Student enrollment at osteopathic medical colleges nationwide grew by 11.1 percent this year, according to data released by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM). The steep growth in first-year student matriculation brings the total enrollment at osteopathic medical colleges to 22,054 students, an increase of 4.9 percent over fall of 2012.
Midwestern University is home to two colleges of osteopathic medicine - the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in Downers Grove, IL and the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine in Glendale, AZ. Both colleges have seen a steady increase in enrollment during the past several years and welcomed a total of 459 new students this fall.
AACOM anticipates that increases in the number of osteopathic medical school graduates will help reduce growing physician shortages, especially in the critical area of primary care. The primary care physician shortage is projected to be greater than any other specialty at over 50,000 in 2025, and the total physician shortage across specializations is projected to reach over 100,000, according to reports. In 2013, 65 percent of CCOM graduates and 50 percent of AZCOM graduates accepted a primary care residency.
More than 20 percent of U.S. medical students currently attend osteopathic medical schools. This percentage is expected to increase as new campuses are developed and as established colleges continue to expand with increases in their class sizes. Osteopathic physicians (DOs) are fully licensed to prescribe medicine and practice in all specialty areas including surgery. They take a holistic approach to patient care, integrating the patient into the health care process as a partner in achieving a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention. For more information, click here.