May 29, 2024  
2018-19 ATSU University Catalog 
2018-19 ATSU University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Osteopathic Medicine, DO (KCOM)

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program (KCOM)

As the founding college of osteopathic medicine, KCOM 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 KCOM, incorporates early clinical experiences with didactic study in physical exam skills, cultural diversity, communication skills, spirituality in medicine, medical law, and ethics.

KCOM 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 KCOM’s national rotation regions.

KCOM 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 204 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 2021, year 1 $55,208.00 $1,150.00 $1,070.00
Class of 2020, year 2 $55,208.00 $1,150.00  
Class of 2019, year 3 $55,208.00 $1,150.00  
Class of 2018, year 4 $55,208.00 $1,150.00  


Application process

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:
    • 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. 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 KCOM must be made to the Admissions department.  Applicants must currently be enrolled in medical school and cannot previously have been rejected by 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 KCOM.  In the case of LCME transfers, the 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. (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 for Academic and Clinical Educational Affairs, Vice President for Student Affairs, Assistant Vice President for Admissions, and a basic science or clinical faculty member.

Following an academic report (credit evaluation) by the Associate Dean for 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

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. KCOM prides itself on developing physicians who focus on whole person healthcare and community service, and looks for students who also hold these values. 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 KCOM receive priority consideration in the selection process. Applicants must qualify for selection as per the agreement established between KCOM and the specific institution.

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 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 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 (TSU) and ATSU-KCOM. Selected students in TSU’s Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Science or BS in Exercise Science programs will begin their first year in the KCOM DO program after completing their third year at TSU.

TSU 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 TSU 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, KCOM secondary application, and provide letters of recommendation
  9. Follow the Pre-Med/Med Accelerated Track three year sequence of courses at TSU
  10. Satisfy all TSU 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 TSU 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 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 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 (KCOM) is committed to equal access for all qualified applicants and students.  Minimal Technical Standards for Matriculation (the “Standards”) state expectations of KCOM 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.

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 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.

Additional Information

Examples of associated standards are listed in some detail at the following link:  Categories, standards, and examples mentioned at the link serve for purposes of demonstration and are not intended as a complete list of resources.

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 for 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

Academic Appeals

The individual professional and graduate programs of ATSU, through their faculty and established school procedures, retain principal responsibility for assessing student performance.  Disputes concerning unsatisfactory progress evaluations should be reconciled through the processes and procedures described under the DO and MS in Biomedical Sciences programs individually.  Additional guidelines regarding academic appeals, including grade appeals, promotion, and/or dismissal appeals will be found within the ATSU Policies section, Academic Appeals policy .

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, factulty, 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.

The Dean appoints the Student Promotion Board.  The Board is chaired by the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs 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 will be the Associate Dean for Academic and Clinical Educational Affairs, Associate Dean for Curriculum, Vice President for 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 for Academic Affairs to request an alternate be present to hear the student case.

To evaluate student progress, the Student Promotion Board will be convened by the Assistant Dean for 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.  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 complete third and fourth year assignments, and failure to perform successfully in clinical rotations.

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 for Academic Affairs, Associate Dean for Academic and Clinical Educational Affairs, or Associate Dean for 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 for 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 calendar 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 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 Associate Dean for Academic and Clinical Educational Affairs or the Dean. The successful remediation of an academic course will be identified by a notation (70R) on the student’s transcript.

Class Rank

Class rank will be calculated for 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. 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 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 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.
  • Successfull 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 KCOM Exit Questionnaire “Senior Survey.”
  • Attended, in person, the 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.

Academic Standards, Guidelines, and Requirements


Required attendance activities are denoted on the student calendar. Students are encouraged to attend all academic activities to optimize their learning.  Please see the ATSU Policies section of this catalog for the University policy on student absences.  In addition to the University policy, KCOM offers 3 personal days and 3 conference presentation days annually for DO students.  

Students may also request an excused absence for a medical reason.  All absence requests for first and second year students should be made on the appropriate form (Excused Absence Request-Personal or Conference Day (Non-Medical) or Excused Absence Request-Medical) to the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs in person or via email at  For third and fourth year students, the forms should be submitted to the RAD/DSME.

Personal Days

Students are allowed up to 3 personal days per academic year where scheduled required activities may be made up (if the exercise is reproducible). Personal days cannot be divided into portions. Any portion of a day requested will count as an entire day off. Personal day use for high-stake exams (e.g., section exams, practicals, finals) will be limited and require advance approval by the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. Each student is responsible for their own academic progress.

Examples of personal day use include:

  • Religious observations
  • Wellness exams
  • Elective medical procedures
  • ATSU/KCOM club representation at regional/national meetings
  • Weddings

Examples of absences not counted as personal days:

  • Medical excused absences (with proper documentation – please use the medical excused absence form)
  • Absences to attend funerals (please use the non-medical excused absence form).
  • Absences for required activities as a result of school sanctioned leadership positions (e.g. SGA president, KOAA board representative, etc.)
  • Absences for reasons beyond the control of students (e.g., weather, flight cancellations) will be considered. If approved, a personal day will not be used.

Conference Presentations

Students may be approved for an excused absence for up to three days to travel to and attend a meeting or conference during which the student is making a scholarly presentation.  The student may be required to submit proof of acceptance to present.

Hipaa Training

Health Information Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) training and certification is required for all KCOM DO students.

Clinical Rotation Conduct and Standards

In the event the RAD or DSME determines that a student may constitute a threat to the student’s personal welfare, fellow students, staff, or patients, the RAD or DSME shall have authority to initiate interim temporary suspension or immediate medical leave for KCOM students.  Once suspended, the student is no longer covered by University policy (liability coverage, etc.).  This notification must be in writing, and the Associate Dean for Academic and Clinical Educational Affairs must be notified immediately of such action.  Possible situations where such action may be necessary include the following:

  • Substance abuse (alcohol & other drugs)
  • Medical or psychological illnesses
  • Suspected illegal behavior
  • Suspected physical, sexual, or emotional abuse

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

In accordance with policy, the RAD or DSME may initiate review for suspected violation of the academic or behavioral codes.  The initial step in the process will be notification of the Associate Dean for Academic and Clinical Educational Affairs.

Additional policies and protocols affecting students in the regions are located in the Regional Procedure Manual and the Clinical Educational Rotations Manual located on the Clinical Educational Affairs web page of the ATSU portal (both manuals are updated annually).


The DO curriculum at 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. KCOM also includes clinical education courses and experiences as early as the first quarter 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-USA 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 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.

Third and fourth years

Student progress is assessed in a comprehensive exam at the end of the third year. This comprehensive assessment process includes a written knowledge examination and performance evaluation to assess specific clinical skills, in addition to interpersonal and clinical reasoning skills.

Assessment during a student’s core clinical rotations includes, but is not limited to, preceptor evaluations, end-of-rotation exams, and an end-of-year performance assessment. This includes an objective examination assessing the knowledge base specified by the College’s Educational Objectives for the core rotations, clinical skills performance assessment specified for core rotations, and standardized patient testing to assess interpersonal skills and clinical reasoning.

In addition, students are assessed on curriculum performance in oral case presentation, written case presentation, online modules, log entries, and journal club presentations.

For the post-core rotations (fourth year), the basic evaluation tools are the individual preceptor evaluation of a student’s performance on each rotation and performance on a written case presentation.


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 must take specific COMSAEs 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. Students must successfully complete PAIII  prior to taking COMLEX Level 2PE.  Students may require additional preparation time including remediation strategies.  Prior to taking COMLEX Level 2CE, students must take the assigned COMSAE.  

If a student fails a board examination, the student must inform the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs of the failure within 48 hours of notification.  Students must have successfully completed all three COMLEX examinations listed herein by December 31 of their graduation year. Class-specific information about COMLEX preparation and testing is contained in the Student Assessment Plan Summaries (specific for each graduating class year) on the KCOM Students and the Academic and Clinical Educational Affairs web pages located on the ATSU portal.

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 Medical Education.

Postdoctoral Study

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


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 Core & Elective Rotations

  • 2 credit hours
  • 2 credit hours
  • Anesthesiology – 2 credit hours
  • Cognitive Assessment – 1 credit hour
  • Electives – 8 credit hours
  • Family Medicine – 8 credit hours
  • Health Systems & Communications Assessment – 4 credit hours
  • Internal Medicine – 8 credit hours
  • OB/GYN – 4 credit hours
  • Pediatrics – 4 credit hours
  • Performance Assessment – 1 credit hour
  • Psychiatry – 4 credit hours
  • Radiology – 2 credit hours
  • Surgery – 4 credit hours

Fourth-Year Required, Selective, and Elective Rotations

  • 2 credit hours
  • Electives – 14 credit hours
  • Internal Medicine Selective – 4 credit hours
  • Internal Medicine or Surgery Selective – 4 credit hours
  • Lifecycle Selective – 4 credit hours
  • Required Critical Care/ICU – 4 credit hours
  • Required Emergency Medicine – 4 credit hours
  • Required Family Medicine – 4 credit hours
  • Required Orthopedics, Neurology, OMM or Physiatry – 4 credit hours
  • Written Case Study – 1 credit hour

Other Courses

  • Directed Studies – varies – credit varies: Directed studies may be required as assigned by the Dean or the Associate Dean of Curriculum.

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.


Students are required to take 54 credit hours of core and elective rotations (or 44 weeks) for their third year.

Students are required to take 45 credit hours of core and elective rotations (or 42 weeks) during their fourth year.