If you’re preparing for the 2010 medical school application cycle, you might want to spend a little time learning about osteopathic medicine. The website of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine has complete information, but here are some highlights.
Like allopathic physicians, osteopathic physicians diagnose, prescribe, perform surgery and utilize the latest in medical technology. They also employ the hands-on techniques of manipulative medicine in the diagnostic and treatment processes. One of the core principles of osteopathic medicine is that structure influences function. A problem in one of the body’s structures may affect function not only in the immediate area, but in remote areas of the body as well.
What are the possible advantages of osteopathic medicine for you? First, it’s a growing field. Osteopathic medicine got its start in the Midwest and took time to establish a foothold in other regions. Now, it’s accepted nationwide and has a special focus on caring for underserved populations in rural and urban areas. Second, although you’ll find D.O.’s in all of the medical specialties, the profession emphasizes primary care. If you’ve been keeping up with health-related news, you know that primary care physicians are and will continue to be in short supply. Anyone who chooses primary care will find a wealth of opportunities for both residency and practice. Finally, osteopathic medical programs continue to be a bit easier to get into than allopathic. Candidates whose GPA’s and MCAT scores are borderline for allopathic programs are usually welcomed warmly at osteopathic schools.
So, take an hour or two to read up on a profession which might be just right for you. Even better, contact an osteopathic physician in your area and ask if (s)he’s available for an informational interview.
By Joan Davis. She has years of experience in medical school admissions. You can tap it with Accepted’s medical school admissions consulting and essay editing.