Part 1: Introduction
Located in San Antonio, Texas, the University of the Incarnate Word is one of the oldest Catholic universities in the state. The UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine is one of the newest additions to the university. UIW admitted its first class in July 2017 and received pre-accreditation status through the Commission on Osteopathic Colleges.
Community involvement is important to UIW. They’ve partnered with Southside ISD, San Antonio Housing Authority, WellMed and the Texas Immunization Partnership, among others, to provide healthcare to all of San Antonio’s citizens.
In this article, we’re continuing our series of definitive guides on how to get into medical school. It’s all part of our medical school admissions consulting. Today, we’re going to dive into the world of the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine. Differing from the traditional MD degree in word and deed, osteopathic schools set a holistic, whole-body foundation to practicing medicine.
Part 2: Programs Offered at UIW
Being a brand new medical school, UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine is currently offering two degree options:
- Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
- Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS)
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Doctors who practice osteopathic medicine have a unique approach to medical care. While traditional MDs usually focus on symptom relief and pain management, DOs focus on how the mind, body, and spirit work together. DOs believe that the body can heal itself when everything is balanced. The ultimate goal of every DO is for their patients to have healthy, self-healing bodies.
UIW School of Medicine’s DO program consists of two phases, with each phase lasting for two years. Phase I focuses on the principles and practices behind osteopathic medicine. How are those principles implemented in clinical settings? How are they applied to biomedical sciences? The curriculum seeks to answer those questions. It does so through ten different modules.
- MSK, Touch and Personhood
- Molecules, Cells, Compassion
- Host Defense and Communication
- GI System, Nutrition, Appetite
- Circulation, Respiration, Regulation
- Endocrine Reproduction Respect
- Mind Brain, and Behavior
- Capstone (Spirituality, Mental Health and Wellness)
- Board Exam Preparation
Phase II builds on Phase I but also takes students outside their comfort zones. Enough time has been spent in the classroom to enable students to step into the clinic. They’ll begin with eight different rotations that each last for six weeks.
- Family Medicine
- General Surgery
- Internal Medicine
- Women’s Health
- Underserved (Rural, Military, Correctional)
- Hospital Medicine
- Emergency Medicine (fourth year)
Students will have a one-week break after every two rotations. They will reflect on what they’ve learned and prepare to move forward. Mentorship is an important part of each student’s rotation experience.
For more in-depth information about the program, go here.
Now, let’s take a look at the Master of Biomedical Sciences degree.
Master of Biomedical Sciences
Please note that this program does not award graduates with a DO degree. But successfully completing this master’s degree does make it easier to get into the DO program. You’ll have the following advantages:
- After filling out your AACOMAS application, you’ll automatically receive the UIWSOM application, which is normally on an invitational basis. You won’t need to pay the $50 application fee, either.
- You’re guaranteed an interview with the admissions committee. The interview format will be the Multiple Mini Interview format (which we discuss here) and will be scheduled after you’ve submitted your application.
So, what does the Master of Biomedical Sciences program entail? Take a look at the coursework you’ll complete during the 37-month long program.
- Professional Development Seminar I & II
- Health Humanities
- Research Methods & Design I & II
- Advanced Cell Biology and Biochemistry
- Human Anatomy I & II
- Biomedical Physiology
- Introduction to Bioethics
- Microbial Pathogenesis
Go here for detailed information about each course. If you’re interested in osteopathic medicine, the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine might be perfect for you. Let’s take a look at how much it costs to attend UIW.
Part 3: Tuition and Cost of Attendance
The DO program and MBS degree both fall under the Graduate category for tuition. You’ll pay $1,030 per credit hour for the time you’re enrolled in the DO program. That’s $3,090 per three-credit courses. If you take 12 credits per semester, that’s $74,160 per year at UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine.
The MBS program costs $975 per credit hours. You’ll pay approximately $109,000 for this master’s degree.
Keep in mind that these numbers only refer to tuition. University fees, textbooks and supplies, housing, food and transportation will need to be calculated separately.
For discounts and more information regarding tuition, go here.
Financial aid is available for students who qualify. For more information, go here.
Part 4: Requirements for Applicants
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
If you want to apply to the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine, now is the time. The application process opened last month and will be open until March 15, 2022.
UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine doesn’t have specific requirements for getting in. But if you want to be competitive (which you should!), these are the stats for the Class of 2020.
- 3.57 overall GPA
- 3.46 science GPA
- 503 MCAT score
The school does expect students to meet the following technical standards:
- Motor Function
- Intellectual—Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities
- Behavioral and Social Attributes
- Legal and Ethical Standards
For detailed information on each of these technical standards, go here.
Master of Biomedical Sciences Program
To be considered for this program, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in the United States
- Official transcripts of all completed college coursework
- Three letters of recommendation:
– One letter from a faculty member
– One letter from a health care provider
– Committee letters are accepted.
- Test scores appropriate for your discipline:
– GRE for PA, PT and Pharmacy
– DAT for Dental
– MCAT for Medical
- GPA must be at least 3.0/4.0
- Completed secondary application and $50 application fee
Ready to apply? Get started with the AACOMAS, your primary application. After you’ve completed this application, the admissions committee will review it and decide whether to send you the school’s secondary application. Both schools operate with a rolling admissions system (we cover that here). So, the sooner you apply, the better your chance of getting in!
It’s a great sign if you receive a secondary application. This means that you impressed the admissions committee. They want to learn more about you as an applicant. After reading your secondary essays, they’ll decide whether to interview you.
Part 5: Secondary Essays
The University of the Incarnate World School of Osteopathic Medicine asks applicants to answer the following questions. All questions are required and come with a 200-word limit. This means that you’ll need to answer each question in as few words as possible. For some writers, this can be more challenging than writing a long personal statement.
If you need help, International Medical Aid offers admissions consulting services. We have hourly consulting, as well as four different tiers of consulting packages. So, whatever you might need help with, we’ve got your back. Go here for more information.
Explain your understanding of osteopathic medicine. Tell us why you’re pursing a DO degree instead of an MD degree.
While this question might seem unnecessary, it’s valid. Osteopathic physicians practice medicine very differently from medical doctors. UIW wants to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Remember, you only have 200 words to answer this question. So, you’ll want to explain very concisely.
Here’s an example:
Osteopathic medicine has proven to be a great blessing to my family. To make a long story short, my little brother is a brain tumor survivor. He chronically dealt with headaches when he was younger. His pediatrician was convinced that he was dehydrated or just chronically had headaches. There was no loss of balance or any of the usual symptoms that indicate a tumor. But Matthew’s headaches didn’t go away.
My parents got tired of Michael’s pain. They wanted him to feel better, but taking him to his pediatrician felt like a moot point. So, they found an osteopathic doctor instead. Dr. Webber didn’t just prescribe Matthew with medication to mask his symptoms. Instead, he ran tests and discovered that Matthew had a brain tumor.
I’m thrilled to share that Matthew has been fine for years now. But without Dr. Webber, we might not have my brother with us. That’s why osteopathic medicine is important to me. Focusing on the body, mind, and spirit together can resolve health issues far better than any medication that takes away pain.
The University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine is the first, faith-based, osteopathic medical school in the state of Texas. Share with us what you will contribute to our university to help us fulfill our mission.
My faith has always been my cornerstone. My belief in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior has helped me through some of the toughest times in my life. I know that medical school will be difficult. The coursework will be rigorous and expectations will be high. I plan to start every morning with Bible reading and prayer just like I do now.
I hope that, by continuing to live my faith on campus, I’ll be able to exemplify the mission of the University of the Incarnate Word. I want my medical practice to be centered around my faith. I want to glorify God in all that I do as I seek to make my patient’s lives better.
I believe that students who set good examples and live their faith are what UIW is looking for. And I believe that alumna who represent what UIW stands for will serve as a testament to the school’s mission. I hope that you’ll consider me.
Please share with us how you prepared for the MCAT exam. Talk about what tools you used for preparation, how long you studied for, which practice exams you took, and so forth.
This answer will look different for everyone. There’s no right or wrong answer here. We recommend giving as much detail as 200 words will allow. For example, don’t just name the tools you used. Describe how those tools helped you learn. Include all of your preparation.
Not every applicant is admitted on their first try. If this is your second time applying to UIWSOM, tell us how you’ve strengthened your application since last time.
This question only applies to you if you’re a second-year applicant. There is no shame in this if you are! Many successful doctors didn’t get in on their first try. But the University of the Incarnate Word wants to make sure that your application is stronger this time. It would be a waste of the school’s time to re-evaluate you if you were the exact same candidate you were before–the one who didn’t get in.
Don’t feel like you have to share the most intimate details of your life. Nor do you need to justify your application. We recommend comparing your current application to your past application and highlighting how much more prepared you are. If you need help, reach out to us. Helping DO candidates is part of what we do.
Part 6: Interview Day at UIW
Did you score an interview with UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine? If so, congratulations! This is a major step in your medical school career.
The University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine conducts interviews using the Multiple Mini Interview Format. Commonly abbreviated to “MMI”, this interview format has revolutionized some of the traditional aspects that medical school applicants have come to expect.
How is it different? You won’t have to sit still and blindly answer questions while secretly sweating through your blazer. Instead, you’ll know each question before you’re asked it. You’ll have time to prepare your answer. And then you’ll have 7-10 minutes to discuss your answer with your interviewer.
This method of interviewing is designed to take a lot of the stress out of the interview process. It allows you to breathe and focus on preparing your answers instead of focusing on your breath and trying not to stutter through the questions.
For your interview day, we recommend dressing professionally. If you look good on the outside, you’ll feel better on the inside. Remember that your goal is to become a doctor and this is a major step in that process.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not likely to visit the UIW San Antonio campus for your interview. Most medical schools are still conducting interviews virtually via tools like Zoom or Skype. While it can be disappointing to not attend an in-person interview, there are no traveling costs. You just need a secure internet connection. We recommend choosing a blank background that won’t clash with your outfit. You can’t go wrong with a blazer and blouse.
If you’re unsure of whether you want to practice osteopathic medicine, check out Choose DO. Choose DO is a fantastic resource that will educate you on your role as an osteopathic healthcare provider. Choose DO also has resources to help prepare you long before you start filling out applications. DO school admissions sometimes work differently from MD programs, which is why medical school admissions consulting can be so vital to a DO candidate’s success. DO school admissions don’t always involve secondary essays, which further emphasizes the importance of writing a strong personal essay.
Feeling overwhelmed by all the details? We’ll admit that getting into medical school is a lot of work. That’s why International Medical Aid offers medical school admissions consulting. We believe that preparation can make a world of difference for every medical school applicant. Check out our resources on our Admissions Consulting page. And while you’re on our blog, check out the other medical schools we cover in our definitive guide series.
- 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
- Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
- Brown Medical School