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MCAT Scores for DO Schools

MCAT Scores for DO Schools -magoosh
Aside from allopathic medical schools, which award MD degrees upon graduation, the path to being a physician lead you through osteopathic schools, which award DO degrees upon graduation. This post will go over some basics about DO schools, as well as some information about MCAT scores for DO schools.

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.

Compared to 151 accredited US MD-granting medical schools and 17 in Canada, there are only 34 schools of osteopathic medicine in the US that grant DO degrees. .

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MCAT Scores for DO Schools

DO versus MCAT: Applicants

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) publishes an applicant report for applicants. The 2017 AACOM applicant profile report gives the average MCAT and GPAs for those who applied to start medical school in 2015. The average MCAT score among DO applicants is 501.10, compared to 504.1 for MD schools. The average GPA among DO applicants is 3.47, compared to an average GPA of 3.56 among students applying to MD programs.

DO versus MCAT: Matriculants

From the matriculant data from AACOM, the average MCAT score for DO matriculants in 2016 was 502.17 and the average GPA was 3.56 (compared to 510.4 and 3.79 for MD matriculants).

The average numbers for DO 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.

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2 Responses to MCAT Scores for DO Schools

  1. bc March 22, 2018 at 7:03 am #

    Thanks for your article. Your statement that DO’s “…focus more on osteopathic manipulative treatment…” might be unintentionally misleading. Readers may wonder whether DO schools focus on osteopathic manipulation more than they focus on other aspects, or focus on it more than do MD’s. As an MD student the only manipulation we did was resetting a dislocated shoulder, knee, and displaced fractures. So yes DO ‘s do more manipulation than we do, but they do not do it more than they do other aspects of medicine.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 22, 2018 at 11:44 am #

      Than you for your feedback, BC! I think you may be right about the wording, so I edited the article and added in an extra sentence for clarification. 🙂


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