The article Medical school enrollment numbers continue to rise omits mention of osteopathic medical education, one of the fastest-growing sectors in U.S. medical education. U.S. osteopathic medical schools now account for one-sixth of the nation's accredited medical schools.
Osteopathic med schools also see enrollment gains
In 2009, applications to osteopathic medical colleges hit record levels for the third year in a row. More than 12,600 potential medical students applied for this year’s 4,933 osteopathic medical college seats, an increase of 7.5% over 2008. The total osteopathic medical college applicant pool has been increasing for seven years, and applications for the 2010 entering class are on track to continue this trend. To date, 2010 applications again are up by 7.5% over this time last year.
First-year enrollment at the nation’s 25 colleges of osteopathic medicine jumped to nearly 5,000 this year, a 7.3% increase over fall 2008. Today, more than 17,000 students, or nearly one in five of all U.S. medical students, are studying in an osteopathic medical school.
The education osteopathic medical (D.O.) students receive is rigorous and thorough. Like their allopathic (M.D.) counterparts, incoming D.O. students are required to have strong undergraduate science backgrounds, have excellent Medical College Admission Test scores, and meet stringent admissions criteria. Also like their allopathic counterparts, osteopathic medical students participate in years of classroom, clinical, internship and residency training. And when they leave that training, they become board-certified physicians, licensed to practice the full scope of medicine in every state in the country.
Wendy FernandoVice President for Communications and MarketingAmerican Association of Colleges of Osteopathic MedicineChevy Chase, Md.
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