Osteopathic schools are less competitive, although the number of applicants has increased dramatically in recent years. Some students still do not know what an osteopath does, as they are not widespread in this area of the country. The distinction is that osteopaths give special attention to spinal manipulation (similar to chiropractic procedures) in their practice for some patients. The distinction between the two types of doctors is dwindling each year. With the proper resident training, an osteopath can become a brain surgeon, a heart surgeon, a pediatrician, gynecologist, or any other kind of doctor that one might think of.
Osteopathic and allopathic residents frequently work side by side in local hospitals. The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine located at Lewisburg, WV is the only osteopathic medical school in the state.
The courses listed below are general suggestions. Check the professional school of your choice to see specific admission requirements.
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), is taken preferably in the fall of your junior year of undergraduate school. However, in some cases the student, after discussions with the Pre-Professional advisor, may choose to take the MCAT during the spring semester of his/her sophomore year.
The MCAT is a five and one-half hour self-paced computerized exam. Optional breaks are including during the exam. The exam is divided into four parts: verbal reasoning (40 questions lasting 60 minutes), biological sciences (52 questions lasting 70 minutes), physical sciences (52 questions lasting approximately 70 minutes), and writing sample (approximately 2 questions lasting 60 minutes).
The approximate cost is $210.00. Additional fees such as late registration, change of testing site, or rescheduling fees can be included in the total cost.
There is no penalty for guessing; which means that if you are unsure of your answer, you should guess rather than leave the question unanswered. Unanswered items are incorrect, but there are no additional score reductions for answers that you guess incorrectly. The scores range from a low of 1 to a high of 15 for each of the three multiple-choice sections of the test. Writing Sample essays are rated by a group of trained readers. Your raw score on the Writing Sample is the sum of four individual raw scores ranging from 1 to 6. Your total raw score is converted to an alphabetic scale ranging from J (lowest) to T (highest).
For the most current information on cost, review the MCAT web site.
In 2015, the MCAT's changes. The writing sample will be eliminated and replaced with a reading/critical thinking exam. The MCAT will include more social/behavioral science specifically Psychology, Sociology with some Philosophy and Ethics. The science portion will not change.