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SAA Dictionary

A cheat sheet for all of those terms and acronyms your student will be using!
AOA American Osteopathic Association: the governing board of the osteopathic profession and
internship/residency programs.
Osteopathic Medicine: Osteopathic medicine is one of the fastest-growing segments of health care in
the country. Osteopathic physicians, or DOs, practice a "whole-person" approach to health care
and receive special training in the musculoskeletal system.
AMA American Medical Association: the governing board of the allopathic profession.
Allopathic Medicine: term used to describe MDs and practices governed by the American Medical
Association (AMA).
ACGME American College of Graduate Medical Education: the governing board of traditionally
allopathic internship and residency programs. DO students are eligible to participate in either
osteopathic or allopathic residency training.
AAOA Advocates to the American Osteopathic Association: a national organization of supporters
(typically spouses or significant others) of osteopathic physicians, residents, and students. Groups are
broken down by state.
TOMA Texas Osteopathic Medical Association: our states osteopathic medical association. Made up of
physicians, residents, and medical students. Works to support and provide for the profession through
legislation, financial support, and awareness.
ATOMA Advocates to the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association: our states advocacy chapter. Each
state typically has an advocacy chapter that supports their state-level osteopathic medical association.
IRAA Intern/Resident Advocates Association: a national organization of supporters (typically spouses or
significant others) of osteopathic residents and interns. Groups are broken down by state or district (for
larger states).
SAA Student Advocate Association: a national organization of supporters (typically spouses or significant
others) of osteopathic medical students. Groups are broken down by school.
Internship: the first year of training post-medical school. Also referred to as PGY-1. For primary care
programs, this is completed at the same place as the rest of your residency. Some specialties require that
you complete a separate internship year before being eligible for their advanced programs.
Residency: common phrase for post-medical school training that refers to the years after your students
internship year. The number of years is dependent on the specialty.
Fellowship: additional specialized training that may be completed after your students internship and
residency. Typically one or two years of additional training.
Didactic Years: term used to define years one and two of medical school. These years are spent largely
in the classroom focusing on the major systems of the body, as well as anatomy and physiology.
OMM Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine: a course taught to osteopathic medical students that focuses
on the manipulation of the musculoskeletal system.
COMLEX (www.nbome.org): board examinations required for graduation for osteopathic medical students.
Students will take COMLEX Level I in between second and third year, COMLEX-CE (Cognitive Exam) during
third year, and COMLEX-PE (Physical Exam) also during third year (recommended after completion of
family medicine rotation). Registration fees (as of October 2013): COMLEX Level I: $550; COMLEX-CE:

$550; COMLEX-PE: $1210. The COMLEX-PE is only offered in Conshohocken, PA, and your student will be
responsible for travel costs.
USMLE (www.usmle.org): board examination required for graduation for allopathic medical students, and
recommended for osteopathic students who are considering an allopathic residency program. USMLE Step I
is taken in between second and third year, and Step II is taken early in fourth year. Registration fees (as of
October 2013): Step I: $560; Step II: $560.
Clinical Years: term used to define years three and four of medical school. These years are spent in area
clinics/hospitals. Schedules and experiences will vary greatly depending on your students resident and
attending physicians. These years can be spent in Dallas/Fort Worth, Longview, Conroe, or Corpus Christi.
ROME (rural program) students will spend all of third year, and the majority of fourth year outside of the
D/FW area. Third year is largely set by the school and gives students the opportunity to rotate in each of
the major specialties (Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Psychiatry, OMM, OB/Gyn, and
Pediatrics). Fourth year is determined by your student and the specialty they have chosen. They will have
the opportunity to take a study month and an interview month, as well as four months for audition
rotations. They will have two months that are set by the school one for geriatrics and one for emergency
medicine. Other than that, they will set their schedule using the VSAS system.
VSAS Visiting Student Application Service (https://www.aamc.org/students/medstudents/vsas/): this is
the system used by medical students to plan their fourth year rotations. Fees are based on the number of
institutions to which your student applies.
Audition Rotation: completed during the fourth year of medical school. These two- or four-week
rotations serve as an audition to residency programs to which your student is considering applying. They
are not mandatory, but suggested for the more competitive specialties. Housing and travel costs are the
responsibility of the student.
ERAS Electronic Residency Application System (https://www.aamc.org/students/medstudents/eras/): the
system that fourth-year medical students use to apply to allopathic and osteopathic residency programs.
Similar to TMDSAS (used to apply to Texas medical schools), this is a comprehensive application service
that is used by almost all internship and residency programs. This is a central repository for your students
application, personal statements, and letters of recommendation. Fees are based on the specialty and
governing board (AOA vs. ACGME) to which your student is applying.
NRMP National Resident Matching Program (http://www.nrmp.org/): the system that fourth-year medical
students use to rank allopathic (MD) residency programs that they have applied to and interviewed at. For
the Class of 2014, registration opened on September 15 th and the deadline for regular registration ($60) is
November 30th. After the 30th, a $50 late fee will be applied.
NMS National Matching Service (https://natmatch.com/aoairp/): the system that fourth-year medical
students use to rank osteopathic (DO) residency programs that they have applied to and interviewed at.
For the Class of 2014, registration opened on June 1 and the recommended deadline to register ($60) is
November 1st.
Match Day: the day that students who have applied to, interviewed at, and ranked residency programs
find out where they will be completing their internship and residency! Military match is in December,
osteopathic match is in February, and allopathic match is in March. For allopathic match, you will find our
whether or not you matched on Monday and then find out where you matched on Friday. For students who
do not match into a residency program on Monday, SOAP (Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program)
takes place Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of Match Week to allow them time to find a residency spot.
Happy Note: Historically, EVERYONE has a residency spot by graduation
GME Graduate Medical Education: term used to describe the training years post-medical school
(internship, residency, and fellowship). Instead of being an OMS-I or OMS-IV, your student will be referred
to as being in PGY-I or PGY-III, etc.

FRIEDA (https://freida.ama-assn.org/Freida/eula.do): a database with over 9,400 graduate medical


education programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, as well as
over 100 combined specialty programs. Good tool for researching allopathic internship/residency
programs.
AOA Opportunities (http://opportunities.osteopathic.org/): an online database with AOA-approved
graduate medical education programs.
Good tool for researching osteopathic internship/residency
programs.