Frequently Asked Questions

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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 over 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 (D.O.) and Allopathic Medicine (M.D.)?

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 US (e.g. high MCATs and GPAs). 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 terms of physicians/capita. This is in part due to Idaho being 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 will also give 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 just 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 adjacent to ISU’s– Meridian Health Sciences Center. The building will be a 94,000 square foot building over 3 floors will provide medical students, faculty and administration state-of-the-art teaching and learning environment.