Apr 14, 2024  
2021-2022 University Catalog 
2021-2022 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Osteopathic Medicine, DO (KCOM)

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 sub-specialties 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 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) excluding periods during which the student is not enrolled in the program. 

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. For more information on Student Account Collection, please reference ATSU Policy #50-112 within the Financial Policies  section of this catalog.

Class/Year Tuition Student Technology Fee Medical Equipment Fee
Class of 2025, year 1 $58,854 $1,150 $1,078
Class of 2024, year 2 $58,854 $1,150  
Class of 2023, year 3 $58,854 $1,150  
Class of 2022, year 4 $58,854 $1,150  


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 www.aacom.org or from AACOMAS at 7700 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 250, Betesda, MD 20814, 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 www.atsu.edu, or email inquiries may be sent to admissions@atsu.edu.

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 504 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.
  9. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  10. Applicants must be fluent in the oral and written use of English. 

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 Clinical 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 Curriculum, 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 ATSU-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:

  • Dillard University
  • Doane University
  • Elmhurst College
  • Greenville University
  • Langston University
  • MCPHS University
  • Missouri S&T
  • Missouri State University
  • Northwest Missouri State University
  • Rockhurst University (In Progress)
  • Southeast Missouri State University
  • St. Xavier University (In Progress)
  • Truman State University
  • Westminster College
  • William Jewell College

For more information on the Still Scholars Early Acceptance Program, please contact residential admissions at admissions@atsu.edu 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 504 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 7700 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 250, Bethesda, MD 20814, phone: 301.968.4190, www.aacom.org
  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 ATSU-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: Minimal Technical Standards of the KCOM DO program

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, disabilityresources@atsu.edu, 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 disabilityresources@atsu.edu.

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.
  • Completed the ATSU-KCOM Exit Questionnaire “Senior Survey.”
  • Attended, in person, a commencement program at which time the degree is conferred.

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.

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

Physical Health Services

Each medical student is strongly encouraged to establish a relationship with and utilize the services of a primary care provider for comprehensive healthcare as well as for the acute care of illness. Each student must sign an attestation stating that any physician caring for him or her via a therapeutic relationship or for sensitive health services will not be involved in the grading or assessment as they proceed through medical school. A therapeutic relationship is defined as either ongoing provision of healthcare services (more than two interactions) or any health care services involving “sensitive health services.” Sensitive health services include but are not limited to, psychiatric/psychological counseling, substance abuse, and sexually transmitted diseases. If a student elects to establish a therapeutic relationship with a faculty member or resident or seeks to obtain health care services involving ‘sensitive health services’, that health care provider is precluded from any evaluation role for that student (irrespective of the wishes of the medical student) for a two-year period because of a dual-relationship and potential conflict of interest issues.

ATSU requires all students enrolled in a residential program to maintain active health insurance coverage in order to readily access diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic healthcare in all regions where training occurs. See Health Insurance requirements in the ATSU Policies  section. 

ATSU-KCOM maintains specific immunization and screening requirements of matriculants, students, and fellows with reporting and monitoring requirements maintained by the immunization coordinator in the Clinical Affairs office.  

Mental Health Counseling Services 

Mental health services are available to all ATSU-KCOM students 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from all locations via the Well-Connect Program:

  • Online information and resources at www.wellconnectbysrs.com
  • Or by telephone: 866-640-4777
  • Student Access Code: ATSU-STU
  • Faculty Access Code: ATSU-FAC  

See the Behavioral Health & Wellness Counseling page for more details on counseling services. For more information on counseling services in the clinical regions see the ATSU-KCOM Student Manual. 

Career Counseling

ATSU-KCOM provides career counseling to all students predominantly via the Academic Affairs office with assistance and collaborative efforts across the university. A variety of career counseling activities are available including:

  • Student success forums in years 1 and 2
  • Specialty introductions by physician faculty
  • Optional small group sessions related to board examination preparation and positioning for residency
  • Networking with residency programs
  • On-going monitoring and advising for board examinations
  • Small group career planning session (required)
  • Regional video meetings
  • Couples residency match planning
  • Technical assistance with curriculum vitae and personal statements
  • MSPE preparation and review
  • On-going monitoring and advising through the residency application process
  • Technical assistance for unmatched students  

Students may request career counseling via the ATSU-KCOM Academic Affairs office.

Academic Standards


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 ATSU-KCOM Student Manual.

Clinical Rotation Conduct

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 immediately remove the student from clinical rotations and/or from the academic environment. The notification must be in writing and the Associate 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 removed, the student is no longer covered by the professional liability coverage provided by the University.  

Upon notification, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs will initiate the proper review to expedite resolution of the interim status. Action will be made in accordance with ATSU-KCOM and University policy.

Supervision in the Clinical Environment

While in the clinical training portion of the academic program, medical students are assigned a regional assistant dean and/or a director of student medical education to oversee their overall learning and professional development. Students may only participate in clinical rotations in hospitals, facilities or with preceptors where a formal affiliation agreement, letter of agreement or contract with ATSU-KCOM is in place. For each clinical rotation, a preceptor of record provides and assures supervision in the clinical setting. 

While in clinical learning situations involving patient care, medical students must have direct, on-premises supervision by a licensed healthcare professional. Direct supervision includes:

  • Physically present – licensed healthcare professional is located in the same room as the student when patient care is rendered.
  • Immediately available – licensed healthcare professional is located in the facility and immediately available to be physically present. 

The Preceptor of Record must be a credentialed, licensed, board certified or eligible physician (AOA/ABMS) who has been appointed to the ATSU-KCOM faculty to oversee student learning including oversight in the clinical environment as well as a formal review of student performance in the clinical rotation. Students may also work with other licensed physicians and licensed healthcare professionals while on clinical rotations. See the ATSU-KCOM Student Manual for additional information. 

Injuries and Accidents on Clinical Rotations

Any student who sustains an injury or bloodborne pathogen exposure while on clinical rotations must notify their RAD/DSME and regional coordinator as soon as possible and follow the processes herein and in the ATSU-KCOM Student Manual.

In the event the injury involves exposure to bloodborne pathogens, notify the clinical site’s occupational medical staff immediately and follow their protocol for bloodborne exposure. A needle-stick protocol checklist and post-exposure guidelines are provided in the ATSU-KCOM Student Manual and on the ATSU-KCOM app for rapid reference.

Follow these steps if you have an injury (including a needle-stick injury) while on a rotation:

  1. Notify your supervising physician immediately.
  2. Seek appropriate care:
    1. Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure: Follow the clinical site’s protocol for risk evaluation and post-exposure prophylaxis. This information can be obtained through the Emergency Department or the Risk Management Department.
    2. Other injury: Seek medical attention, as needed. Follow your clinical site’s risk management protocol for reporting and treatment.
  3. Notify the ATSU-KCOM Clinical Affairs office, your RAD/DSME, and your regional coordinator immediately or as soon as possible, and follow the processes on the ATSU-KCOM Student Manual.
  4. Keep one complete set of documents for your personal records (medical record, incident report, data) and give the incident report and confirmation that you followed the clinical site’s post-exposure guidelines to your RAD/DSME or regional coordinator. You do not have to provide personal medical information to the RAD/DSME or regional coordinator. However, you are required to provide documentation that you sought medical advice and any required treatment following national health guidelines.

Use your health insurance to cover any medical expenses incurred as a result of an injury at clinical sites. ATSU has purchased accident insurance and needle-stick coverage that may help to defer the cost of needle-stick injury or exposure to bloodborne pathogens. For more information on the accident insurance and needle-stick coverage, see the ATSU-KCOM Student Manual.

Safety Issues on Clinical Rotations

Every site should have a disaster plan directing individuals’ actions in the event of an emergency (i.e. tornado, violence at the site, etc.). In the event of an emergency follow the site’s emergency plan and the direction of your site supervisor. As soon as it is safe and feasible, please notify ATSU-KCOM administration regarding your status.

Students are required to become familiar with the safety procedures established in each clinical facility. As in every situation, especially when one is in an unfamiliar environment, it is prudent to maintain good situational awareness and to be cognizant of surroundings.

Professional Liability, Supplemental Accident, and Disability Insurance Coverage

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.
  • ATSU-sponsored experiences. All appropriate 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.

Supplemental Accident Insurance

The insurance is supplemental accident insurance and does not apply to sickness or illness.  It does not substitute health insurance coverage required for enrollment. The supplemental accident insurance provides coverage after a 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 ATSU-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.

Travel to and from a curriculum activity is not covered.

Steps for filing a claim:

  1. The student will file a claim to their personal health insurance (primary coverage).
  2. The student will complete a claim with the accident insurance coverage and return it to the Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs for verification of enrollment.
  3. The Clinical 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.

Disability Insurance

ATSU students enrolled in residential clinical-based programs are required to carry University-provided disability insurance coverage. See the ATSU Student Handbook for more information on disability insurance

ATSU-KCOM Attendance Policy & Guidelines

Information about the attendance for ATSU-KCOM students can be found here: KCOM Attendance Policy and Guidelines .

ATSU-KCOM Student Promotion Board

The responsibility of the ATSU-KCOM 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 administrators, 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 assignments and assessments, or failure to perform successfully in clinical rotations.


The Dean appoints the Student Promotion Board. The Board is chaired by the Associate 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 Clinical 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 and have not provided sensitive health services to the student. If such a relationship exists, the physician shall alert the Associate 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 Associate 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 (students may waive the two business day notice, if desired). 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 Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs, or Associate Dean of Curriculum prior to the commencement of the meeting of the Student Promotion Board. Professional dress is expected (without white coat).


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 Associate 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 Associate 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 Associate 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 Associate Dean of Academic Affairs or designee. The successful remediation of an academic course will be identified by a notation (RC) on the student’s transcript.

HIPAA and OSHA Training

Health Information Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the 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.


To advance through the osteopathic medicine program and graduate, students are required to pass the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) COMLEX-USA series of examinations including COMLEX Level 1, COMLEX Level 2 Performance Evaluation (PE), and COMLEX Level 2 Cognitive Evaluation (CE). Students are required to take each board examination during specific time frames listed in the Student Assessment Plan Summaries and CMLX6500 and CMLX 7500 syllabi (unless special permission to deviate from the schedule is granted by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs). Failure to test within the specific time frames without prior approval may be reviewed as a professionalism violation with potential referral to the ATSU-KCOM Student Promotion Board.

In order to attend the commencement ceremony, students must have successfully completed COMLEX Level 1, Level 2CE and Level 2PE by December 31 of the academic year in which the student will graduate. (unless special permission to deviate from this requirement is granted by the ATSU-KCOM Dean).

COMLEX Level 1: Students must take assigned practice examinations as outlined in the syllabus for course COMLEX Level 1 Preparation (CMLX 6500). Students may require additional preparation time and more assessments based on student performance indicators. ATSU-KCOM representatives will make students eligible for COMLEX Level 1 within the NBOME system following successful completion of semesters 1 and 2 and having earned passing marks in semester 3 of the program. 

COMLEX Level 2PE: Students must successfully complete COMLEX Level 1 and Performance Assessment-III (PA-III) prior to taking COMLEX Level 2PE. Students may require additional preparation time including remediation strategies. ATSU-KCOM representatives will administer student eligibility for COMLEX Level 2 PE within the NBOME system after notice of successful passage of COMLEX Level 1 has been received.

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). ATSU-KCOM representatives will administer student eligibility for COMLEX Level 2 CE within the NBOME system after notice of successful passage of COMLEX Level 1 has been received.

For all COMLEX exams, students must schedule, pay for, and take them within the approved testing windows.

Board Examination Failures

If a student fails a board examination, the student must inform the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and the RAD/DSME of the failure within 48 hours of notification. The Associate 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, on campus remediation for failure of Level 2PE, or other appropriate strategies. The Associate Dean of Academic Affairs will report the board failure to the ATSU-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 ATSU-KCOM Student Promotion Board. The board has the authority to impose supports and discipline as well as dismiss the student from the program. If the board votes to dismiss the student from the program, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs will notify the student within 24 hours. If the board votes to allow the student to retake the board examination:

  • An individualized remediation plan will be developed under the direction of the ATSU-KCOM Student Promotion Board and the administration of the Academic Affairs office.
  • Some individualized remediation plans will require the student be removed from all clinical experiences until the student retakes and/or passes the previously failed board examination.

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 Student Manual.

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.


Information on ATSU-KCOM curriculum can be found here: ATSU-KCOM Curriculum 


Descriptions and Credit Values

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

Preclinical Electives

Other Courses

  • Directed Studies – varies – credit varies: Directed studies may be required as assigned by the Dean, the Associate Dean of Curriculum, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, or ATSU-KCOM Student Promotion Board. 

Third Year

Clinical Rotations and Courses - Third Year

Students are required to take 32 credit hours of Foundations 1 rotations and 15 credit hours of other courses for their third year.

Fourth Year

Clinical Electives

Clinical Rotations and Courses - Fourth Year

Students are required to take 56 credit hours of required rotations and three credit hours of other courses during their fourth year. In addition to the Clinical Elective courses listed above, a list of Foundations 2 and other Clinical Electives are available in the ATSU-KCOM Student Manual.