Curriculum Overview

Edward Via
College of Osteopathic Medicine
An Overview of the
Preclinical Curriculum
M. Renee Prater, DVM, MS, PhD
Spring, 2014
The mission of VCOM
“…is to prepare globally minded, community-focused physicians
for the rural and medically underserved areas of Virginia, North
Carolina, South Carolina and the Appalachian Region, and to
improve human health especially of those most in need.”
Years 1 and 2: Blocks vs. Semesters
Our main goal is to provide
an integrated pre-clinical
curriculum to prepare our
students for a career in
osteopathic medicine, with
primary care focus.
To accomplish this, we use
interdisciplinary blocks
based on body systems,
rather than semesters
based on disciplines.
Most Med Schools teach by discipline in
This makes “connecting the dots” difficult
We have developed an integrated preclinical
curriculum, based on the organ systems
Block 1: Foundations
Professionalism and Ethics
Introduction to Principles of Primary Care
This helps get the whole class “on the same page”, despite their undergraduate training
Blocks 2-7: Integrated Systems Blocks
This helps the student learn how to clinically
apply medical knowledge
2: Musculoskeletal
3. Neuropsychology
4. Cardiopulmonary
5. Gastrointestinal and Renal
6. Obstetrics, Gynecology, Endocrine
7. Hematology, Oncology, Dermatology
Blocks 2-7: Teaching/Learning Strategy
• Each topic is carefully sequenced and integrated for
better interdisciplinary assimilation by students:
Anatomy/Histology/Physiology 
Pathology, Radiology/Diagnostics 
Principles of Primary Care, Clinical Med
Pharmacology, Surgery, OMM
Blocks 2-7: Teaching Formats, Testing
We also use a variety of teaching formats:
Small group discussions / clinical cases / independent
learning modules / clinical skills labs / simulations
And a variety of testing formats:
Medical knowledge: multiple choice exams (ExamSoft)
Clinical competency: procedural skills labs, simulations,
SP encounters, osteopathic manipulation labs, etc.
Block 8: Bringing it all together
Comprehensive Board Review
Additionally, we integrate opportunities to work real
patients, physicians, and other health care
professionals in the 2nd year: Clinical Experiences
Free Clinics
EMS ride-along
Clinical Skills Labs
Surgical Scrub Lab
Suture Lab
Mini Medical School
Remote Medical
Appalachian Medical
Resident Shadowing
Day with an athletic
Day with ICU nurse
Day with hospital
Day with geriatrician
in a nursing home
Virtual Radiology
Simulation Med Lab
OB/GYN pelvic model
Disaster Training
Years 3 and 4
Clinical Rotations
Clinical Rotations Year Three
Ten 4-week rotations.
 4-5 days per week as an active
participant in patient care.
 Experiences occur in both the
ambulatory and hospital settings.
 50% of rotations are in urban or
large community hospital sites.
 50% of rotations are spent in rural
hospitals & ambulatory practices.
3rd Year Curriculum:
Focus on Primary Care
Family Medicine x 2
Underserved Care
Internal Medicine
Medical Selective
VCOM 3rd Year Core Rotation Sites
Southwest Virginia Region
Core Hospital Training Sites Mountain States - Johnston Memorial
Mountain States - Russell County
Medical Center
Mountain States - Smyth County
Community Hospital
Bluefield Virginia Region
Core Hospital Training Sites Bluefield Regional Medical Center
Abingdon, VA
Lebanon, VA
Marion, VA
Bluefield, WV
Carilion Tazewell Community Hospital Tazewell, VA
Clinch Valley Medical Center
New River Valley Virginia Region
Core Hospital Training Sites Carilion New River Valley Medical
LewisGale Hospital at Montgomery
Critical Access Hospitals
Richlands, VA
Radford, VA
Blacksburg, VA
LewisGale Hospital at Pulaski
Wythe County Community Hospital
Pulaski, VA
Wytheville, VA
Carilion Giles Community Hospital
Pearisburg, VA
Roanoke Valley Virginia Region
Core Hospital Training Sites LewisGale Hospital at Alleghany
Low Moor, VA
Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital
Roanoke, VA
LewisGale Medical Center at Salem
Salem, VA
Salem Veteran's Medical Center
Salem, VA
Southside Virginia Region
Core Hospital Training
Danville Regional Medical
Danville, VA
Halifax Regional Health
South Boston, VA
Southside Community
Farmville, VA
Critical Access Hospitals Pioneer Community Hospital Stuart, VA
of Patrick
Eastern Virginia Region
Core Hospital Training
Riverside Regional Medical
Newport News, VA
North Carolina Region
Core Hospital Training
Blue Ridge Healthcare
Morganton, NC
Cape Fear Valley Medical
Fayetteville, NC
Mountain Area Health
Hendersonville, NC
Education Center
W.G. "Bill" Hefner Veterans Salisbury, NC
Armed Forces and Veterans Administration Affiliated Sites
Core Hospital Training
633rd Medical Group Langley Langley, VA
Air Force Base
Kenner Army Health Clinic
Fort Lee, VA
Naval Medical Center at
Portsmouth, VA
Womack Army Medical CenterFayetteville, NC
Teaching Hospital
4th Year curriculum:
More student-driven
1 month ER rotation
2 medicine rotations
2 surgery rotations
4 elective rotations
Electives can be as short as 2 weeks
Electives often conducted as residency auditions
And before you know it….
Graduation = D.O.
What questions do you have for me?

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