine. Unfortunately, these benefits come at a price tag with a high tuition rate of $63,008.
COMP aims to provide its medical students with a unique educational experience by having multidisciplinary faculty working and teaching side-by-side. This dynamic fosters collaboration between faculty and students and instills a mindset geared towards teamwork and cooperation in its graduates. It is a top-ranked school for DO students for these reasons.
School homepage: https://www.westernu.edu/osteopathic/
7) University of North Texas Health Science Center- Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Location: Fort Worth, TX
- Tuition: In-State Tuition $13,078, Out-of-State Tuition $28,766
- Passing Rate: Level I 97%, Level II 98% COMLEX
- Percent Matched: 99%
University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC-TCOM) is located in Fort Worth, Texas, and is a state-supported osteopathic medical school. It was founded in 1970 and has an excellent reputation, particularly in Texas. It’s located on 33 acres outside downtown Fort Worth in the city’s cultural district and provides a cheaper cost of living and a quieter lifestyle. This, in combination with its very inexpensive tuition rates, makes it a great choice for any aspiring DO.
UNTHSC uses a blend of learning during the first two years of medical education. The first year of medical education begins with studying the fundamentals of health through a systems-based approach. This is followed by disease and treatment fundamentals, which introduce students to common diseases. Throughout the second year, students study over 1,000 diseases through various patient presentations, allowing them to apply their medical knowledge in patient care situations. UNTHSC also sends a high percentage of its graduates into primary care in an effort to solve the physician shortage in the state. If this is a field of interest for you, this program might be your perfect fit.
School homepage: https://www.unthsc.edu/students/future-students/admissions/
8) AT Still University of Health Sciences Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Location: Kirksville, MO
- Tuition: $58,854
- Passing Rate: Level I 96%, Level II 98% COMLEX
- Percent Matched: 99%
AT Still University–Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) is the founding college of osteopathic medicine, with its inaugural class entering the profession in 1892. Located in Kirksville, Missouri, in a very rural setting, this program offers its applicants a low cost of living and ample access to the outdoors. ATSU-KCOM has a robust systems-based curriculum, outstanding faculty, and countless research opportunities. The program prides itself on its strong commitment to producing graduates well-educated in osteopathic philosophies, practices, and principles.
A unique aspect of ATSU-KCOM is the Still Scholars Early Acceptance Program, which is designed to provide early admission to outstanding college students who aspire to become osteopathic physicians. College sophomores who are dedicated to the osteopathic philosophy from any accredited 4-year undergraduate institution can apply to ATSU-KCOM without the traditional MCAT requirement.
School homepage: https://www.atsu.edu/kirksville-college-of-osteopathic-medicine