• One in Five Medical Students Train to Become Osteopathic Physicians

    (KANSAS CITY, MO. – NOV. 1, 2013) As our nation faces a shortage of physicians, medical schools are enrolling more future doctors. New student enrollment at osteopathic medical colleges grew by 11.1 percent this year, according to data released by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM).

    AACOM anticipates that increases in the number of osteopathic medical school graduates (DOs) 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 shortages in other areas at more than 50,000 by 2025, and the total physician shortage across all medical specialties is projected to reach more than 100,000, according to reports.

    The rate of increase in new enrollment for Fall 2013 to osteopathic medical schools surpassed that of allopathic (MD) schools. New student enrollment at allopathic medical schools has increased 2.8 percent, according to data recently released by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

    “Because large numbers of new osteopathic physicians become primary care physicians, often in rural and underserved areas, it is evident that the osteopathic medical profession will help the nation alleviate a primary care physician crisis,” said Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, president and chief executive officer for AACOM. “And colleges of osteopathic medicine are expanding and increasing to meet this demand.”

    Richard Winslow, PhD, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences’ vice provost of student and enrollment services, said the University’s increase in applications to its College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) for the 2014-2015 academic year exceed the national average.

    “This fall, KCU-COM applications have increased 12 percent over last year,” Winslow said. “This provides us with us an edge for enrolling and training the best students to become osteopathic physicians. As the second-leading provider of physicians in both Missouri and Kansas, this will have a tremendous impact on the delivery of health care in our region.”

    KCU graduates approximately 250 doctors of osteopathic medicine (DO) each year. Many of the University’s graduates remain in the area and practice in Missouri or Kansas. In Kansas City alone, there are 670 KCU graduates. More than 72 percent of KCU alumni practice in primary care specialties, and 40 percent provide medical care in rural and underserved areas.

    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.

    Among the key findings from AACOM’s enrollment report:
    • Enrollment of first-year osteopathic medical students has grown by 11.1 percent over last year’s number to a total of 6,449. Over the past decade, enrollment in colleges of osteopathic medicine has nearly doubled.
    • In spring 2013, a total of 4,726 students graduated from osteopathic medical schools, representing an increase of more than 50 percent over a decade ago.
    • Three colleges of osteopathic medicine enrolled first classes this year. There are now 30 colleges of osteopathic medicine.
    • The number of students who applied to osteopathic medical schools hit 16,454 this year, a record number and an increase of more than 1,500 over last year’s applicant pool.

    Related links:
    AACOM Report: Improving the Health of the Nation

    About KCUMB
    Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, founded in 1916, is a fully accredited, private university, with a College of Biosciences and a College of Osteopathic Medicine.  The College of Osteopathic Medicine is the oldest medical school in Kansas City, Mo., and the largest in the state. It is the second-largest provider of physicians within the states of Missouri and Kansas, with 72 percent practicing in a primary care specialty in Missouri and 69 percent in Kansas. 

    Posted: 11/01/2013

    Category: Students, Alumni, Faculty, Osteopathic Medicine, General