Mar 22, 2023  
2019-2020 ATSU University Catalog 
2019-2020 ATSU University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Osteopathic Medicine, DO (KCOM)

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Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM)

As the founding college of osteopathic medicine, ATSU-KCOM DO students receive comprehensive medical education that includes access to the latest technology, including human patient simulators, simulated patient encounters, and broad educational experience. The Complete DOctor, a course specific to ATSU-KCOM, incorporates early clinical experiences with didactic study in physical exam skills, cultural diversity, communication skills, spirituality in medicine, medical law, and ethics.

ATSU-KCOM DO students spend their first two years studying the basic sciences and clinical introductions in a campus setting. In the third and fourth years, students participate in clinical rotations in one of ATSU-KCOM’s national rotation regions.

ATSU-KCOM DO graduates represent a diverse group of osteopathic physicians practicing in every state and several foreign countries. They span all medical specialties and subspecialties and comprise approximately a quarter of all practicing osteopathic physicians.

Length of Program

ATSU-KCOM’s Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program graduates will have earned a minimum of 210.5 credit hours. The program is a four-year program. Osteopathic medical students must complete the program within 150 percent of the standard time (six years following matriculation). 

Tuition and Fees

Tuition is due twice a year at ATSU. It is due at the beginning of the first and second semesters. Each payment is half the cost for the entire year. Tuition may be paid any time during the week that it is due. Delinquent tuition penalties accrue at 1.5% per month, which is 18% per year.

Class/Year Tuition Educational Supply Fee Medical Equipment Fee
Class of 2023, year 1 $57,140.00 $1,150.00 $1,078.00
Class of 2022, year 2 $57,140.00 $1,150.00  
Class of 2021, year 3 $57,140.00 $1,150.00  
Class of 2020, year 4 $57,140.00 $1,150.00  


Application process

ATSU-KCOM participates with other osteopathic colleges in a centralized application processing service called the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS). This service will collate materials, compute grades, and transmit standardized information to the applicant and the colleges which the applicant designates to receive them. AACOMAS takes no part in the evaluation, selection, or rejection of applicants. Applications may be obtained at or from AACOMAS at 5550 Friendship Boulevard, Suite 310, Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7231, phone: 301.968.4100.

The College will send the applicant a secondary application if general qualifications are met. A non-refundable application fee and letters of recommendation from the pre-medical committee and a physician or employer will be required at the time the secondary application is submitted.

Applications must be submitted no later than February 1 of the academic year prior to which admission is sought. Applicants are encouraged to apply far in advance of the February 1 deadline. Additional information regarding the program application deadline date, tuition and expenses, and related financial assistance can be found at, or email inquiries may be sent to

Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission to the first-year DO class must meet the following requirements prior to matriculation.

  1. The applicant must have achieved a minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA and a 2.8 science GPA (based on a 4.0 scale). Applicants seeking admission with the intention of not having a degree prior to matriculation are required to have a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA, a 3.5 science GPA, and a 500 on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
  2. Applicants must have completed 90 semester hours or three-fourths of the required credit for a degree from a college or university (30 hours of which must be at a four-year, degree-granting institution) accredited by a regional educational association. Most of the candidates who are accepted for admission have earned a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation.  It is recommended that applicants complete a bachelor of art or science degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association.
  3. Applicants must have completed one full academic year or the equivalent in each of the following with a final grade of C or above:
    • English – 6 semester hours/9 quarter hours. The student should be fluent in the oral and written use of English.
    • Biology – 8 semester hours/12 quarter hours. Must include a laboratory and a basic course in general biology or general zoology.
    • Physics – 8 semester hours/12 quarter hours. Must include a laboratory and cover the study of mechanics, sound, heat, magnetism, electricity, and light.
    • General or Inorganic Chemistry – 8 semester hours/12 quarter hours. Must include a laboratory.
    • Organic Chemistry – 8 semester hours/12 quarter hours. Must include a laboratory.
  4. Elective subjects should afford a broad educational and cultural background as encouraged by the applicant’s pre-professional adviser. Courses in molecular biology, genetics, behavioral sciences, biochemistry, human anatomy/ physiology, and humanities are encouraged.
  5. Applicants are required to submit scores from the MCAT that have been taken within three years from the date of application.
  6. Matriculants are required to submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended by the date of matriculation including confirmation of an undergraduate degree, unless accepted under the non-degree application requirements.
  7. ATSU-KCOM and many of its clinical affiliations require criminal background checks on matriculants and students to ensure the safety of patients and employees. The checks are conducted by a vendor selected by ATSU. The student will pay the cost of the criminal background check directly to the vendor. Failure to comply with this mandate will result in denial to matriculate. A matriculant with a positive criminal background screen will be reviewed.
  8. Matriculants will meet the minimum technology specifications found at:

Transfer Student Admission

Requests for transfer into the DO program at ATSU-KCOM must be made to the Admissions department. Applicants must currently be enrolled in medical school and cannot previously have been rejected by ATSU-KCOM.

Applicants may only transfer from medical schools and colleges accredited either by AOA COCA, or by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). When a student transfers from another college of osteopathic medicine (COM), or an LCME accredited medical school or college, the last two years of instruction must be completed at ATSU-KCOM. In the case of LCME transfers, the ATSU-KCOM requirements for osteopathic manipulative medicine must be completed prior to graduation.

The following documentation must be on file before being considered for admission.

  1. A letter from the academic dean or designee of the current professional school indicating the student is presently in good academic standing.
  2. Minimum cumulative and minimum science GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Official transcript from the transfer school. (ATSU-KCOM will review and confirm the approval of the transfer credits via a letter for the student’s file.)
    • Confirmation of a bachelor’s degree or 90 semester hours or three-fourths of the required credit for a degree from a college or university (30 hours of which must be at a four-year, degree-granting institution) accredited by a regional educational association.
      1. Submitting an AACOMAS or AMCAS application may fulfill this.
    • If accepted for admission, official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended will have to be provided prior to matriculation.
  4. MCAT score(s)
  5. Secondary application and secondary fee
  6. Additional documents or letters of evaluation as determined by the Admissions Committee may be requested.

Following the receipt of the above credentials, if considered qualified for admission, the completed application will be reviewed and the applicant will be invited for an on-campus interview.

The applicant will have a minimum of four interviews including the Associate Dean of Academic and Clinical Educational Affairs, Vice President of Student Affairs, Assistant Vice President of Admissions, and a basic science or clinical faculty member.

Following an academic report (credit evaluation) by the Associate Dean of Academic and Clinical Educational Affairs, the Admissions Committee will determine whether the applicant will be accepted for admissions, the amount of credit allowed, and the standing of the applicant.

Transfer Credit

ATSU-KCOM does not accept transfer credit for students admitted to the first-year DO class. Please see the transfer student section for information regarding how to transfer from a current medical program into the DO program.

Still Scholars Early Acceptance Program

The Still Scholars Early Acceptance Program is designed to provide admission opportunities to outstanding students who aspire to become osteopathic physicians. ATSU-KCOM prides itself on developing physicians who focus on whole person healthcare and community service, and looks for students who also hold these values. ATSU-KCOM’s Still Scholars Early Acceptance Program rewards highly capable students who are dedicated to the osteopathic philosophy with admittance into our institution’s founding osteopathic medical program without traditional MCAT requirements. This program encourages students to focus on developing strong academic and leadership skills, yet allows them to focus on their undergraduate experience without the additional pressures of preparing for the MCAT. In addition, Still Scholars are awarded an academic scholarship for medical school upon entry to KCOM.

Priority consideration agreements are in place with various undergraduate institutions across the United States to help pre-screen qualified applicants; however, students from any four-year accredited undergraduate institution in the United States may apply. Students representing schools that have an agreement with ATSU-KCOM receive priority consideration in the selection process. Applicants must qualify for selection as per the agreement established between ATSU-KCOM and the specific institution.

ATSU-KCOM has agreements with the following institutions:

  • Avila University (Missouri)
  • Brigham Young University (Utah)
  • Chaminade University (Hawaii)
  • Drury University (Missouri)
  • Elmhurst College (Illinois)
  • Greenville College (Illinois)
  • Langston University (Oklahoma)
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (Massachusetts)
  • Midland Lutheran College (Nebraska)
  • Missouri State University (Missouri)
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri)
  • Missouri Western State University (Missouri)
  • Rowan University (New Jersey)
  • San Diego State University (California)
  • Southeast Missouri State University (Missouri)
  • Springfield College (Massachusetts)
  • Truman State University (Missouri)
  • William Jewell College (Missouri)
  • Wilmington College (Ohio)

For more information on the Still Scholars Early Acceptance Program, please contact residential admissions at or by phone at 866.626.2878 ext. 2237.

Early Decision Program

The Early Decision Program is a service for highly qualified medical school applicants who have made a definite decision that ATSU-KCOM is their first choice among medical schools. In order to be considered, the applicant must meet all of the following requirements and agree to apply only to ATSU-KCOM until an early decision notification is made. To qualify for early decision the applicant must meet all stated admissions criteria in addition to:

  1. Meet a minimum GPA of 3.5 both cumulative and in the sciences.
  2. Have taken the MCAT and earned a composite score of 500 or higher.
  3. Submit the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS) application, MCAT scores and transcripts from all institutions attended to AACOMAS by August 1. Applications become available through AACOMAS June 1. For information contact AACOMAS 5550 Friendship Boulevard, Suite 310, Chevy Chase, MD 20815, phone: 301.968.4190,
  4. File all secondary materials and letter of intent with Admissions by September 1.
  5. Withhold all applications to other medical schools until an early decision is made by KCOM.
  6. Interviews will be conducted in early October for qualified applicants.
  7. The Admissions Committee will release a decision within two weeks of the interview.
  8. A $1,000 non-refundable acceptance fee will be required by December 15.

International Student Admission

Students who are non-citizens or not permanent residents of the United States are not eligible to apply for the DO program at this time.

Priority Consideration Agreements

Pre-Med/Med Accelerated Track

The Pre-Med/Med Accelerated Track program is a “3+4” program offered conjointly between Truman State University and ATSU-KCOM. Selected students in Truman’s Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Science or BS in Exercise Science programs will begin their first year in the ATSU-KCOM DO program after completing their third year at Truman.

Truman health science or exercise science students who are interested in applying for the “3+4” program will need to meet the following requirements:

  1. Maintain a GPA (cumulative/science) of 3.5 or higher (4.0 scale) within the Health Science or Exercise Science Degree Tracks.
  2. Completion of all prerequisite course work by the end of the junior (3rd) year.
    • Biology/Zoology- 8 hours with lab
    • General Chemistry-8 hours with lab
    • Organic Chemistry-8 hours with lab
    • Physics-8 hours with lab
    • English 6 hours
  3. Display maturity and strong interpersonal communication skills.
  4. Be involved with extracurricular activities; gain exposure to medicine through clinical shadowing experiences, community service, volunteering and campus organizations.
  5. Be a full time Truman student.
  6. Be a law abiding citizen.
  7. Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  8. During the fall of the junior year, complete a verified AACOMAS application, ATSU-KCOM secondary application, and provide letters of recommendation.
  9. Follow the Pre-Med/Med Accelerated Track three year sequence of courses at Truman.
  10. Satisfy all Truman requirements prior to enrollment to ATSU-KCOM.

Upon successful completion of the Pre-Med/Med Accelerated Track the student will receive a Bachelor’s of Science Degree (BS) in Exercise Science or Health Science from Truman State University as well as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Degree (DO) from A.T. Still University - Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Please contact the Truman or ATSU Admissions Department for more information.

Selection of Applicants

The Admissions Committee seeks those individuals who identify with the goals of ATSU’s mission statement and ATSU-KCOM’s mission statement. Applicants are screened for academic achievement, clinical involvement, interpersonal relations, leadership and service, perseverance, maturity, motivation, and osteopathic awareness.

Applicants who reach the final phase of the selection process will be invited to campus for an interview. All applicants selected for admission are interviewed prior to acceptance. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to accept, reject, or defer an application.

Students sent a letter of acceptance are granted a specified time period to notify ATSU-KCOM of their intention to enroll. Accepted students must submit the following to Admissions prior to matriculation.

  1. Signed admission agreement
  2. Non-refundable deposits
  3. Copies of official transcripts from every institution attended
  4. Immunization record
  5. Criminal background check through the University approved vendor
  6. Proof of health insurance form

Admission after acceptance is also subject to the satisfactory completion of all academic requirements.

Minimal Technical Standards for Admission and Matriculation


A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) is committed to equal access for all qualified applicants and students. Minimal Technical Standards for Matriculation (the “Standards”) state expectations of ATSU-KCOM DO students. The Standards provide sufficient information to allow the candidate to make an informed decision for application. Minimal Technical Standards for Matriculation are a guide to accommodation of students with disabilities. Academic adjustments can be made for disabilities in some instances, but a student must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.

Statement of Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion encompass an authentic understanding and appreciation of difference and, at their core, are based upon the value each human being brings to our society and each person’s access and opportunities to contribute to our University’s cultural proficiency.

ATSU-KCOM admits and matriculates qualified osteopathic medical students. A.T. Still University of Health Sciences is committed to equal access for all qualified applicants and students. Minimal Technical Standards for Matriculation (the “Standards”) state expectations of ATSU students. The Standards provide sufficient information to allow the candidate to make an informed decision for application. Minimal Technical Standards for Matriculation are a guide to accommodation of students with disabilities. Academic adjustments can be made for disabilities in some instances, but a student must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. Applicants and current students who have questions regarding the technical standards, or who believe they may need to request academic adjustment(s) in order to meet the standards, are encouraged to contact Learning and Disability Resources. Procedures to apply for academic adjustments are found at the conclusion of this policy.

In adopting these standards the College believes it must keep in mind the ultimate safety of the patients who may be involved in the course of the student’s education as well as those patients for whom its graduates will eventually care. The Standards reflect what the College believes are reasonable expectations of osteopathic medical students (and physicians) in learning and performing common osteopathic medical treatment.

Categories, Standards and Examples

A Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. In order to carry out the activities described below, students must be able to consistently, quickly, and accurately integrate, analyze, and synthesize data. Students must possess, at a minimum, the following abilities and skills: observation; communication; motor; sensory; strength and mobility; intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative; and, behavioral and social. These abilities and skills comprise the categories of ATSU-KCOM Minimal Technical Standards for Admission and Matriculation and are defined below. The examples mentioned are not intended as a complete list of expectations, but only as samples demonstrating the associated standards.

  1. Observation: Students must have sufficient vision to observe demonstrations, experiments and laboratory exercises. Students must have adequate visual capabilities for proper evaluation and treatment integration. They must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and up close.
  2. Communication: Students should be able to hear, observe and speak to patients in order to elicit and acquire information, examine them, describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and perceive their nonverbal communication. Students must also be able to communicate effectively in oral and written form with staff and faculty members, the patient and all members of the health care team.
  3. Motor: Motor demands include reasonable endurance, strength and precision. Students should have sufficient motor function to execute movements reasonably required for general care and emergency treatment. Such movements require coordination of both gross and fine muscular activity, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
  4. Sensory: Students need enhanced sensory skills including accuracy within specific tolerances and functional use for laboratory, classroom and clinical experiences. Students who are otherwise qualified but who have significant tactile sensory or proprioceptive disabilities must be evaluated medically.  These disabilities include individuals who were injured by significant burns, have sensory motor deficits, cicatrix formation, or have malformations of the upper extremities.
  5. Strength and mobility: Students must have sufficient posture, balance, flexibility, mobility, strength and endurance for standing, sitting and participating in the laboratory, classroom and clinical experiences.
  6. Intellectual, conceptual, perceptual, integrative and quantitative: These abilities include reading, writing, measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. In addition, students should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities.
  7. Behavioral and social: Students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships. Students must be able to tolerate physically demanding workloads and to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical problems of patients. Compassion, maturity, honesty, ethics, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admission and educational processes. Students shall be prepared to endure the physical and emotional demands of the medical profession.

Please also reference examples of associated standards here:

Additional Information

Records and communications regarding disabilities and academic adjustments with the Director of Learning and Disability Resources have no bearing on the application process. You may contact the director at Learning and Disability Resources, A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, 800 W. Jefferson Street, Kirksville, MO 63501,, or by phone at 660.626.2774.

Applying for Academic Adjustments

The institution remains open to possibilities of human potential and achievement, providing support for students with disabilities. The Vice President of Student Affairs is responsible for the administration of and compliance with the Technical Standards and Academic Adjustments Policy (ATSU Policy #20-110) through the Director of Learning and Disability Resources. Please see the University Student Handbook for information on how to apply for academic adjustments or email

Student Promotion Board

The responsibility of the Student Promotion Board is to review and assess the academic progress and professionalism of all students and ensure that adequate progress is being made toward the doctor of osteopathic medicine degree. Reviewed material may include the entire academic record, subjective evaluations by course directors, faculty members, preceptors, staff, standardized patients and administration, written notes, results of performance assessments such as PA I, PA II, and PA III, as well as other material necessary to fully evaluate the student’s progress, including professional behaviors.

Lack of progress includes but is not limited to failure of one or multiple courses, failing the same course multiple times, failing a COMLEX, failing to make and sustain adequate progress in the attainment of the seven osteopathic competencies for medical students (osteopathic principles and practice, medical knowledge, patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice), failing to successfully complete third and fourth year assignments and assessments, other assignments, or failure to perform successfully in clinical rotations.


The Dean appoints the Student Promotion Board. The Board is chaired by the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs or designee and includes five voting members from the faculty. In the case of a tie or to meet a quorum, the Chair is a voting member. Decisions of the Board are made by majority vote.

Non-voting consultants to the Student Promotion Board are the Associate Dean of Academic and Clinical Educational Affairs, Associate Dean of Curriculum, Vice President of Student Affairs, and Learning and Disability Resources staff members. Additional appropriate faculty such as a DSME or RAD may be requested to attend the Student Promotion Board meeting without vote.

In the event that a course director is also a voting member of the committee, he/she will retain voting privileges. Clinical faculty members who serve on the Student Promotion Board must ensure that they do not have a therapeutic relationship with a student appearing before the Board at the time of the notification of the meeting. If such a relationship exists, the physician shall alert the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs to request an alternate be present to hear the student case.

Convening of Student Promotion Board

To evaluate student progress, the Student Promotion Board will be convened by the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at the end of the academic term or on an as needed basis at any time to consider lack of professionalism or academic progress by any student. 

Student Attendance

The student may be invited to attend the Student Promotion Board when the student’s status is presented for discussion. The student will be notified of the date and time of the meeting at least two business days prior to the meeting. When called before the Student Promotion Board, the student has the right to present a short statement and address questions before the Student Promotion Board. The student must be transparent in presenting the facts of the situation to the Student Promotion Board. In the case of information of a highly sensitive nature, the student may present such information to the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, Associate Dean of Academic and Clinical Educational Affairs, or Associate Dean of Curriculum prior to the commencement of the meeting of the Student Promotion Board. Professional dress is expected.


The Student Promotion Board can impose requirements, supports and discipline appropriate to the circumstances. Additionally, the Board may impose a reprimand, place the student on probation, suspend the student or dismiss the student from the program. The Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs will typically notify the student of the outcome, in writing, within 24 hours of the Board meeting.


The student may appeal the Student Promotion Board decision in writing to the Dean within five working days of notification of the Student Promotion Board decision only if new or significant information is revealed after the Student Promotion Board decision was made or if the student believes that the Student Promotion Board process was not followed as presented in the University Catalog. The Dean may meet with the Chair of the Student Promotion Board to discuss the appeal and determine if the Student Promotion Board process was followed. The Dean has the authority to overturn or uphold the Student Promotion Board decision. The highest level of appeal within the school is the Dean or the Dean’s designee. Students who wish to appeal a Dean’s decision regarding promotion or dismissal should review the Academic Appeals policy: Promotion and/or Dismissal Decisions.

Academic Probation

Any DO student who has failed any course, rotation, or who has failed COMLEX Level 1, COMLEX Level 2 CE, or COMLEX Level 2 PE may be placed on academic probation and informed in writing by the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. Students may also be placed on probation due to professionalism issues. The purpose of probation is to alert the student, faculty, and administration to the fact that the student has experienced difficulty. Students on probation may not serve in student office, be excused from curricular activities for professional development, or attend conferences or events sponsored by the College without explicit permission from the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs or designee. These measures are employed to assist the student in concentrating on improvement in his or her academic and professional progress.

Once the deficiencies have been remediated by the student, the probation shall be removed by written notification from the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs or designee. The successful remediation of an academic course will be identified by a notation (70R) on the student’s transcript.

Professional Liability Coverage

ATSU-KCOM DO students enrolled in ‘active status’ have professional liability coverage provided by the University. Coverage is in effect:

  • For situations that arise in the United States. It does not cover or defend malpractice outside of the United States.
  • For ATSU-sponsored experiences. All appropriate paperwork and supporting documentation must be completed prior to the start of a rotation to secure professional liability coverage.  Experiences that are not sponsored by ATSU will not be covered.

Needlestick and Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure

  1. Prevention

    1. All students should use precautions to prevent injuries caused by needles, scalpels, and other sharp instruments or exposure to bloodborne pathogens. The use of needle and scalpel safety devices, when supplied, is encouraged. Students should:
      1. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly before and after patient care.
      2. Use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 
      3. Use sharps with caution in a safe environment, dispose of properly, do not recap needles.
  2. When an exposure occurs, students are required to follow the steps outlined below unless additional evaluation is required by a clinical rotation site. The following steps are the minimum required by ATSU-KCOM:
    1. Treat Exposure Site
      1. Use soap and water to wash areas exposed to fluids as soon as possible after exposure.
      2. Flush exposed mucous membranes with water.
      3. Flush exposed eyes with water or saline solution.
      4. Do NOT apply caustic agents, inject antiseptics or disinfectants into the wound.
    2. Report and seek treatment for occupational exposures immediately. The circumstances surrounding the incident shall be investigated immediately.  
      1. OMS I and OMS II Students: All sharp injuries shall be reported to the Associate Dean of Academic & Clinical Educational Affairs. An incident report form should be completed and submitted to the main campus; in the absence of the incident report form a written explanation should accompany the notification. The Academic & Clinical Educational Affairs office will follow-up with the student to ensure the policy has been followed correctly.
      2. OMS III and IV Students: The protocol stated by the clinical site must be followed and all sharp injuries shall be reported immediately to the student’s RAD/DSME and region site coordinator. The region site coordinator will notify the office of Academic & Clinical Educational Affairs. An incident report form should be completed and submitted to the main campus; in the absence of an incident report form a written explanation should accompany the notification. The Academic & Clinical Educational Affairs office will follow-up with the student to ensure the policy has been followed correctly.
      3. The following baseline labs should be drawn as soon as possible following potential exposure. Forward results to the Academic & Clinical Educational Affairs office.
        1. HIV antibody screen
        2. Hepatitis C antibody
    3. Repeat HIV antibody screen and Hepatitis C antibody titers 12 weeks (90 days) post exposure and report results to the Academic & Clinical Educational Affairs office.
  3. Insurance
    1. The insurance is supplemental accident insurance and does not apply to sickness or illness. It does not substitute health insurance coverage required for enrollment.
    2. The supplemental insurance provides coverage after primary health insurance claim has been filed. Coverage applies while the student is enrolled in ‘active status’ and:
      1. Is participating in college courses, labs, and clinical training that is sponsored by ATSU;
      2. Is on premises designated and supervised by KCOM;
      3. Is on premises used for classes, labs or clinical training (clinical rotations); or
      4. While traveling with a group in connection with the activities under the direct supervision of ATSU.
    3. Travel to and from a curriculum activity is not covered.
    4. Steps for filing a claim:
      1. The student will file a claim to their personal health insurance (primary coverage).
      2. Student will complete a claim with the accident insurance coverage and return it to the Associate Dean of Academic & Clinical Educational Affairs for verification of enrollment.
      3. The Academic & Clinical Educational Affairs office will forward the completed claim form to the student.
      4. The student will forward the accident coverage claim form along with primary health insurance explanation of benefits (EOB), if available, billing statements, and supporting documents to the accident insurance provider.

Tuberculosis (TB) Exposure

Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly communicable disease that is carried in airborne participles or droplet nuclei. If a student is exposed to a patient with infectious Tuberculosis, the student will be tested at the time of the last exposure and retested according to CDC guidelines, typically 8—12 weeks later. Students with previously known positive Tuberculin Skin Test who have been exposed will not require a repeat Tuberculin Skin Test but will require a Quantiferon Gold test or chest x-ray.

A student with active TB will be excluded from school until they are no longer infectious. Before returning to school, the student must provide evidence of adequate therapy and three consecutive sputum Acid-Fast Bacillus smears that are negative or culture negative. After resuming school, the student will be required to provide evidence of continued maintenance on effective drug therapy per current CDC recommendation and negative sputum Acid-Fast Bacillus smear are culture negative. Students who discontinue treatment before the recommended course of therapy has been completed will be excluded from school until treatment is resumed and an adequate response to therapy is documented. Students with Tuberculosis at sites other than the lung or larynx, non-pulmonary tuberculosis (NPTB) usually do not need to be excluded from school if concurrent pulmonary Tuberculosis has been excluded.

Students receiving preventive treatment for Latent Tuberculosis Infection will be allowed to continue usual school activities. A student with Latent Tuberculosis Infection who cannot take or complete a full course of preventive therapy will be excluded from school. The student will be counseled about the risk of developing active Tuberculosis and will be instructed to seek evaluation promptly if symptoms develop that may be due to recurrence of Tuberculosis of Drug Resistance Tuberculosis (DRTB).

Clinical Rotation Conduct and Standards

In the event the Regional Assistant/Associate Dean (RAD) or Director of Student Medical Education (DSME) determine that a student may constitute a threat to the student’s personal welfare, fellow students, staff, or patients, the RAD/DSME has the authority to initiate interim suspension or immediate medical leave for the ATSU-KCOM student. The notification must be in writing and the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs must be notified immediately. Situations where such action may be necessary include, but are not limited to, substance abuse (alcohol and other drugs), medical or psychological illnesses, suspected illegal behavior, and suspected abuse (physical, sexual, or emotional). Once suspended, the student is no longer covered by the professional liability coverage provided by the University.  

Upon notification, the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs will initiate the proper review to expedite resolution of the interim status. The action of the RAD/DSME may be made permanent, or an alternate plan of action may be made in accordance with ATSU-KCOM and University policy.


An important aspect of the ATSU-KCOM DO program is the development of professional behaviors and role identity. 

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner at all times. Students on clinical rotations and in other professional settings are expected to dress professionally and appropriately for the environment. Honesty, compassion, integrity, confidentiality, accountability, respectfulness, altruism, and excellence are expected in all situations. In addition, students are expected to comply with institutional policies and procedures as well as city, county, state, and federal laws and regulations.

ATSU-KCOM considers breaches of professional conduct as academic deficiencies. Specifically, breaches in professionalism may demonstrate lack of progress toward and attainment of osteopathic core competencies (e.g., professionalism, interpersonal and communication skills).

Dress Code

For all real or simulated patient activities, students must maintain an appearance that demonstrates respect, trust, and credibility.  The reasons for appropriate attire include infection control, communication, and cultural sensitivity. Patient trust and confidence in their health care provider are essential for successful treatment experiences and outcomes.  All clothing should be neat, clean and of appropriate size and fit for the clinical setting. Good personal hygiene is expected. The student should confirm requirements for appropriate attire including, but not limited to, footwear, jewelry, hair, nails, fragrances, makeup, and identification badge(s) for each clinical setting/rotation.  Guidelines related to dress code are available in the KCOM Student Manual.

Class Rank

Class rank will be calculated for ATSU-KCOM DO students at the end of the fall and spring term for each of the first two years of medical school. Enrollment Services will notify students when the ranking is available for viewing on the CampusNexus Student Portal. ATSU-KCOM ranks students in quartiles.

  • Quartile 1: better than approximately three-quarters of the class
  • Quartile 2: better than approximately one-half of the class
  • Quartile 3: better than approximately one-quarter of the class
  • Quartile 4: lower than approximately three-quarters of the class

Graduation Requirements

Students in the DO program at ATSU-KCOM must meet the following requirements for graduation. Each student must have:

  • Been a student in an accredited osteopathic university or equivalent for at least four academic years.
  • Been enrolled in ATSU-KCOM during his or her final two years of education. Must complete, to the satisfaction of the faculty, prescribed courses and clinical rotations.
  • Passed the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, Inc. (NBOME) Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) Level 1, COMLEX Level 2 Cognitive Evaluation (CE), and COMLEX Level 2 Performance Evaluation (PE) prior to graduation.
  • Successfully complete all academic, administrative, and professional requirements for promotion.
  • Been approved by faculty vote for promotion to graduation.
  • Satisfactorily discharged of all financial obligations to the University.
  • Completed the ATSU-KCOM Exit Questionnaire “Senior Survey.”

Extended Academic Programs

In order to participate in commencement, students must have completed all clinical requirements prior to July 1 of their graduation year. Students with an extended academic program who are expected to complete all graduation requirements by December 31 of the graduation year, may participate in commencement. For students with extended academic programs, the official graduation date will be the last day that the student participates in coursework or the day following notification of passage of the final board examination required for graduation.

Academic Standards, Guidelines, and Requirements

Information about the academic standards, guidelines, and requirement for ATSU-KCOM students can be found here: KCOM Academic Standards .


The DO curriculum at ATSU-KCOM is systems-based, patient-oriented, and multiple innovative learning models have been adopted throughout its evolution. Each course has numerous presentation styles including problem-based sessions, case-based presentations, web-based instruction, and small-group labs, workshops, and other activities in the first and second years. Osteopathic theory and methods are taught throughout the first two years, integrated through an interdependent alignment with basic science and clinical courses. Courses in the first two years prepare the student for the curriculum expected during the clinical rotation experience. Clinical curriculum, including didactics, labs, workshops, and osteopathic manipulative medicine, is delivered to students in regional sites during the third and fourth years.

The DO curriculum is designed as a linear curriculum; that is, students should successfully complete the schedule of courses offered in sequence during their first and second years of matriculation. To proceed through the curriculum, students must demonstrate successful completion of each prior section and each course contained within the section. Failure to do so is subject to Student Promotion Board consideration.

First and second years

Early first semester is devoted to the foundation of basic medical sciences, and then students spend the remainder of first and second year learning clinical medicine and the evidence supporting it. ATSU-KCOM also includes clinical education courses and experiences as early as the first semester of the first year. The first year of study includes a clerkship with a primary care physician. Osteopathic theory and methods are taught concurrently with the basic science and clinical courses during the first and second years. Sitting for the COMLEX Level 1 exam is required before beginning clinical rotations.

Assessment during the first two years may include, but is not limited to, multiple-choice question exams, similar to the national board examinations that are comprehensive and integrated across content. In addition, performance assessment is used to assess student accomplishments, assess physical examination skills, osteopathic manipulation skills, interpersonal skills, and clinical skills. Many of the performance skills are assessed in ATSU-KCOM’s Performance Assessment Center and the Human Patient Simulation Center. In addition, standardized tests similar to the national board examinations are used during the first two years to assess the teaching program and provide feedback to students to help them prepare for their required national board exams.

During the last 94 weeks of the academic program, students participate in clinical rotations at regional sites. The selection of rotation sites is by a confirmation of an electronic match and utilization of a personal statement. This match is held during the second year, and there is opportunity for students to trade regional sites after the initial match.

Military students are strongly encouraged to participate in officer training prior to matriculation or during the first two years of medical education. Military students wishing to complete officer training during the third or fourth year may utilize elective time (equal to the number of weeks required by their respective branch – up to 6 weeks) for clinical requirements, as approved by the RAD/DSME and the Associate Dean of Academic & Clinical Educational Affairs. Students will complete the rotation report form and submit a copy of ‘orders’ to demonstrate confirmation of officer training. Upon receipt of documentation from the military program verifying completion, the course will be scored as pass/fail. The course will be documented on the student transcript as Elective-Military Officer Training Course.

Third and fourth years

Third year clinical rotations typically begin on the fifth Monday following June 30th. Each region prepares an on-site orientation in the weeks preceding the start of clinical rotations. Students must attend the on-site orientation for their region unless previously approved for an absence or for an alternative schedule by the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs or designee.

Paperwork required for each rotation must be signed, completed and submitted for all third and fourth year experiences at least 30 days prior to the start of the experience. Proper procedures and forms will be included in the regional orientation sessions. Paperwork includes but is not limited to Rotation Report Form, preceptor information and CV, hospital site information, updated audit/schedule, site application, site fee, provider agreement (if needed), and student personal health insurance.

Clinical rotations may not be divided into fewer weeks unless approved by the Associate Dean of Academic and Clinical Educational Affairs, Associate Dean of Curriculum, or Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs. Rotation interruptions may occur if a student is better positioned for success as a result of a split rotation, the rotation is interrupted by only one rotation, and the split rotation is also approved by the RAD/DSME.

Assessment of student learning during primary clinical rotations includes preceptor evaluations, NBOME COMAT examinations, and procedure logs. Students are also assessed on curriculum performance via an oral case presentation, written case presentations, online courses, log entries, and journal club presentations in year three of the program.

Student progress is assessed in the third year via a clinical skills performance assessment (PA-III) with standardized patient testing to assess physical examination skills, interpersonal skills, and clinical reasoning. Additionally, students take a comprehensive written examination assessing the knowledge base specified by the College’s Educational Objectives for primary rotations.

For the required rotations, the basic evaluation tools are the individual preceptor evaluation of a student’s performance on each rotation and performance on a written case presentation.

Students must complete logs on the electronic tracking program during each primary rotation. Logs should be completed as soon as practical after patient encounters (at least daily) for each of the primary rotations. Logs should represent the diversity and quantity of experiences encountered in a clinical rotation.

Students are responsible for working with the preceptor to assure that the Clinical Performance Evaluation Form is complete by the final day of the rotation or notifying the regional coordinator if the preceptor has not responded. Students are required to complete the Preceptor Evaluation and Clerkship Evaluation for primary preceptors within two weeks following the end of the rotation via the electronic evaluation system. Refer to the ATSU-KCOM Student Manual for further details.

Each region will have a series of scheduled education days. Attendance is required. Students should notify preceptors in advance if an education day is scheduled during their rotation period. Training programs may have didactic sessions with required student attendance. Details about schedules for these activities are found in the hospital Director of Medical Education (DME) office. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of this schedule and attend all required sessions. Responsibilities to the preceptor do not take precedence over required didactics.

Military students may schedule one four-week military rotation commitment as part of the third year primary rotation schedule. The military rotation/specialty must be equal to the primary rotation requirement. Post- rotation exams will be completed after returning to the region. Students must submit a request for military rotation substitution in writing to the Associate Dean of Academic & Clinical Educational Affairs. Students will receive notice in writing regarding the approval status of the request. Students should avoid scheduling a military rotation that will interfere with the PA-III testing and COMSAE exam dates. Military students may use all elective rotations for military rotations.

Students may obtain credit for mission trips. Mission trips completed as a component of a four-week rotation (completed as one continuous block) may be approved for credit pending review by the Associate Dean of Academic & Clinical Educational Affairs or designee. The same attending preceptor must accompany the student as part of the four-week experience. The mission trip may not exceed half of the scheduled time of the rotation. Students will receive clinical credit consistent with the entire four-week experience (e.g., pediatrics, surgery, etc.). The mission trip must be a clinical experience that includes patient care. Refer to the KCOM Student Manual for more information for credit and non-credit mission trips.


In order to advance in the program and graduate, Students are required to pass the COMLEX series of examinations including COMLEX Level 1, COMLEX Level 2PE, and COMLEX Level 2CE. Students are required to take each board examination during specific timeframes listed in the CMLX6500 and CMLX 7500 syllabi (unless special permission to deviate from the schedule is granted by the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs).  Failure to test within the specific timeframes without prior approval is a professional violation that may be referred to the KCOM Student Promotion Board for review.

COMLEX Level 1: Students must take assigned practice examinations as outlined in the syllabus for course COMLEX Level 1 Preparation (CMLX 6500) and meet specific thresholds prior to taking COMLEX Level 1. Students may require additional preparation time and more assessments based on student performance indicators.

COMLEX Level 2PE: Students must successfully complete PA-III prior to taking COMLEX Level 2PE. Students may require additional preparation time including remediation strategies.

COMLEX Level 2CE: Prior to taking COMLEX Level 2CE, students must take the assigned practice examinations and meet the specific thresholds outlined in the syllabus for course COMLEX Level 2 Preparation (CMLX7500).

Board Examination Eligibility

Within the NBOME system, students are made eligible for COMLEX Level 1 following successful completion of semesters 1 and 2 and passing marks in semester 3 of the program.  However, students must meet the threshold outlined in the syllabus for the assigned practice examination(s) or receive approval from the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs prior to testing.

Within the NBOME system, students are made eligible for COMLEX Level 2CE and Level 2PE following passage of COMLEX Level 1. However, students must pass PA-III prior to taking COMLEX Level 2PE and must meet the threshold outlined in the COMLX7500 course syllabus prior to taking COMLEX Level 2CE.  

Board Examination Failures

If a student fails a board examination, the student must inform the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and the RAD/DSME of the failure within 48 hours of notification. The Assistant Dean or designee will work with the student to create an individualized remediation plan including a testing deadline.  The plan may include time off from clinical rotations, a formal board preparation course at the student’s expense, independent board preparation, documentation of meeting the threshold of an approved practice examination, an on-campus remediation for failure of Level 2PE, or other appropriate strategies. The board failure will be reported to the KCOM Student Promotion Board.

If a student fails the same board examination twice or a second board examination, the student will be reviewed by the KCOM Student Promotion Board.  An individualized remediation plan will be developed under the direction of the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs. The student may be removed from clinical rotations until the board examination is passed.

In order to attend the commencement ceremony, students must have successfully completed all three COMLEX examinations listed herein by December 31 of the academic year in which the student will graduate. Class-specific information about COMLEX preparation and testing is contained in the Student Assessment Plan Summaries (specific for each graduating class year), the related course syllabi, and in the ATSU-KCOM Students Handbook located on the Google Drive.

Predoctoral Fellowship

Predoctoral fellowship positions are offered in the disciplines of anatomy, osteopathic manipulative medicine, and medical education. Fellows are involved in teaching and research.

Details concerning applications for these positions are available from the Medical Education office.

Postdoctoral Study

Contact the Still OPTI office for additional information about internship and residency training programs affiliated with ATSU-KCOM.

HIPAA and OSHA Training

Health Information Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) training and certification is required for all ATSU- KCOM DO students.

The training occurs three times during the four-year program. Training is offered electronically with specific completion deadlines. Completion is documented within CampusNexusStudent and is reflected on the Certification and Immunization document. It is the responsibility of the student to maintain up-to-date HIPAA and OSHA training throughout the entire duration of enrollment. Students who do not comply with training requirements may be subject to discipline including removal from clinical rotations, suspension, and review by the Student Promotion Board.

Descriptions and Credit Values

A typical course schedule consists of the following. Additional course options may be available and listed below under Other Courses.

Third Year

Fourth Year

  • 2 credit hours
  • 1 credit hour
  • Required Clinical Rotations:

    • Electives – 24 credit hours
    • REQD8518 - Critical Care/ICU - 4 credit hours
    • REQD8523 - Emergency Medicine - 4 credit hours
    • REQD8500 - Family Medicine - 4 credit hours
    • Discipline Selective (Orthopedics, Neurology, OMM, Physiatry, Radiology or Anesthesiology) - 6 credit hours
      • List of sample selective rotations available in the ATSU-KCOM Student Manual.
    • Life Cycle Selective (Pediatrics, Geriatrics or Women’s Health) - 4 credit hours
    • GME Preparation Selective (Board Preparation, Research, Academic Enrichment, Additional Elective Rotation) - 2 credit hours
    • Internal Medicine Selective – 4 credit hours
      • List of sample selective rotations available in the ATSU-KCOM Student Manual.
    • Internal Medicine or Surgery Selective – 4 credit hours 
      • List of sample selective rotations available in the ATSU-KCOM Student Manual.
  • 1 to 4 credit hours
  • 0.5 to 2 credit hours

Other Courses

  • Directed Studies – varies – credit varies: Directed studies may be required as assigned by the Dean, the Associate Dean of Curriculum, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, or ATSU-KCOM Student Promotion Board. Directed studies courses for third and fourth year students are available as ELEC 7300 and ELEC 8400 respectively at one credit hour per week for a total of four credit hours in a given academic year.
Preclinical Electives

As a general rule, no medical student may begin an elective course prior to the 11th week of the first semester. Specific information for elective courses (e.g., start-end dates, eligibility for enrollment, pre-requisite courses, course costs, syllabus, etc.) should be obtained by contacting the course director.

Clinical Rotations and Courses

Students are required to take 32 credit hours of core primary rotations and 14 credit hours of other courses for their third year. Students are required to take 56 credit hours of required rotations and three credit hours of other courses during their fourth year. Students may complete a maximum of eight weeks of elective rotations prior to completion of primary rotations, as approved by the region.

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