October 18, 2012 - Total enrollment at the nation’s osteopathic medical colleges now tops 21,600, a 4.5 percent increase over last year’s total enrollment. Today, 20 percent of all U.S. medical students are attending osteopathic medical schools, a percentage that will continue to increase as new campuses are developed or complete all four years of enrollment, and as established and existing colleges complete previously approved increases in their class sizes. Three new colleges of osteopathic medicine will open their doors in 2013, and several others are in the planning stages. This fall, 5,804 new students enrolled at one of the nation’s 26 colleges of osteopathic medicine, a 2.9 percent increase over last year’s incoming class.
Growth in the number of osteopathic medical school graduates will help mitigate looming physician shortages, especially in the critical primary care area. A variety of reports predict primary care physician deficits that will range from 20,000 to 46,000 by 2020-2025, and all physician shortages of 120,000 to 160,000. With large numbers of new osteopathic physicians continuing to pursue primary care careers, AACOM is hopeful that the osteopathic medical profession can help the nation avert a primary care crisis.
The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) prepares globally minded, community-focused physicians for the rural and medically underserved areas of Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina and the Appalachian Region, and improves human health especially of those most in need. The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine promotes excellence in osteopathic medical education, in research and in service, and fosters innovation and quality among osteopathic medical colleges to improve the health of the American public.