Frequently Asked Questions are organized into the categories General, Admissions and Financial Aid. Please click on the question to reveal the answer.
What is Osteopathic Medicine?
Osteopathic physicians are licensed in every state to practice the full scope of medicine and surgery. The practice of osteopathic medicine includes using the most current scientific knowledge to promote health and prevention and to diagnose and treat patients with disease. Osteopathic physicians prescribe medications, perform surgery, and use osteopathic manipulative medicine as a tool to diagnose and treat patients. The philosophy of osteopathic medicine originated from the teachings of Andrew Taylor Still more than 100 years ago and is based on the beliefs that, given the optimum conditions, the human body has the amazing ability to heal, that the structure of the human body is directly related to the function, and that the health of the individual is related to the body, mind, and spirit.
What is the difference between Osteopathic (DO) and Allopathic (MD) Medicine?
In the United States, there are two types of physicians who practice medicine. Most physicians hold the Doctor of Medicine degree (MD), while osteopathic physicians hold the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (DO). Both DOs and MDs lead the healthcare team and are licensed in all 50 states and are represented in every specialty. Both are recognized for the high quality of their training. It is very competitive to get into both DO and MD medical schools in the U.S., requiring a high GPA and MCAT score. While both DOs and MDs are very similar, there are some differences. For example, DOs have an additional 250 (or more) hours in hands-on osteopathic principles and practice and are more likely to go into primary care.
Why does Idaho need a college of osteopathic medicine?
Idaho ranks 50th in the nation in terms of physicians per capita. Prior to the arrival of ICOM, Idaho was the most populous state without a medical school of its own. Having a medical school in the state will ensure a steady supply of physicians in the state. It also gives local opportunities for Idahoans to go to medical school.
What is the mission of ICOM?
The mission of the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine is to train osteopathic physicians prepared to care for persons in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and beyond.
Where is ICOM located?
ICOM is a freestanding, privately-funded, separately-licensed and independently-operated entity located in Meridian, Idaho, adjacent to Idaho State University’s Meridian Health Sciences Center.
How do I apply?
ICOM only accepts applications through the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS). For more information about how to apply, visit www.aacom.org. The centralized application service opens in May each year for students who wish to apply for the class entering the following year.
How many students are in each class?
ICOM is approved for a class size of 150 students each year. The accrediting body allows for an 8% variance to allow for attrition and our class-size count is 162.
What are the admissions requirements for the program?
For a detailed list of prerequisites, please visit the Requirements webpage.
What are ICOM’s minimum requirements for MCAT and GPA?
Applicants should have achieved at least a 3.2 science and cumulative grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale. The admission process is competitive, therefore a higher GPA results in improved chances for acceptance. A recommended MCAT score is required in the 50th percentile with no individual section below 35th percentile. The overall GPA and the interview are considered of utmost importance. We accept MCAT scores three years prior to matriculation. Prospective students are encouraged to prepare for the MCAT exam well in advance so that the scores will accurately reflect the individual’s academic preparedness. For full information regarding the MCAT exam or to register to take the exam, please visit the AAMC website.
Do repeated courses factor into my GPA?
AACOMAS will include all course attempts in the GPA calculation and not drop initial course attempts from the GPA calculation. ICOM follows a holistic approach to reviewing applications and doesn’t just take the GPA and MCAT as a way of reviewing applications.
Is it OK to take the MCAT more than once?
Yes, it is fine to take the MCAT more than once. ICOM only accepts the MCAT score from up to three years prior to the date of matriculation. We look at the highest score and the breakdown of the individual score.
Does ICOM accept prerequisite courses from a community college?
Yes, as long as the courses are taken at a regionally accredited institution, then the admissions committee will accept the credits. However, in order to stay competitive for the program it would be better to take the courses at a four-year institution.
How do you determine whether or not an applicant receives a Supplemental Application?
Supplemental Applications are sent to screened applicants who are competitive in nature and meet our minimum requirements. The deadline to submit this application for the 2023-2024 cycle is April 15th, 2024. We ask applicants to allow 4-6 weeks for review after submitting their supplemental. For more information about ICOM’s minimums please visit our Requirements webpage.
How many letters of recommendation do I need?
For the 2023/2024 Application Cycle, ICOM requires one letter of recommendation. The letter is required to be from a science faculty member (PhD) or a pre-medical/pre-health advisor who has experience with an applicant’s academic abilities. We are not requiring a physician (DO or MD) letter of recommendation, however it’s strongly encouraged to include one on your application.
Non-traditional students can substitute the premedical advisor or science faculty advisor with a more recent reference (employer, volunteer/community service supervisor) per request sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional letters of recommendation can be submitted through AACOMAS or by mail, but keep in mind the admissions committee may not be able to read an excessive amount of letters.
Letters of recommendation from relatives are not accepted.
Does ICOM accept International Students?
No, ICOM does not accept applications from students requiring an F-1 student visa status at this time. Applicants who are a legal Permanent US Resident will be required to provide a copy of their Permanent Resident card (“Green Card”) prior to admission. Permanent residency status “pending”, is not eligible for admission.
Does ICOM only accept students from Idaho?
No. ICOM will accept students from across the nation who will help us meet our mission. We do give a preference for applicants from Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota. ICOM chooses the most qualified students for its program.
Does ICOM require students to have a criminal background check or drug screen prior to matriculation?
Yes. All students have to submit a criminal background check and submit to a drug screening prior to matriculation.