Looking for an educational program that focuses on holistic care? Obsessed with the musculoskeletal system? Osteopathic medical schools (DO programs) provide a great alternative to MD programs. So just what do MCAT scores for DO schools look like? In other words, what do you need to get into your dream DO program?
In this post, we’ll take a quick look at what osteopathic medical schools offer compared to MD programs. Then, we’ll discuss how MCAT scores for DO schools are different from MCAT scores for MD programs.
What is the difference between a DO and MD?
Both MD and DO degrees require four year degree programs. Both also require students to take board exams — MD candidates take the USMLE board exam and DO candidates take the COMPLEX board exam. Both follow their medical education with a residency training that can last three to seven years.
The major difference between these two types of schools is that DO schools focus more on osteopathic manipulative treatment, which is a manual hands-on care used to diagnose and treat patients. There is a greater emphasis on the musculoskeletal system. Mind you, this doesn’t mean that DO schools focus less on any other subjects, compared to MD schools. In fact, generally speaking, DO school graduates pride themselves on having a more holistic approach to patients. As a result, DO graduates tend to pursue more primary care specialties.
What are my choices for osteopathic medical schools?
Compared to 151 accredited US MD-granting medical schools and 17 in Canada, there are only 36 schools of osteopathic medicine in the US that grant DO degrees. Because of this, as well as the rigor of their curriculums, admissions are competitive.
So what does that mean for your MCAT scores? Take a look!
MCAT Scores for DO Schools
Overall, MCAT scores for DO schools are slightly—slightly—lower than they are for MD programs. This is also true for GPAs. Here’s the breakdown by applicants and matriculants.
DO versus MCAT: Applicants
The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) publishes an applicant report for applicants. The 2019 AACOM applicant profile report (the most recent available as of spring 2021) gives the average MCAT and GPAs for those who applied to start medical school in 2018.
- The average MCAT score among DO applicants is 502.50, compared to 506.1 for MD schools.
- The average GPA among DO applicants is 3.48, compared to an average GPA of 3.58 among students applying to MD programs.
DO versus MCAT: Matriculants
From the matriculant data from AACOM, the average MCAT score for DO matriculants in 2018 was 503.83 and the average GPA was 3.49 (compared to 505.6 and 3.57 for MD matriculants).
Takeaways on MCAT Scores for DO Schools
The average numbers for osteopathic medical schools are slightly lower compared to MD schools, but it still is a difficult and long process to get in. The decision to pursue an MD degree or a DO degree should be based on fit and what works best for you and your goals.