Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions by prospective TCOM students:

How many students does TCOM admit each year?
We usually plan to have approximately 230 first-year students. Since we’re a state-supported medical school, we’re required to fill at least 90% of our seats in each incoming class for Texas residents. The remaining 10% are open to non-residents.

What’s TCOM’s minimum GPA for admission? What about MCAT scores?
We don’t use a minimum cutoff score in these two categories. Grade point averages and MCAT scores are only two of the factors we use in evaluating our applicants. However, we do expect applicants to have better than a B average in their prerequisite course work. The most recent entering class statistics are available here.

When will I be notified about a decision on my application?
Notification is typically sent in accordance to a schedule agreed upon by the state-supported medical schools through the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service. A schedule for admission notifications is available on this web site.

Does TCOM have an Early Decision Program?
Yes, we offer early admission to applicants who have outstanding credentials. You must apply only to TCOM. You must submit your completed application by August 1. Decisions will be sent by October 1. Information for Early Decision is available here.

What if this a second career for me? Can I still go into medicine?
Absolutely. We have always accepted qualified non-traditional students. We think their attitudes and life experiences enhance and strengthen the medical school experience for everyone. You aren’t required to have a degree in any premedical field, but you must have completed the appropriate course prerequisite requirements for admission.

How does an osteopathic (D.O.) school differ from an allopathic (M.D.) school?
The key distinction is in a philosophical approach to medicine that “takes care of people, not just symptoms.” Osteopathic medical students are trained to not only to treat illness, but examine a number of different aspects of a patient’s life, including lifestyle and environment. In addition, America’s osteopathic medical schools instruct students on the use of osteopathic manipulative treatment.

In general, the medical sciences portions of an osteopathic medical school and an allopathic medical school do not differ in terms of content.

How do TCOM students perform on national board exams?
TCOM students are required to pass the  Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) Levels 1 and 2 to graduate.  Overall, students perform extremely well on this exam.  Data of our pass rates are available online here.

Are there research opportunities for TCOM students?
Yes, students have a number of options available to them to conduct research while attending TCOM.  During the summer between the first and second year, a summer research program is available with a number of faculty mentors here on campus.  Students who have an interest in pediatrics have the opportunity to complete a research program with Cook Children’s Medical Center located in Fort Worth.  Also, an honors research elective is offered to medical students during their second year of study.

Students who have an interest in pursuing a research-oriented career path may have an interest in completing the dual DO/PhD program which takes approximately six to seven years to complete.

What core clinical rotations do TCOM students complete?
TCOM students are required to complete the following clinical rotations:

  • Introduction to Core Clerkships – 2 weeks
  • Family Medicine – 8 weeks
  • Internal Medicine – 8 weeks
  • Surgery – 6 weeks
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology – 4 weeks
  • Pediatrics – 4 weeks
  • Manipulative Medicine – 4 weeks
  • Psychiatry – 4 weeks
  • Emergency Medicine – 4 weeks
  • Geriatrics – 4 weeks
  • Patient Safety – 2 weeks
  • Professional Identity and Health Systems Practice – Year-Long Course

In addition, students have the opportunity to complete nine (9) elective rotations for 36 weeks. Rural scholars have different requirements.

Where do TCOM students complete their clinical rotations?
TCOM uses a statewide network of hospitals and clinics to complete core rotations.  Below is a list of our affiliated sites and satellite campuses for third-year clinical rotations.

Affiliated Sites (Location):

  • Cook Children’s Medical Center (Fort Worth)
  • Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital (Fort Worth)
  • John Peter Smith (JPS) Health Network (Fort Worth and Tarrant County)
  • Methodist Dallas Medical Center (Dallas)
  • Medical City Fort Worth (Fort Worth)
  • Driscoll Children’s Hospital (Corpus Christi)

Satellite Campuses (Location):

  • Bay Area Medical Center and Christus Spohn Health System, Corpus Christi, TX
  • Texoma Medical Center, Denison, TX
  • Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center, Longview, TX
  • Midland Memorial Hospital, Midland, TX

How do TCOM students perform in the residency match programs?
TCOM graduates have done extremely well in the residency match process with the majority of graduates staying in Texas to complete their training.

Approximately 60% of any given class will enter a primary care residency (family medicine, internal medicine obstetrics & gynecology, or pediatrics) while nearly 40% choose to enter a specialty residency program.  Such specialties have included anesthesiology, emergency medicine, pathology, psychiatry, radiology, and surgery to name a few.

A summary of our match data by specialty is available here: TCOM Residency Placement Data

How is TCOM’s curriculum formatted?
TCOM uses a modified integrated systems approach. The curriculum is divided into systems. During year one, each system’s anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and other basic sciences are taught together to help students develop a more integrated understanding of its function. At the same time, students work individually and in groups on clinical topics relating to the system. Osteopathic clinical courses are also taught throughout the first two years.

During year two, students are taught primarily through patient presentations.  There are over 100 patient presentations used to study approximately 1,000 different diseases.  Through this approach, students are able to integrate basic medical knowledge through a more clinically relevant approach.

The last two years are devoted primarily to clinical rotations. Students complete a number of core clinical rotations in different specialties including family medicine, surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry, internal medicine, obstetrics & gynecology, emergency medicine, and geriatrics. Most core rotations are completed in one of our affiliated hospitals and clinics.  Students also have the opportunity to complete elective rotations in hospitals and clinics located throughout the United States.

Can students complete international rotations?
Yes, students can currently complete an elective rotation in Malawi, Thailand or Russia.  Other clinical rotations are also available through various organizations outside of the school.

What kind of support programs are offered to assist TCOM students?
There are a number of academic, counseling, professional development, and social outlets available to promote student success at TCOM. The Center for Academic Performance (CAP) provides tutoring and other academic support functions.  Each entering student is assigned to one of six advisory colleges.  The advisory colleges offer a network and faculty-student and student-student mentoring covering a wide range of wellness and professional development topics.