Pharmacy, Natural & Health Sciences

Biology-Chemistry - Physician (D.O.)

Preparing for a Career as a Physician (D.O.)

Many practicing physicians are actually doctors of osteopathic medicine. This is a slightly different degree from a traditional medical degree and has separate programs and admissions procedures.

  • Course Work - Like allopathic medical schools, the minimum course work requirements for osteopathic medical schools are: one year each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, and physics; one semester each of biochemistry, social science, and behavioral science.  Many schools have additional requirements of math and English. It is always wise to check on the specific requirements of schools to which you may eventually apply.

  • Course Sequences
    Biology-Chemistry Major
    Biology-Chemistry Major (Fast Forward)

  • Experiences - Most schools look favorably upon experience that suggests that you have familiarity with the occupation you are pursuing. This experience fits into two categories:

    • Basic research - Conducted on your home campus or at some other campus, research shows intellectual growth and problem solving skills that may lack from ordinary coursework.

    • Health care-related experience - Job shadow a health care professional, get a summer job in a health care position, or participate in a meaningful volunteer experience.
  • Application process - the process is quite complex and has several steps. 
    • MCAT Exam - taken in the spring or early summer of the junior year. This exam has four major sections (Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems; Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills; Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems; and Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Living Systems. The almost eight- hour test is offered several times a month from January through September each year.

·         MCAT Study Materials

·         Official MCAT Exam Preparation products are available. 

·         Other study guides are available for purchase online.

  • AACOM - the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine is the controlling organization that collects applications. This is parallel to the AMCAS system for medical school. Admission requires taking the MCAT.

  • Marian University has the only osteopathic medical school in Indiana. Manchester’s Pre-Medical Fast Track Program gives students opportunities for early acceptance into, or a guaranteed interview with the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Read more.

    Other close osteopathic medical schools are Chicago, Michigan State, and Ohio Universities. Check the AACOM Web site for admissions requirements.

The following is a quote from the AACOM website about how osteopathic medicine is different from traditional medicine:

"Osteopathic medicine is a distinctive form of medical practice in the United States. Osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health education, injury prevention and disease prevention."