Doctor of Osteopathic MedicineOsteopathic medicine is a distinct 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 the 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 promotion and disease prevention.Osteopathic medicine was founded in the late 1800s in Kirksville, Missouri, by a medical doctor who recognized that the medical practices of the day often caused more harm than good. He focused on developing a system of medical care that would promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself and called this system of medicine osteopathy, now known as osteopathic medicine.Osteopathic physicians, also known as DOs, work in partnership with their patients. They consider the impact that lifestyle and community have on the health of each individual, and they work to break down barriers to good health. DOs are licensed to practice the full scope of medicine in all 50 states. They practice in all types of environments, including the military, and in all types of specialties, from family medicine to obstetrics, surgery, and aerospace medicine. DOs are trained to look at the whole person from their first days of medical school, which means they see each person as more than just a collection of organ systems and body parts that may become injured or diseased. This holistic approach to patient care means that osteopathic medical students learn how to integrate the patient into the healthcare process as a partner. They are trained to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds, and they get the opportunity to practice these skills in their classrooms and learning laboratories, frequently with standardized and simulated patients. AdmissionThe Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine considers all competitive students with an emphasis on those students from Alabama and the surrounding regions who are committed to serving the rural and medically underserved areas of the state and region. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or hold a Permanent Resident Visa. Candidates will be evaluated on their academic ability, knowledge of and commitment to the tenets of osteopathic medicine, experience in health care and human services, community service, professionalism, communication skills and personal integrity. To select these students, ACOM uses a rolling admissions process within a competitive and selective admissions framework.Competitive and Selective AdmissionsWithin its competitive and selective framework, ACOM uses multiple criteria to select the most qualified candidates from an applicant pool expected to exceed 2,000. For the class matriculating in 2013, there will be 150 seats.Rolling AdmissionsACOM uses a rolling admissions process in which applications are reviewed and student interview decisions are made at regular intervals during the admission cycle. Interviews are conducted and selection decisions are made until the class is filled. Applicants are notified of the admission status within two weeks after their interview. Candidates should apply early in the admissions cycle to be competitive in this process.