Part 1: Introduction
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, located in Erie, Pennsylvania, offers a unique program to its students: Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, or DO. Both Osteopathic Medicine Doctors and Doctors of Medicine (MDs) have the necessary training to treat patients without any supervision or limitations. It’s the focal point that differs. While MDs commonly treat patients based on their symptoms, DOs focus more on a patient’s entire body and locating where symptoms originate. Their focus encompasses the mind, body and spirit. Medical Doctors and Osteopathic Doctors are equal in their professions. When it comes to earning your medical degree, it’s up to you to decide which path is right for you.
If you choose to attend Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, you’ll earn your DO. As the title suggests, Lake Erie doesn’t offer the traditional MD degree. Additionally, Lake Erie approaches learning with an entirely different model than we’re used to seeing. While they have a set curriculum for students to follow, students have several learning styles from which to choose. This enables students to succeed in Lake Erie’s programs through their individualized learning styles.
Are you excited to learn about a medical school that’s different from the other schools we’ve covered here on the International Medical Aid blog? Keep reading to learn about the history of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, what the school offers and how to get in.
Part 2: Programs Offered at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine has the following schools available to prospective students:
- College of Osteopathic Medicine
- School of Pharmacy
- School of Dental Medicine
- Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
- School of Health Services Administration
In this article, we’ll be primarily focusing on the College of Osteopathic Medicine. We encourage you to check out Lake Erie’s website for more information on its pharmaceutical, dental, biomedical and health services programs.
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine isn’t kidding when they refer to their curriculum as “student-centered.” Indeed, students have three different routes to choose from for their degree path.
- Traditional Lecture Discussion Pathway (LDP)
- Small-Group, Problem-Based Learning Pathway
- Self Directed-Study Pathway
- Primary Care Scholars Pathway
- Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway
The Traditional, Lecture-Based Pathway
The first option is the traditional, lecture-based system, where students attend lectures, take notes and ask questions when appropriate. The traditional, lecture-based system is comprised of two phases.
The first phase covers all the core classes that medical students need to master: Gross Anatomy, Pathology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Physiology and Immunology/Microbiology. These subjects are the foundation of medicine. Everything else builds off these courses, so it’s no wonder that this comes first in the lecture-based system.
The second phase takes things up a notch and introduces clinicians and specialists into the classroom, where they can provide insight beyond the textbooks and into the real world.
After students have graduated from these two phases, they go on to experience clinicals, osteopathic manipulative medicine and evaluations. The clinicals are the students’ first exposure to practicing medicine on patients. Osteopathic manipulative medicine teaches students how to treat patients using the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (versus the Doctor of Medicine) way. Evaluations then test students on what they’ve learned.
Small-Group, Problem-Based Learning Pathway
Instead of being seated as a class (one large group) for lectures, the problem-based learning pathway splits students into small groups focusing on patient cases. By learning about each case and using critical thinking skills, students gain the necessary knowledge and understanding of medical science. If you enjoy learning independently, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine recommends this system of learning.
Learning issues are a major component. Students pay special attention to the learning issues that are relevant to each case to ensure they are learning everything they’ll be tested on during their examinations.
Self Directed-Study Pathway
The self directed-study pathway is almost like online classes, but it still requires that students come to campus, at minimum, three days a week. This pathway is heavily structured, closely monitored by professors and fast-paced. Students complete modules that are in conjunction with textbook learning, which helps them focus on the areas they need to learn to pass their exams. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine recommends the directed-study pathway for students who already have a solid background in science, who are independent learners and who have excellent time-management skills.
Primary Care Scholars Pathway
The Primary Care Scholars Pathway was created for future doctors who want to practice primary care. This unique program graduates students as doctors in just three years, making it a revolutionary program and one of the first of its kind. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine saw a gap in the need for primary care providers and developed this program in response. Students who enroll in the Primary Care Pathway must commit to completing their residency in a primary care setting. They must then practice in a primary care field for the first five years of their career. Acceptable delays include fellowships in the following categories: neuromuscular medicine, geriatrics or family medicine obstetrics.
The program only takes three years because it’s year-round. This accelerated version has students completing the first two years of core coursework in just over a year and a half (20 months, to be exact). Students then go through their clinical rotations at the hospitals associated with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine before moving on to their primary care residency.
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine truly expects students to work in primary care for five years. If the student ultimately chooses another route, their scholarship to the Primary Care Scholars Pathway is revoked, and they are expected to pay the fees they would have owed for their fourth year of medical school in the traditional program. So, if you want to practice primary care, this program is perfect for you. Just be sure you’re committed to it, or you’ll end up owing Lake Erie.
Accelerated Physician Assistant (PA) Pathway
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is committed to forging as many new pathways as they can to graduate doctors who will excel in their fields. The Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway is a three-year program that will train PAs to become doctors. This is another three-year program that breaks down many of the barriers that PA-Cs cite for not furthering their education.
The Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway accepts 12 new students each year. Six of those students can choose a residency of their choice, while the other six are assigned to primary care. Consideration for this program is dependent on meeting the following requirements:
- You must already be a Certified Physician Assistant.
- You must have a 2.7 minimum GPA.
- You must earn a minimum score of 23 on the MCAT.
- You must have taken 4 credits of physics and 4 credits of organic chemistry, both with labs.
- You must be a U.S. Citizen or a permanent resident.
For comprehensive details on the Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway, go here.
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine has several campuses, and each campus has different tuition costs for first-year students.
- Erie Campus: $37,150 in tuition and fees
- Bradenton Campus: $36,930 in tuition and fees
- Seton Hill Campus: $37,150 in tuition and fees
- Elmira Campus: $39,850 in tuition and fees
No matter what campus you’re looking at, these tuition costs and fees are incredibly low for medical school. This is proofthat Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is committed to providing a quality education for future medical students and breaking down barriers that prevent many students from applying to medical school in the first place. If the financial cost of becoming a doctor is keeping your dreams out of reach, consider Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. And if these tuition rates are still out of your reach, consider applying for the financial aid that Lake Erie also offers.
Part 3: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Grade and Test Score Requirements
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine doesn’t have specific grade or test score requirements. The incoming class for the 2018 academic year had an average MCAT score of 503 and a 3.5/4.0 overall GPA.
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine expects applicants to have a strong background in science and to have done well in their undergraduate studies. Additionally, unless you are attending an undergraduate university that is affiliated with Lake Erie, you’ll need to complete your bachelor’s before matriculating.
Early Acceptance Program
If you attend an undergraduate university affiliated with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, the requirement to finish your bachelor’s degree before matriculating is waived.
Students can apply for Early Acceptance into Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine during their final year of high school. This application is separate from the regular, secondary application and can be accessed through the college’s student portal. If approved for Lake Erie’s Early Acceptance Program and accepted into an affiliated undergraduate university, students will begin their studies at their undergraduate university with a contingent letter of acceptance into Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. The exact date and time of their transfer to Lake Erie will be arranged at a later date.
Additionally, high school seniors must meet the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
- Be in their freshman or sophomore year of college, if they’ve already graduated high school. This makes an associate’s degree the highest level of education allowed.
- Earn a minimum 1170 score on the SAT (Math and Verbal Reasoning).
- Earn a minimum 26 composite score on the ACT.
- Have a minimum 3.5/4.0 GPA scale.
- Have a minimum 3.4/4.0 overall GPA at their undergrad university.
- Have a minimum 3.2/4.0 science GPA at their undergrad university.
If you are a high school senior interested in becoming a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, take a look at what Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine has to offer.
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
While the American Medical College Application Service is used by medical schools all across the United States, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine uses the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine to accept primary applications. The same basic principles apply, but this application is specifically for students applying to schools that offer DO degrees.
For high school students who are unfamiliar with the process, there are two applications you’ll submit to be accepted into any type of medical school: your primary application and your secondary application. The primary application for MD programs is the AMCAS. This is both a pleasure and a plain. It’s nice to only have one primary application to fill out, but it can easily take a month to complete. Most DO schools use the AACOMAS instead. Both applications require transcripts, test scores, work and activities and, usually, a personal statement.
Both your AACOMAS application and secondary application are due by April 1 of the year you’re applying. Check the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine website for updated deadlines.
Part 4: Secondary Application Essay Questions
Normally, there is where we include secondary application essay questions. We believe that explaining what the question is asking and how to answer it is key to writing a strong essay. We then provide sample essays to help you connect the dots. However, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine doesn’t include any questions in its secondary application.
So, what exactly is on the secondary application? Lake Erie’s website doesn’t provide any details. We know they don’t automatically send out secondary applications to students. They decide whether to let you proceed in the application process after reviewing your AACOMAS application. You’ll be emailed with the information you need if you’re selected to continue forward.
Part 5: Interview Requirements for Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
If Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine invites you to interview, you’ll need to take several steps to prepare.
Letters of Recommendation
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine requires one letter from the pre-advising health committee at your school. Should your school not have this committee, Lake Erie will accept two letters from science faculty. Lake Erie asks that you do not send letters of recommendation before you are selected for an interview. Sending them once your interview is scheduled is appropriate.
Choosing Your Pathway
Considerations for Pathway preferences are made based on how strong your application is. During your interview with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, you’ll rank your Pathways in order of preference. If you are accepted into Lake Erie, you’ll be admitted into the next available Pathway.
What to Expect During Your Interview
Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, all interviews are being conducted virtually. For your interview day, you can expect the following schedule:
- The day begins at 8:00 a.m.
- Presentation all about Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Programs and learning pathways
- Group interview
- Q&A Session
- Individual interview
- Information regarding financial aid
- Tour of the campus
- Free lunch
- The day ends at 1:00 p.m.
Not a lot of information is available regarding Lake Erie’s interview process. Here is a sample of some of the questions you might be asked:
- Why do you want to become a doctor?
- The medical profession starts to wear on you after a while. How will you maintain strong levels of empathy for patients over a sustained period of time?
- Share an experience where you impacted someone’s life for good.
- What would you do if you found the answers to an upcoming test?
Every prospective student has the same two fears:
- Freezing up and being unable to answer the question being asked
- Giving a bad answer
The key to getting through your virtual interview will be to not overthink it. You don’t have hours to answer these questions like you do to write an essay, but some of the same principles still apply:
- Pay attention to the question, and ensure that you answer it. This shows your ability to follow directions, a skill that every doctor needs to have.
- Answer the question in a reasonable time frame. We recommend keeping answers to under two minutes for a shorter interviewer.
- Don’t get lost in the details. As the saying goes, focus on the whole forest instead of one tree.
- If the interviewer doesn’t naturally move to the next question, ask if he/she needs more details. This shows that you value and respect the interviewer’s time but still want to provide what is needed.
- Don’t ask if you answered the question well. Every student is nervous. Just do the best you can, and hope for the best.
Your interview will either take place via video conferencing or via a video you send in. If your interview is live via video conferencing, make sure you have a strong and secure internet connection. If the video freezes up on your end, that will make things more difficult.
If you submit a video with your responses, you might have unlimited attempts to answer the questions. This is a Catch-22. While this would allow you to “perfect” your answer, chances are you’ll never think your answer is perfect! Give yourself two or three tries, and then feel good about what you have. There are some video interview tools that only allow you a few chances to answer a question. The same principles apply, just with a little more pressure to get it right the first time.
Regardless of what type of interview you have, be sure to dress professionally and have an appropriate background with good lighting. Find a setting that has good contrast. For example, don’t wear a white blazer and sit in front of a white wall. You’ll blend in with the wall, which will make it harder for the interviewer to focus on you. Poor lighting will strain your interviewer’s eyes. Find a nice, bright setting and wear colors that work well with your setting.
Most of all, take a deep breath, and believe in yourself! If you’ve made it this far, that means that Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine sees potential in you. They want to ask you more questions as they consider you for admission into the College of Medicine.
Where We Come In
Here at International Medical Aid, our commitment is to you and the communities we serve in East Africa, South America and the Caribbean. If you’re just getting started on your medical journey, gain experience by interning with us. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in health care services in remote areas where medical services are often hard to come by. This will give you valuable experience and a greater appreciation for the high-quality health care we have here in the United States. Our internship opportunities are great for newbies or seasoned students.
Additionally, International Medical Aid offers consulting services. We understand how nerve-wracking it can be to apply to medical school, so we’re here to help the process go as smoothly as possible for you. We offer the following services:
- Strategy Sessions: Applying to medical school can feel like a full-time job. Our expert advisors can help you plan a strategy so you can successfully apply without losing your mind.
- Primary Application Review: Whether you’re submitting your AMCAS or AACOMAS application, it never hurts to have a second pair of eyes go over it. In fact, it’s highly recommended. And what better set of eyes than a professional who reviews applications and knows how to spot mistakes or areas where information should be fleshed out?
- Secondary Application Review: Each secondary application is different and requires the same level of care and attention. It’s easy to get tired. Each essay needs to be strong. While you don’t have to submit any essays to Lake Erie, you will need to write a personal statement for your AACOMAS application. Plus, if you apply to more than one school (which you should!), chances are, you’ll be writing essays.
- Medical School Interview Preparation: Next to writing personal statements and essays, the interview portion of the medical school application process is the most nerve-wracking. First, you need strong essays to score an interview. Second, you need a great interview to be accepted. This is why practicing is very important! Our expert advisors will be happy to walk you through the interview process and give you advice on how to answer questions well.
- Guidance for Non-traditional Students: Have you already earned your bachelor’s degree? Will becoming a doctor be your second degree? Do you have a unique life experience that makes you a non-traditional student? Many prospective students are in your shoes, which is why we offer this service.
Apply to Multiple Schools
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine might seem like your dream school, and if so, that’s great. However, you shouldn’t have all your ducks in one place. It’s important to apply to multiple medical schools. This will improve your chances of getting into medical school. You might even be accepted into more than one school and get to choose where you want to go. We offer resources on our blog for applying to different medical schools, including:
- Georgetown University School of Medicine
- Yale School of Medicine
- UCLA Medical School
- Perelman School of Medicine
- NYU Medical School
- Washington University School of Medicine
- Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
- Brown Medical School
Our blog is updated regularly, so check back often for new guides to various medical schools.
We wish you the very best of luck applying to medical schools. Remember that International Medical Aid is here for you every step of the way. Please visit our website anytime if you need help on your medical school journey. We look forward to being part of your medical school journey!