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 for caring for persons in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and beyond.
What does pre-accreditation mean?
ICOM received pre-accreditation status with the ability to recruit in December 2017 from the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA). Pre-accreditation status is reviewed annually to assess the academic progress of the first, second and third year classes through graduation. Full accreditation is typically granted prior to when a new school graduates its first class.
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 competitive MCAT score is in the 50th percentile with no individual section below 35th percentile. However, at ICOM, the MCAT is weighed in connection with grades and personal qualities. 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 many letters of recommendation do I need?
ICOM requires a minimum of two letters of recommendation. The first letter must be from either an osteopathic physician or an allopathic physician. A letter from an osteopathic physician is not required but is strongly recommended. The second letter must be from a premedical advisory committee or science faculty member who is familiar with your academic work. Non-traditional students can substitute the premedical advisor or science faculty advisor with a more recent reference (employer, volunteer/community service supervisor). 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.
Does ICOM accept transfer students or previous matriculants to medical schools?
ICOM does not accept transfer students. Previous matriculants and graduates from M.D., D.O., or equivalent (U.S. or foreign) are not eligible for consideration for admission to the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine. Exceptions may be considered on a case by case basis for extraordinary circumstances.
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.
What are the tuition and fees for ICOM?
A complete breakdown of tuition and fees can be found on the Finance Office webpage.
Am I able to receive federal loans?
At this time, ICOM in not eligible to apply to participate in federally-sponsored student loan programs for the first two years of instruction. Once our program of study has been operating for two years, we may submit an application to participate in federal aid programs. There is no guaranteed timeline to the review of our application by the U.S. Department of Education. We cautiously anticipate being able to offer federal aid starting in the fall of 2021.