In this episode, I speak with David Koenecke, the Assistant Vice President of Admissions at A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM).
ATSU KCOM was the first osteopathic medical school in the world. Today, David shares with us how the institution is keeping up with changes in technology.
Listen in as David also shares some great advice on personal statements, application timing, shadowing, and more.
Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points. You can also watch this episode on Youtube.
A Brief History of ATSU KCOM
- A.T. Still moved to Kirksville in the mid-1800s.
- He developed osteopathic medicine in the United States.
- Started osteopathic practice in 1874.
- A.T. Still started the first osteopathic medical school in 1892 and named American School of Osteopathy.
- Now it has grown into A.T. Still University, with campuses in Kirksville and Arizona.
- There are separate applications for Kirksville and Arizona.
How ATSU KCOM is Keeping Up with Changing Technology
- More clinical experiences in the first two years
- More hands-on group learning
- iPad initiative for students on a trial basis
- Keeping up with new medical technology
Types of Students ATSU KCOM Is Looking For
- A heart to practice medicine
- Dedicated hard work and commitment
- Academic acceleration
- Having the desire and compassion to serve people, especially underserved populations
- GPA and MCAT as good starting parameters
- Extracurricular activities as part of their lifestyle: patient contact, shadowing, volunteering, community work.
- They can tell when it’s just done for the application.
Do You Need to Shadow a DO for ATSU KCOM?
- There is not a shadowing requirement.
- But you need to understand what osteopathic medicine is and what you’re getting into.
- Do some research about osteopathic medicine.
Numbers at ATSU KCOM
- GPA Average: 3.64
- MCAT: 501 (27 on old MCAT)
- 172 students/year
- 450-500 interviews/year
- Around 4,000 applications
MD vs. DO schools
- The same curriculum
Grade replacement in DO schools.
- Update: AACOM has stopped grace replacement at DO schools.
- Every school, including ATSU KCOM, has a personality fit.
- Get to know the schools.
[Related episode: MD vs DO: What Are the Differences (and Similarities)?]
Dos and Don’ts in Writing Personal Statements
- The “aha! moment” that influenced you to explore medicine
- Honest and heartfelt—always coming from the heart
- Who you are and what you want to do with that
- Going through some level of adversity and coming out of it in a positive fashion
- Don’t copy and paste from other websites.
- Use your own words.
- Don’t rely on quotes from other people. Write your own thoughts.
- Don’t quote from Harry Potter movies.
[Related episode: 5 Biggest Medical School Personal Statement Mistakes.]
The Importance of Applying Early to Medical School
- The admissions committee is more open-minded and “hungry” at the beginning of the application cycle.
- At the end of the cycle, the admissions committee becomes pickier.
Some Pieces of Advice for Premed Students and High School Students
- Make sure it’s what you want to do by getting involved in many health care opportunities such as volunteering.
- In medicine, the rewards are just as great as your commitment is. But the road is very bumpy. Do your research on how to get there.
Links and Other Resources
- Watch this interview on YouTube
- ATSU KCOM website
- AACOM: What is Osteopathic Medicine?
- Related episode: Let’s Talk About Osteopathic Docs and What You Need to Know.
- Related episode: Common Questions Premeds Have About Osteopathic Medicine.
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