Welcome to the definitive guide for prospective students intrigued by the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM). If you are on the path to a medical career, you understand the rigors and dedication it requires. Whether you are a high school student exploring your passion for medicine or an undergrad prepping for the giant leap into medical school, this guide will help you thoroughly understand what ACOM offers.
Overview of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
In Dothan, Alabama, ACOM provides a comprehensive, learner-centered osteopathic education. The school is committed to filling the gaps in the healthcare system, particularly in medically underserved areas of Alabama and the Tri-State region. If you’re searching for medical schools near me in Alabama, ACOM should be on your radar.
The school’s world-class faculty, innovative curriculum, and community-focused clinical experiences make it a top choice among medical schools. Known for its high ACOM Acceptance Rate, ACOM offers a unique blend of theoretical and practical learning. Consider using our medical school admissions consulting to better prepare you for this venture.
Furthermore, IMA presents various opportunities for pre-med shadowing study abroad programs, giving students exposure to global healthcare settings. For those interested in pursuing a career as a physician assistant, a detailed list of PA schools in Alabama and Alabama PA schools can be found here.
For in-depth information on the DO application process, consult the AACOMAS Definitive Guide 2023 and Applying to Medical School: The Differences Between the MD and DO Application Services.
Founded in 2010, ACOM is Alabama’s first osteopathic medical school and is an academic division of Southeast Health. With its focus on learner-centered osteopathic education, the college is uniquely positioned to tackle the physician workforce shortage in Alabama and surrounding areas. ACOM’s state-of-the-art facilities, dedicated faculty, and diverse student body create a fertile training ground for the next generation of osteopathic physicians.
The college specializes in patient-centered, team-based primary care and significantly emphasizes serving medically underserved regions. Whether your interests lie in family medicine, pediatrics, surgery, or any other medical specialization, ACOM’s curriculum is designed to prepare you for success in a wide range of medical practices.
Students at ACOM can engage in real-world medical scenarios through rural primary care clinics and a stand-alone simulation center. These experiences enhance the educational journey and have a profound societal impact, especially in underserved communities.
ACOM is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion. The school strongly encourages applications from minority, rural, and economically disadvantaged students, intending to produce a workforce of skilled, compassionate, and culturally competent osteopathic physicians.
Purpose of this Guide
The principal goal of this guide is to provide an all-encompassing view into the inner workings of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, mainly focusing on the admissions process, academics, and extracurricular opportunities. Whether you need clarification about prerequisites the application steps, seeking financial aid guidance, or wondering what student life entails at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, we’ve got you covered.
Furthermore, consider this guide as your roadmap to medical school preparedness. It aims to demystify what the Admissions Committee values in candidates and how you can tailor your application to meet those expectations. Many have found our medical school guides to be an essential tool in their application journey, and this guide aims to provide that same level of comprehensive support.
From the initial decision to choose a career in medicine until the exhilarating moment you open your acceptance letter, this guide is designed to be a reliable resource, furnishing you with the essential knowledge and insights to make your medical school journey successful.
Topics Covered in this Alabama Medical School Guide
- Admission Requirements and Process
- Admission Statistics
- Profile of Typical New Students
- The Curriculum and Special Programs
- Financial Aid and Scholarships
- Student Life and Support Services
- Interview Process and Questions at ACOM
- Waitlist Policies and Strategies
- Is Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine Accredited?
- Conclusion and Best Wishes
- Additional Resources and Medical Schools Near You
Key Statistics About the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
Total Medical School Enrollment
- 760 students
- 207 students
- Asian: 28%
- Black/African American: 3.4%
- Hispanic/Latino: 15%
- White: 48.3%
- Multiple Races: 0.5%
- Undisclosed: 4.8%
Majors of First-Year Matriculants
- Science Majors: 86%
- Non-Science Majors: 14%
The mission of ACOM aligns closely with the healthcare needs of Alabama and the Tri-State area. With an emphasis on providing high-quality osteopathic education, the school is committed to producing professionals capable of serving in medically underserved regions. Is Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine accredited? Yes, the institution boasts accreditation, ensuring the quality and integrity of its educational programs.
ACOM’s focus on “patient-centered, team-based primary care” reflects a healthcare model particularly beneficial for rural or underserved areas, often lacking in specialist services. To understand more about osteopathic medicine and how it differs from allopathic medicine, read What is Osteopathic Medicine and How is it Different? and MD vs. DO: The Major Differences and Which is Better.
The school’s Core Values—Integrity, Service, Passion, Innovation, Respect, Excellence, and Diversity—are an ethos that the institution instills in its students. To truly understand the school’s mission and how it aligns with your personal and professional goals, consider leveraging anatomy bootcamp or specialized medical school consulting services.
Is Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine Accredited?
When considering the many factors in choosing a medical school, one question often asked is: “Is Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine accredited?” Accreditation is a critical marker of an institution’s quality and credibility, and rest assured, the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) is indeed an accredited medical school.
The Commission fully accredits ACOM on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), which serves as the recognized accrediting agency for colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. This accreditation ensures that the college meets or exceeds established educational standards, offering students confidence in the quality of their medical education.
Therefore, if you are pondering the question, “Is Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine accredited?” you can confidently answer ‘Yes.’ COCA accreditation signifies that ACOM complies with educational quality standards and prepares its students for various board examinations and future medical practice.
Programs Offered at ACOM
Basic Science Boot Camp: An optional four-week intensive camp designed for incoming students to gain early exposure to Medical Gross Anatomy and Molecular Medicine.
Anatomy and Osteopathic Principles & Practice Fellowship Program: Designed to provide selected students with guided learning experiences in medical education, research, Osteopathic Principles and Practices, and Anatomy.
Clinical Simulation Fellowship Program: Intended for selected students to gain experiences in medical education, research, and Clinical Simulation.
Dual Degrees/Concurrent Programs
DO/MBA: With Troy University Dothan
DO/MPH: With Samford University
DO/MSM: With Troy University Dothan (Master of Science in Management, specializing in Leadership)
DO/MSADE: With Troy University (Master of Science in Adult Education). Exclusive to students accepted into the ACOM Anatomy/OPP Fellowship or Simulation Fellowship.
Primary Evaluation Criteria: ACOM’s Committee on Admissions focuses mainly on undergraduate grades and MCAT scores to gauge an applicant’s suitability for its challenging curriculum.
Residential Preference: Though there is a preference for Alabama residents, exceptionally qualified out-of-state applicants are also given serious consideration.
Equal Opportunity Commitment: ACOM is committed to providing equal opportunities for all qualified applicants, regardless of race, creed, national origin, gender, or disability.
Fee Waivers: Fee waivers, based solely on financial need, are available for applicants.
What to Expect – Curriculum at ACOM
Curriculum for Years 1 & 2
The curriculum adopts a hybrid teaching model in the initial two years, blending discipline-specific and system-oriented courses. Starting with a semester devoted to foundational sciences like anatomy, complete with cadaver dissection, students are grounded in the essential scientific theories behind medical practice. Alongside this, Foundations of Modern Health Care courses introduce elements of professionalism and ethics from the outset.
Hands-on training in Primary Clinical Skills (PCS) and Osteopathic Principles & Practice (OPP) allows students to acquire practical skills in physical and structural examination, osteopathic manipulative treatment, and clinical reasoning. Starting in the first spring semester, courses transition to a systems-based structure, where clinical application and patient-focused care take center stage. This educational strategy is further enriched through ongoing OPP instruction, high-fidelity patient simulation, and early patient encounters, ensuring the long-term retention and applicability of acquired skills and knowledge.
The first two years of the curriculum cover both foundational and system-based knowledge. The hybrid approach is helpful because it allows students to grasp the scientific underpinnings of medicine first and then see how they apply to various organ systems in a clinical context.
- Discipline and System-Based Approach: This balanced approach provides a strong base in the core sciences and builds on it through organ system-focused courses, helping prepare students for the board exams and clinical rotations.
- Professionalism and Ethics: Including these topics from the beginning instills a solid moral and ethical grounding in students.
- Hands-On Learning: Introduction to primary clinical skills and osteopathic manipulative treatment ensures that students understand the theoretical concepts in a practical environment.
- Longitudinal Learning: The continuous integration of Osteopathic Principles & Practice (OPP) and patient simulation appears to support the retention and application of learned skills.
Curriculum for Years 3 & 4
The latter half of the program extends the educational experience to community hospitals and clinics across the region. Leveraging a robust network of Medical Education Directors and Supervising Physician Preceptors, ACOM provides an immersive and expansive clinical curriculum that balances educational resources and student learning needs. Multiple teaching methods, from direct observation to multimedia, augment the learning experience.
All faculty members involved in clinical training undergo a rigorous approval process, ensuring they meet ACOM’s standards for commitment to teaching and credentials. Several committees continually review and update the clinical curriculum, including the Academic Planning and Evaluation Committee for Curriculum (APECC), the Curriculum Committee, and the Dean’s Cabinet.
- Community-Based Clinical Training: Training in a community setting can be highly beneficial as it exposes students to a broader variety of cases than a purely academic hospital might.
- Preceptor Model: Having experienced physicians directly training students is often more effective than classroom learning for applied skills.
- Curriculum Implementation: The adaptability of the curriculum based on available resources and learning needs is a practical approach to education.
- Faculty Vetting: By vetting all faculty members, there is a high level of instruction.
Program Objectives & Core Competencies
Upon completing the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree at ACOM, graduates will have mastered seven key program outcomes aligned with the American Osteopathic Association’s (AOA) seven core competencies. These encompass:
Osteopathic Principles, Practice, and Manipulative Treatment: Graduates will have a strong grasp of osteopathic principles integrated into patient care plans.
Osteopathic Patient Care and Procedural Skills: Data gathering and diagnosis formulation skills prepare graduates to navigate various healthcare settings effectively.
Application of Knowledge for Osteopathic Medical Practice: Graduates will demonstrate an ability to apply foundational biomedical and clinical sciences in an integrated, patient-centered manner.
Practice-Based Learning and Improvement: Students will be proficient in evidence-based medicine and capable of continuous learning and improvement.
Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Proficiency in communication and building therapeutic relationships are emphasized to ensure effective interaction with patients and healthcare teams.
Professionalism: Ethics and social sciences courses instill a strong moral compass, guiding graduates professionally.
Systems-Based Practice: An understanding of healthcare systems and their implications for patient care, ensuring graduates can advocate for quality, equitable care within the system.
Overall, the curriculum is structured to produce osteopathic physicians who are academically strong, clinically competent, ethically grounded, and well-prepared for lifelong learning and leadership in healthcare.
The Admissions Process at Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM)
Whether you’re an in-state applicant or from the surrounding regions, the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) could be your gateway to a fulfilling career, especially if you’re committed to serving rural and medically underserved areas.
Who ACOM Looks For
The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine typically reviews around 4,000 applications annually and selects the most qualified candidates. The college emphasizes students from Alabama and the neighboring regions, aligning with its mission to serve underserved areas. For personalized assistance, consult IMA medicalaid.org for medical school admissions consulting.
Before getting into specifics, let’s tackle the essentials:
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or 75% completion with Dean’s approval)
- 8 semester hours each in Biology, Physics, Inorganic Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry— all with labs
- 6 semester hours in English Composition and/or Literature
- Valid MCAT scores, taken within 4 years of your intended matriculation date
Having these prerequisites sorted is crucial before you move onto the application stages.
Premedical Coursework Recommendations and Requirements
Biology/Zoology: Required with lab (8 semester hours)
Chemistry (Inorganic): Required with lab (8 semester hours)
Chemistry (Organic): Required with lab (8 semester hours)
Physics: Required with lab (8 semester hours)
Behavioral Sciences: Recommended
College English: Required (6 semester hours)
By understanding and fulfilling these components, you are better equipped to make a compelling application to ACOM. Whether achieving a strong MCAT score, meeting premedical coursework requirements, or engaging in special programs, each element will strengthen your profile.
Required/Recommended Premedical Coursework and Competencies
- Course Recommendations: Biochemistry, Statistics, and Genetics are advised but not compulsory. Biochemistry can serve as a substitute for the second semester of Organic Chemistry.
- Coursework Timing: Prerequisite coursework must be completed by June 2024, but there is no time limit for how far back such coursework can be dated.
- Shadowing: Though not a requirement, shadowing medical professionals is recommended as it can offer valuable real-world insights into the medical profession.
- May 4: AACOMAS Application Portal Opens & Applications Available to ACOM
- August: ACOM Begins Applicant Interviews
- December 14: First Seat Deposit Deadline
- March 1: AACOMAS Application Deadline
- April 15: Supplemental Application and Supporting Documents Deadline
How To Apply
AACOMAS Application: The journey starts by applying online via AACOMAS. Your original transcripts and MCAT scores must be sent directly to AACOMAS. If you want detailed instructions, check out our Definitive Guide to AACOMAS.
Supplemental Application: Upon review, candidates meeting ACOM’s criteria will receive an email with a link to complete a supplemental application. This also comes with a nonrefundable fee of $50, but ACOM does recognize the AACOMAS fee waiver for those eligible.
Short Answers & Essay: As part of the Supplemental Application, you must complete two short answers and an essay.
Letters of Recommendation (LORs): Submit specific LORs, adhering to the detailed guidelines that can be found on the official website. Whether you are searching for DO Schools in Alabama or AL Medical Schools, ACOM prefers letters from DO physicians. However, it will also accept those from MDs, particularly if they reflect your clinical experience or shadowing. LORs are integral to your application and can be processed through AACOMAS, Interfolio, or sent directly to ACOM’s Office of Admissions.
Interview: Successful candidates are invited for an interview during the rolling admissions process. Check out our insights into what to expect during medical school interviews.
Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid at ACOM
Understanding the Cost of Attendance (COA)
When applying to the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM), it’s essential to consider the financial investment required for the duration of the program. For the academic year 2022-2023, the Standard Cost of Attendance (COA) is categorized as follows:
- Tuition: $57,658 per year
- Tech Fee: $250 (only for the first year)
- Books & Supplies: $3,000 – $3,300 per year
- Room & Board: $17,780 – $19,558 per year
- Transportation: $3,820 – $6,270 per year
- Miscellaneous: $4,880 – $5,368 per year
- Board Exams & Residency Interview Travel: $0 – $5,000
- Estimated Loan Fees: $1,960 – $2,156 per year
Financial Aspects: In-State and Out-of-State Tuition
In-State Tuition at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
ACOM doesn’t differentiate tuition costs based on residency. For both in-state and out-of-state students, the standard tuition rate for 2022-2023 is $57,658. This rate is consistent across all four years of the program.
As mentioned, ACOM has a single tuition rate for both in-state and out-of-state students. The tuition cost is $57,658 per year, irrespective of your state of residency. This is an attractive feature for prospective students from other states as they won’t incur additional financial burdens commonly associated with out-of-state tuition fees at other institutions.
It’s worth noting that other costs such as room and board, books and supplies, and miscellaneous expenses are also part of the Standard Cost of Attendance and should be considered in your financial planning.
The estimated COA for each year in the Osteopathic Medicine program ranges from $89,348 to $95,978. These figures are based on full-time enrollment and may be adjusted based on the student’s enrollment dates. It’s crucial to note that the COA is subject to change without notice. Also, students subject to an Extended Time Rate or those who opt out of specific fees like the Tech Fee will have a different COA.
The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine Acceptance Rate
Considering that ACOM uses a rolling admissions process and sees an average application pool of around 4,000 applicants, it’s advisable to apply early to be competitive. However, the college has not publicly disclosed its acceptance rate.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Managing the cost of medical school is a significant concern for many students. ACOM offers various financial aid options, including federal, state, local, and institutional programs. Students should refer to ACOM’s Student Financial Aid Guide for detailed information on eligibility, loan counseling, and other loan-related issues.
- Federal and State Programs: ACOM participates in several federal and state loan programs. Students are encouraged to review the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for comprehensive loan information.
- Scholarships: ACOM offers scholarships that students can apply for to help mitigate costs. More details can be found on ACOM’s scholarships page.
- Satisfactory Academic Progress: Continuation of financial aid is contingent on maintaining satisfactory academic progress as defined in the Student Financial Aid Guide.
- Loan Counseling: ACOM offers initial loan counseling and exit counseling for student borrowers, ensuring that students are well-informed about their financial commitments.
Prospective students should note that to be eligible for financial aid, you must meet certain academic requirements, and the financial aid awarded may be adjusted based on your Cost of Attendance.
By carefully planning and utilizing the available financial resources, attending ACOM can be a feasible investment in your future as an osteopathic physician.
ACOM offers a variety of scholarship opportunities to help offset the costs. Here are a few that are offered:
AAMC Database: Provides options for loan repayment and scholarships focused on medical students.
ACOFP Auxiliary Scholarship Programs: Scholarships targeting those with specific interests and leadership skills.
ACOM Fellows Program: A program affiliated with ACOM, offering scholarships that may vary depending on the academic year.
Alabama Area Health Education Centers: Interest-specific scholarships that may also vary by school year.
Alabama Board of Medical Scholarship Awards: Location-specific scholarships aimed at those willing to serve in medically underserved areas.
Alabama Osteopathic Medical Association (ALOMA): Offers both location and need-based scholarships.
AMA Underrepresented in Medicine Scholarship: Designed for students from ethnic backgrounds who are underrepresented in the medical field.
AMASA Medical Student Scholarship: Location-specific scholarships for medical students.
Armed Forces Financial Assistance Programs: For those serving or planning to serve in the Air Force, Army, or Navy. These usually come with a service commitment.
Baptist Medical Dental Fellowship Students & Residents Grant: Focuses on students aiming to serve in medically underserved communities and is religious-based.
For a comprehensive list and details, please visit the ACOM Scholarships page.
By taking advantage of these scholarship and financial aid options, you can alleviate some of the financial challenges associated with attending medical school. Be sure to meet all the scholarship requirements and application deadlines.
Moving to medical school can be a big step. ACOM has various housing resources available to students to make your transition easier.
If you’re early in the process and seeking to bolster your credentials, consider our pre-med shadowing study abroad program or anatomy bootcamp. For a list of Alabama PA Schools, click here.
Applying to medical school can be daunting, but well-prepared is half admitted. And for that other half, lean on medical school admissions consulting and don’t hesitate to get all the support you can.
Facilities and Resources
The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) campus is a hub of academic excellence and practical training. Spanning 110,000 square feet, it boasts state-of-the-art auditoriums and laboratories designed for optimal student engagement.
A key feature is the Clinical Competency Center, which simulates the actual testing environment for the NBOME exam. Faculty offices are located close to classrooms on the second floor, allowing for easy access and consultations.
The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine Anatomy Lab
This lab is a fully equipped space for anatomical studies, with dissection tables, TV monitors, computer stations, and handheld examination cameras. It even has onsite cold storage for anatomical donations and a standalone morgue.
The Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) Laboratory offers a spacious, 5,000-square-foot area with height-adjustable tables and overhead projection systems.
Performance Exam Suite
Designed for real-world medical training, this suite features 16 fully equipped examination rooms with microphones, cameras, and grading stations behind two-way mirrored glass.
Located on the third floor, this nearly 4,000-square-foot research center is dedicated to bench research and specialized scientific activities.
ACOM’s Center for Excellence in Simulation offers a lifelike experience using high-fidelity manikins. The center integrates simulation into the curriculum, allowing for weekly student experiences.
Team-Based Learning Center
This expansive, 6,100-square-foot center facilitates team-based learning through its cutting-edge technology, including a digital video wall and wireless microphones for each table.
The campus has two large auditoria, each accommodating up to 210 students. They feature tiered seating for improved visibility and are equipped with ergonomic rolling chairs and microphones.
Learning Resource Center/Library
This 2,800-square-foot area serves as a comprehensive learning resource center. The mostly digital library ensures 24/7 access to learning materials, allowing for flexible study schedules.
Study Spaces at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
Multiple quiet study spaces are available throughout the campus for individual or group study.
Groups and Clubs at ACOM
One essential aspect contributing to an enriching medical school experience is participating in various groups and clubs that align with your interests and career goals. The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine offers diverse student organizations catering to different medical interests, cultural backgrounds, and even recreational pursuits.
Medical Interest Groups
- Anesthesiology Interest Group (AIG): Ideal for those interested in the specialty of anesthesiology.
- Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG): A perfect club for students specializing in emergency medicine.
- Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG): Tailored for students eyeing careers in internal medicine.
- Obstetrics and Gynecology Interest Group (GOBIG): A must-join for aspiring OB/GYN specialists.
- Radiology Interest Group (RIG): Provides insights into the field of radiology.
Specialty & Topic-Specific Groups
- Global Public Health Advocates (GPHA): For students interested in global health issues.
- Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group (LMIG): Focuses on holistic approaches to healthcare.
- Medical Spanish Organization (MSO): Helps you become proficient in medical Spanish.
- Gold Humanism in Medicine Interest Group (GHMIG): Focuses on patient-centered care and empathy in medicine.
Cultural & Religious Associations
- Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA)
- Jewish Medical Student Association (JMSA)
- Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA)
- Muslim Student Association
Other Interest Groups
- ACOM Green Club (AGC): For students interested in environmental sustainability.
- Arts in Medicine (AIM): Bridging the gap between medicine and the arts.
- Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons: Aimed at those interested in military medicine.
- American Medical Association – Medical Student Section (AMA-MSS)
- American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
- American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)
Whether you want to specialize in a particular field, get involved in public health issues, explore lifestyle medicine, or join a cultural or religious group, ACOM has something for everyone. Participation in these groups enhances your educational experience and provides networking opportunities, community service experiences, and a chance to explore your interests in depth.
Tips and Strategies for Getting into ACOM
Importance of pre-med shadowing study abroad program FROM IMA
Medical school admissions consulting professionals, often stress the importance of gaining practical experience before applying to medical schools like ACOM. One unique opportunity to consider is IMA’s pre-med shadowing study abroad program. This program enriches your application and broadens your global healthcare perspective, which can be an invaluable asset in the evolving field of medicine.
DO vs MD: Understanding the Difference
Before applying, you must understand the difference between DO and MD programs. Both are paths to becoming a fully licensed physician but they have different philosophies and teaching methods. DO schools focus more on holistic care, including manipulative medicine. To learn more about the differences, you can visit our guide on MD vs DO: The Major Differences and Which is Better.
DO Schools in AL and How ACOM Compares
When considering DO Schools in Alabama, ACOM stands out for its state-of-the-art facilities and unique offerings like anatomy boot camp. You can learn more about the ACOM Acceptance Rate and how to best prepare for the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine in our AACOMAS Definitive Guide 2023.
If you’re looking to expand your research and gain a deeper understanding of osteopathic medicine, then “Choose DO” is a resource you won’t want to overlook. Supported by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), Choose DO serves as a comprehensive online platform for aspiring DO students.
From school profiles and application tips to financial aid information, this platform offers tools to help you make informed decisions about your medical career. For an in-depth look, check out this article that likens it to the MSAR for DO programs: Choose DO: Finally, a DO Equivalent to the MSAR.
Building Your Profile for ACOM Admission
Building a competitive profile for the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) requires a comprehensive approach. Students often turn to medical school admissions consulting services to navigate this complex journey, especially when researching “medical schools near me.” Here’s how to build a robust profile for ACOM and other DO Schools in AL.
Clinical experience is crucial for any aspiring medical student. ACOM values hands-on exposure to medicine as it offers a real-world understanding of the profession. You can also bolster your profile through a pre-med shadowing study abroad program to gain a global perspective on healthcare. This experience could be a key factor in improving your chances at ACOM, particularly given the competitive ACOM Acceptance Rate.
Research Opportunities at ACOM
Not only does ACOM provide a strong osteopathic medical education, but it also offers extensive research opportunities. Whether you’re focused on Alabama Medical School options or looking at medical schools near me across the country, ACOM’s research facilities are state-of-the-art. These research experiences can also be a valuable addition if you’re considering PA Schools in Alabama.
Volunteering and Extracurricular Activities
Your extracurricular activities and volunteering experiences add a multifaceted dimension to your application. Such experiences, especially those related to healthcare or community service, will make you a more attractive candidate to DO Schools in Alabama, including ACOM.
Letters of Recommendation for ACOM
Navigating the admissions process for the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) requires a strategic approach, especially regarding Letters of Recommendation (LORs). These endorsements are crucial to your application and can significantly influence the admissions committee’s decision. Here’s a comprehensive guide combining ACOM’s requirements with best practices for securing strong letters of recommendation.
Types of Letters Required:
Physician’s Letter: A letter from a physician is mandatory. Preference is given to letters from Doctors of Osteopathy (DOs). This letter should focus on your exposure to patients and your aptitude in a medical setting, drawing upon experiences like shadowing, volunteering, or work.
Academic Letters: You must submit either one pre-med advisor or committee letter, which should include the names and departments of the committee members. If such a letter isn’t available, you must provide two academic letters from science faculty who have instructed you in required or recommended science courses.
Non-Traditional Students: If you’ve been out of college for over two years and haven’t taken recent prerequisite classes, you must submit a letter from your immediate supervisor or employer and the physician’s letter.
- All letters should be on official letterhead and include the recommender’s signature.
- Letters from science faculty must include academic credentials in the signature line and mention the course title in which they instructed you.
Who to Ask:
Your choice of references should be made judiciously. Opt for individuals who can vouch for your academic and personal competencies. If possible, choose recommenders with connections to ACOM or Alabama medical schools, as their endorsements could carry more weight.
How to Request:
When asking for LORs, be considerate of your potential recommender’s time. Provide all the information they might need and allow sufficient time for them to compose a meaningful letter.
Importance of Strong Letters:
LORs can tip the scales in your favor, especially in a competitive applicant pool. A thoughtful, well-articulated letter that gives a comprehensive view of your qualifications can have a lasting impact on the admissions committee.
Letters Not Accepted:
- Letters from social science or math professors
- Letters from laboratory and research instructors
- Letters from relatives, spouses, clergy, friends, coaches, personal trainers, veterinarians, or dentists
- Letters from your family physician or pediatrician, unless you have professional shadowing or work experience with them
By understanding the significance of each type of letter and adhering to these guidelines, you’ll be better positioned to present a compelling application to ACOM. Strong recommendations, alongside a well-crafted personal statement, will enhance your chances of gaining admission.
GPA and MCAT Scores
The ACOM’s College of Medicine relies heavily on GPA and MCAT scores as indicators of an applicant’s readiness for the academic rigors of its program.
Average MCAT Total Score: Students admitted to ACOM typically have an average MCAT total score of 511.2, with a median score of 511. These scores signify a student body with strong cognitive abilities and a solid foundation in the medical sciences.
Total GPA & Science GPA: The mean overall GPA for admitted students is 3.84, with a science-specific mean GPA of 3.8. This highlights the academic dedication and prowess of ACOM’s matriculants.
MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
Importance in Application
The MCAT is an essential component of your application to ACOM. According to the most recent class profile for ACOM, the average MCAT score was 511, indicating the competitive nature of the test for this institution. Excelling in the MCAT is crucial for boosting your chances of admission and potentially earning scholarships.
Test Format and Scoring
Format: The MCAT is broken down into four primary sections:
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems: 59 questions, 95 minutes.
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS): 53 questions, 90 minutes.
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems: 59 questions, 95 minutes.
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior: 59 questions, 95 minutes.
Each section has a scoring range of 118 to 132, with the total composite score ranging from 472 to 528.
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems: Focuses on biochemistry, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics.
CARS: Measures comprehension, analysis, and reasoning skills.
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems: Tests knowledge of biochemistry, biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry.
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior: Covers psychology, sociology, and biology.
Additional Resources About the MCAT:
- Best Classes to Take Before the MCAT
- MCAT Score Calculator: Predict and Convert Your Scores (2023)
- Best Classes to Take Before the MCAT
- MCAT Sections Guide: Experts Explain the MCAT
- Medical Schools Accepting Low MCAT Scores in 2023
Interview at ACOM: What to Expect and How to Prepare
The interview stage is pivotal in the admissions process for the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM). Whether conducted on-campus or virtually, the interview aims to evaluate your interpersonal skills, gauge your passion for the field, and understand your motivations for choosing osteopathic medicine and ACOM.
Additionally, it serves as an opportunity for ACOM to glean more about your experiences and interests and assess the likelihood that you would accept an offer of admission. Here’s what you can expect from the ACOM interview process and some tips on how to prepare.
You will be invited for a formal interview with two faculty members. This is a crucial interaction that will be closely reviewed by the Admissions Committee afterward. Your interview performance, coupled with your application and the interviewers’ feedback, will be a significant factor in the admission decision.
What the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine Looks For:
Interpersonal Skills: One of the primary aims of the interview is to assess how well you relate to others. Expect questions that explore your teamwork, empathy, and communication skills.
Motivation for the Profession: ACOM is interested in knowing why you have chosen the path of osteopathic medicine. Be prepared to articulate your passion and commitment to the field.
Additional Information: This is also a chance for you to share more about your experiences, interests, and aspirations. Be ready to provide additional context that might not be evident from your application alone.
The Interview Day Experience
Beyond the formal interview, your day at ACOM will be educational and insightful. You will:
- Receive an overview of the academic programs ACOM offers.
- Learn about clinical rotations, student services, and student life.
- Have an opportunity to interact with current faculty, staff, and students.
Post-Interview Process at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
After your interview, the Admissions Committee will review your applicant file along with the interviewers’ comments. Their recommendations are then reviewed and approved by the Dean of the College. You can expect to be notified about your admission status within a few weeks, although notification times can vary during the application cycle.
How to Prepare:
Research: Familiarize yourself with ACOM’s curriculum, ethos, and what they look for in students. This will help you align your answers with what the institution values.
Practice: Consider practicing with a friend or mentor to get used to answering questions under pressure.
Questions: Prepare thoughtful questions you can ask your interviewers. This shows your interest and helps you evaluate if ACOM is the right fit for you.
By adequately preparing for this crucial step and understanding what is at stake, you can present yourself in the best possible light and maximize your chances of gaining admission into ACOM.
The interview is a crucial aspect of the admissions process at ACOM. Unlike other AL Medical Schools, ACOM highly emphasizes interpersonal skills, allowing applicants to showcase their abilities beyond academic achievements.
If you’re seeking advice from our medical school admissions consulting services, we emphasize preparation for this aspect. Interviews are conducted by trained faculty and staff, allowing you to meet and engage with the people who make up this esteemed institution.
After your interview, the Admissions Committee reviews your entire file, taking into account comments from the interviewers. The final recommendations for admission are reviewed and approved by the Dean of the College. You will be notified of your admission status within a few weeks.
To ensure you’re on the right path, check out our guide on Applying to Medical School: The Differences Between the MD and DO Application Services.
For students undecided about the medical route and considering becoming a physician assistant, you might want to explore PA Schools in Alabama, which you can learn more about here.
The Interview Experience at Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM)
Navigating the admissions process at ACOM is challenging, but the interview phase is where you can make your case and shine. Given the information collected from students who have gone through the interview process, we aim to give you a comprehensive look at what you can expect.
Based on feedback from 58 respondents, the interview experience at ACOM generally seems to leave a positive impression, with 87.7% of respondents reporting a positive change in their perspective of the school post-interview. Stress levels during the interview averaged 3.64 out of 10, suggesting a moderate stress environment. Regarding how well respondents felt they performed during their interviews, the average score was 7.09 out of 10. Regarding ranking ACOM among all other medical schools, the average score was 7.24, indicating a generally positive impression.
- Interview Duration: Most interviews last approximately 30 minutes, with 62.1% of respondents indicating this length.
- Location: A significant majority (81.8%) had their interviews conducted at the school itself, while a smaller proportion (18.2%) had them at another location.
- Style: The predominant interview style is one-on-one, as reported by 82.5% of respondents.
- Type: All interviews are conducted with an “open file” approach, meaning the interviewers have access to your application materials.
- Number of Interviewers: On average, candidates are interviewed by approximately two people.
Common Interview Questions
- Tell me about yourself, why medicine, specifically osteopathic medicine, and why the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine?
- How do you handle stress/what do you like to do to destress?
- What does it mean to be a team leader/what does it mean to be a team member?
Unique and Challenging Questions
- What would you do if you saw your classmate using their cell phone during an exam where outside resources were not allowed?
- What is your opinion on a physician deciding to no longer see patients if they are not vaccinated?
Preparation and Final Thoughts
- Most students prepared for the interview by extensively researching the school, reading interview prep books, and watching interview prep videos.
- Respondents generally had a positive impression of the faculty presentations and student Q&A sessions, but some noted a lack of emotion or personality from the interviewers.
Knowing this information can help you mentally and emotionally prepare for what you can expect during the ACOM interview process. As always, thorough preparation and genuine responses are key to a successful medical school interview.
Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Secondary Application Questions
Question #1. Describe how specific attributes of ACOM’s mission and core values align with your professional goals and personal attributes. (250 Words)
From the moment I set foot in Dr. Sarah Thompson’s clinic in the rural town of Jasper, Alabama, I was captivated by the genuine care and thorough attention she gave each patient. I was there as a part of my undergraduate “Rural Health Exposure” program, aiming to understand the unique healthcare challenges faced by rural communities. It was evident that healthcare accessibility was an issue, and Dr. Thompson was one of the few physicians serving a large area. That experience opened my eyes to the disparities in healthcare that many rural communities face. This fueled my determination to become a family medicine doctor in a similar setting.
ACOM’s mission strongly focuses on addressing healthcare needs in rural and underserved populations, which aligns seamlessly with my career ambitions. Their education model emphasizes real-world, patient-focused care and community service, elements that I hold in high regard based on my own experiences. During my undergraduate years, I started a preventative health program, “Small Towns, Big Changes,” which was aimed at educating rural communities about common health issues and preventive measures. This experience only intensified my commitment to serving in rural settings.
The core values at ACOM, which stress a student-centered and mission-driven education, resonate with my personal attributes such as empathy, commitment to lifelong learning, and devotion to community service. ACOM’s programs will give me the essential skills and experiences I need to achieve my goals, making it the ideal place for my medical education.
Question #2. The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine promotes values and equity from various cultural, social, and economic backgrounds. Discuss the role that diversity played in your decision to become an osteopathic medical school applicant. (250 Words)
In my formative years, growing up in a culturally diverse neighborhood exposed me to a variety of perspectives, lifestyles, and values. This instilled an early appreciation for diversity in all its dimensions—ethnic, social, economic, and more. Learning about ACOM’s emphasis on serving diverse communities and promoting equity felt like a natural alignment with my values and experiences.
Through my volunteer work with the “Healthy Lives” program, I had the privilege of serving people from different walks of life. Whether it was advising low-income families on nutritional choices or assisting in community outreach programs aimed at reducing the rate of preventable diseases, each experience underscored the critical role that socio-economic diversity plays in healthcare outcomes. I have been consistently moved by the resilience and ingenuity of individuals who navigate healthcare obstacles due to financial, cultural, or educational limitations.
ACOM’s mission to be an institution where students from various cultural, social, and economic backgrounds can thrive aligns with my aspirations as a future osteopathic physician. I envision myself as a practitioner who diagnoses, treats, educates, and advocates. I wish to contribute to bridging the healthcare gap that divides various communities by being a culturally competent physician sensitive to each patient’s unique needs and values. ACOM’s commitment to equity and diversity provides the perfect educational platform for me to realize this vision.
ACOM’s dedication to fostering a diverse, inclusive environment is compelling because it aligns with my values and experiences. Diversity enriches the learning environment and helps prepare future physicians to serve all communities better. Therefore, ACOM’s emphasis on diversity and equity significantly influenced my decision to become an osteopathic medical school applicant.
Question #3. What are your personal attributes that demonstrate the osteopathic philosophy? (500 words or less)
Ever since my involvement with St. John’s Community Health Center, treating each patient as unique has been firmly rooted in my understanding of healthcare. Under the mentorship of Dr. Aisha Patel, an osteopathic physician, I witnessed how acknowledging the patient’s environment, emotional state, and lifestyle could make a difference in their treatment and recovery.
Empathy is one of my strongest personal attributes, developed through varied experiences, from volunteering at the local food bank to tutoring underprivileged children. I’ve always tried to understand the challenges people face daily and how those challenges affect their mental and physical well-being.
My commitment to lifelong learning is another attribute that dovetails with the osteopathic philosophy. During my undergraduate years, I participated in public health research projects that deepened my respect for evidence-based practice. This research bolstered my academic knowledge and equipped me with the skills to critically evaluate medical literature, ensuring that I’m always at the forefront of medical advancements.
Community engagement and teamwork have also been constants in my journey and are key components of the osteopathic philosophy. During a disaster relief mission in Haiti, I was part of a team of volunteers who worked tirelessly to provide healthcare and support to affected communities. This experience was a significant lesson and solidified my belief in the importance of community engagement in healthcare.
My own “Healthy Lives” initiative allowed me to work with an interdisciplinary team that included public health experts, local authorities, and community volunteers. I’ve learned that solving complex health issues requires a multi-faceted approach and teamwork. It has provided me with a framework for envisioning my future medical practice — deeply rooted in community, collaborative nature, and always putting the patient first.
In addition to my experiences and attributes, I recognize the importance of adaptability and resilience. As a volunteer at a local COVID-19 testing site, I had to swiftly learn new protocols, manage large groups of anxious people, and maintain my emotional well-being. This adaptability is crucial in osteopathic medicine, where physicians must be prepared to treat various conditions and face challenges in patient care.
Furthermore, I believe in the power of patient education as a form of preventative care. While at St. John’s Community Health Center, I initiated a patient education program aimed at empowering patients to take control of their health by understanding their conditions and treatments better. This aligns with the osteopathic philosophy that stresses the role of the patient in their healthcare journey, emphasizing patient autonomy and shared decision-making.
I am enthusiastic about the prospect of contributing to ACOM’s scholarly and community activities. With my background in public health research and community engagement, I am eager to collaborate with faculty and students on initiatives that advance the osteopathic philosophy and positively impact the health of rural and underserved communities. I am confident that Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine provides the ideal environment to cultivate these attributes further while equipping me with the necessary skills to be an effective osteopathic physician.
Acceptance Rates and Navigating the Waitlist at ACOM
Acceptance at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
Gaining admission to the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) is undeniably competitive, as reflected in the acceptance rate. Out of 4,896 applicants in a recent cycle, only 208 were admitted or invited for an interview, translating to an estimated acceptance rate of just 4.25%. Given these numbers, it’s crucial to understand that every application component carries weight—from your academic scores to your personal statement and beyond.
The Intricacies of the Waitlist
The concept of a waitlist is one that generates both hope and anxiety among applicants. At the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, a typical number of 40 waitlist positions are available per cycle, with around 20 eventually receiving acceptance offers. However, being on a waitlist does not equate to a rejection. At some medical schools, the percentage of students accepted off the waitlist can range from as low as 10% to as high as 50-60%.
In the broader context of medical school admissions, International Medical Aid (IMA) observes that higher-ranked institutions generally have less waitlist movement compared to mid or lower-tier schools. For example, Harvard experiences minimal waitlist movement because most applicants admitted there choose to attend. On the other hand, schools like the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine may see more fluctuations as applicants juggle multiple acceptances, often choosing to attend higher-ranked institutions and thus freeing up spots for waitlisted candidates.
Proactive Steps for the Waitlisted
Being on a waitlist is not a time for passivity but a period for strategic and proactive action. IMA strongly advises maintaining an open line of communication with the schools where you’re waitlisted, especially if ACOM is among your top choices. Keeping the admissions office updated on any changes or achievements in your profile can make you a more attractive candidate and increase your odds of moving from the waitlist to the admitted list.
Practical Tips to Get Off the Waitlist
IMA suggests several strategies to improve your chances while on the waitlist:
- Submit any additional materials that can bolster your application.
- Consider sending a “Letter of Intent” to express your commitment to attending the school if accepted.
- If permitted, try to schedule another visit to the campus to demonstrate your keen interest.
By taking these proactive steps and understanding the dynamics of acceptance rates and waitlist policies, you’ll be better prepared to navigate the complex terrain of medical school admissions, particularly at competitive institutions like ACOM.
While ACOM is a fantastic option, it’s one among several medical schools in the region. Others worth considering include the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Auburn Campus. Here is a comprehensive list of additional schools:
- University of South Alabama College of Medicine
- University of Alabama School of Medicine
- FIU College of Medicine
- UCF College of Medicine
- USF Morsani College of Medicine
- Florida State University College of Medicine
- Morehouse School of Medicine
- Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
- Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM)
- Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM)
- ECU Brody School of Medicine
- Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)
- University of South Carolina Medical School
- Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
- Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
- Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM)
- Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM)
- Penn State Medical School
- CUNY School of Medicine
- SUNY Downstate Medical School
- NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine
- NYU Long Island School of Medicine
- TOURO College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Albany Medical College
- Norton College of Medicine at Upstate Medical University
- Jacobs School of Medicine at the University at Buffalo
- Hofstra Zucker School of Medicine
- Weill Medical College of Cornell University
- University of Rochester Medical School
- Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
- Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University
- Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED)
- University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
- University of Toledo College of Medicine
- Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
- Ohio State University College of Medicine
- Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
- Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine (HMSOM)
- Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS)
- Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
- Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU)
- A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Saint Louis University School of Medicine
- University of Missouri Medical School
- Kansas City University (KCU)
- UMKC School of Medicine
- New York Medical College
- University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
- University of Wisconsin Medical School
- VCU School of Medicine
- University of Maryland School of Medicine
- Case Western Medical School
- University of North Carolina Medical School
- University of Florida Medical School
- Emory University School of Medicine
- Boston University College of Medicine
- California University of Science and Medicine
- UC San Diego Medical School
- California Northstate University College of Medicine
- Touro University of California
- CHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine
- UC Davis School of Medicine
- Harvard Medical School
- UC Riverside School of Medicine
- USC Keck School of Medicine
- UT Southwestern Medical School
- Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio
- University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine
- UT Austin’s Dell Medical School
- UTMB School of Medicine
- McGovern Medical School at UT Health
- Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
- McGovern Medical School at UT Health
- The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
- UNT Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
- University of Houston College of Medicine
- Texas A&M College of Medicine
- Johns Hopkins Medical School
- Baylor College of Medicine
- George Washington University School of Medicine
- Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
- St. George’s University School of Medicine
- Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (in Pennsylvania)
- Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
- Wake Forest University School of Medicine
- Western University of Health Sciences (in California)
- Drexel University College of Medicine
- Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago
- Georgetown University School of Medicine
- Yale School of Medicine
- Perelman School of Medicine
- UCLA Medical School
- NYU Medical School
- Washington University School of Medicine
- Brown Medical School
The admissions journey to the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine and beyond is rigorous but rewarding, and understanding the details of the process can significantly enhance your chances of success. Professional medical school admissions consulting services can offer invaluable insights for those looking to refine their approach further. Your journey to a fulfilling career in osteopathic medicine begins with a strong and well-informed application.
Information About IMA International Medical Aid
For those interested in a pre-med shadowing study abroad program, International Medical Aid (IMA) offers a variety of opportunities that can strengthen your application to Alabama DO Schools, PA Schools in Alabama, or other Medical Schools in the South. It’s a remarkable way to gain hands-on experience and demonstrate your commitment to a medical career. It enhances your profile when applying to the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine or AL Medical Schools.
How to Reach Out for More Information About ACOM
If you’re exploring your options for medical schools in Alabama and are particularly interested in the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM), the admissions office is an invaluable resource for specific and general inquiries alike. Proactively reaching out can not only provide you with essential details but could also positively influence your admissions process. Both email and telephone are excellent ways to get in touch with the Office of Admissions at ACOM.
Contacts: For further information, you can contact the Office of Admissions at ACOM by calling (334) 699-2266 or by sending an email to email@example.com. Should you need to send any fax correspondence, the fax number is (334) 699-2268. The campus is located at 445 Health Sciences Boulevard, Dothan, AL 36303.
Conclusion and Best Wishes
We hope this comprehensive overview has provided you with valuable insights for your upcoming interview. If you’re looking for personalized advice or further assistance, feel free to schedule an appointment with IMA for tailored guidance on navigating the medical school admissions process. Good luck, and may your medical career aspirations come to fruition!