DO Student Enrollment Continues Upward Growth

More than 21,600 medical students are enrolled at the nation’s colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs), nearly double the number enrolled just a decade ago, according to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM).  

With more than 5,800 first-year students expected to enter one of the nation’s COMs this year, more than 20 percent of all U.S. medical students will be studying to become osteopathic physicians.

This growth is expected to continue as new campuses are developed, and as established colleges fill previously approved increases in their class sizes. In fall 2013, the new Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) in Dothan, Alabama; Campbell University College of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM) in Buies Creek, North Carolina; and Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM) in Indianapolis, Indiana, will each welcome their inaugural class of students.  

Reflecting this growth trend, applications for 2013 entry into one of the 29 osteopathic medical colleges are arriving in record numbers. More than 9,500 aspiring physicians have already submitted applications for 2013 entry, and the application cycle does not close until April 2013.

This past Spring, 4,722 students graduated from osteopathic medical schools, an increase of 13.5 percent over the previous year and 54 percent more than a decade ago.

The growth in osteopathic medical school graduates will help mitigate looming  physician shortages in  primary care specialties. A variety of reports predict primary care physician deficits that will range from 20,000 to 46,000 by 2020-2025, with over-all physician shortages of 120,000 to 160,000.

To learn more about osteopathic medical college enrollment and application growth, visit the Data and Trends page of the AACOM website.

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