Although the majority of the states in the U.S. have medical schools, there are some that only have one or two options for those pursuing a career in medicine. This makes admissions even more competitive and dramatically reduces the chances of being admitted if the applicant is from another state. This is the case of Maine, which only has one medical school that grants D.O. degrees. However, the quality of education there is great, and the future of its physicians is full of job opportunities. Today we’ll review the main features of this medical school.

The Best Medical School in Maine

1. University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM)

The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM) was established in 1978. It is one of the few medical schools specializing in osteopathic medicine that appears in the U.S. News & World Report ranking.

UNECOM is within the top ten of medical schools for the number of graduates that matched with a residency program that was their first option and for scores obtained in levels 1, 2, and 3 of COMLEX-USA. This is the test taken for getting a medical license an osteopathic physician.

The main difference between physicians with an M.D. degree and a D.O. degree is that osteopathic professionals have a holistic approach. It focuses on illness prevention and is centered on patients. This is the reason why they usually practice and receive education in primary care specialties. Actually, 60% of the physicians from UNECOM work in a primary care specialty.

The D.O. curriculum in this medical school follows the same principles. The first two years comprise foundational coursework. It combines lectures, laboratory practices, sessions for solving problems, and clinical experiences with standardized patients.

During the third year, students must complete rotations in specific areas. These include internal medicine, surgery, psychiatry, pediatrics, among others. In the fourth year, students have more freedom. They must complete 4 weeks of clerkships in specific health areas but have 19 weeks to choose the specialties they prefer. They can complete rotations in centers located in Maine, in other states of the U.S., or abroad.

Although they don’t offer Ph.D. programs, you can go for a Master of Science in Medical Education Leadership (MMEL), which is offered in partnership with the Office of Medical Education at Maine Medical Center. Its main objective is to form the educators and leaders of the future. Besides MMEL, you can also go for a Master’s in Public Health.

As for admissions, in 2018 there were 2,500 applicants who were competing for 178 spots. Although it is the only medical school in Maine, UNECOM is private, and they warmly receive out-of-state students. 44% of the 178 students accepted weren’t from Maine.

Admissions are done through the AACOMAS online platform. They also accept international students, but the admission process will be different if you obtained your bachelor’s degree outside of the U.S. Go to their website to learn more!

In case you live in Maine but would prefer to obtain an M.D. degree, the Tufts University School of Medicine has a program called Maine Track MD. The university is located in Massachusetts, but students complete the majority of their education in Maine. They also offer up to 20 scholarships for accepted students.


I hope that this article on medical school in Maine was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!