VCOM 2022 Annual Report
Bringing Physicians to our Home Communities T he decision to establish VCOM was made in 2001 after the leaders of the Harvey W. Peters Research Foundation studied the healthcare Growth of the College As the College grew into a successful institution of higher education, its leaders were inspired to confront the physician shortage in other areas of the Appalachian and Delta regions.
needs of Virginia and determined there was an extreme deficiency in the southwest part of the state. A national study estimated a shortage of 50,000 physicians by 2010 and shortage of more than 100,000 physicians by 2020. The need was evident, and plans to establish the College moved forward. VCOM is a non-profit, private 501(c)(3) charitable organization that is accredited to grant a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. The College was initially funded by the Harvey W. Peters Research Center, which was established by the late Marion Bradley Via to benefit Virginia Tech and southwest Virginia. Edward Via, the son of Marion Bradley Via, was instrumental in funding the initiative to establish a medical school to promote health and wellness in the area. Initially, VCOM’s vision was to provide healthcare for the southwest region of Virginia and throughout the southern Appalachian region, and to promote biomedical research in collaboration with Virginia Tech. VCOM-Virginia first opened its doors to the inaugural class of medical students in 2003, graduating its first class in 2007.
In 2010, after several years of clinical partnership with Spartanburg Regional Health System and building relationships in the community, VCOM founded a second campus in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The first students began their medical education at VCOM-Carolinas in the fall of 2011, and graduated in 2015. In 2011, Auburn University administration saw the need for rural physicians and primary care in their state and worked together with VCOM to establish a new campus partnership. In 2015, the inaugural class at VCOM-Auburn began its medical education and graduated in 2019. Leaders of the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) had been actively seeking options to establish a medical school in Monroe. In 2018, VCOM received approvals to enter into a collaborative agreement with ULM. The campus matriculated its first class in the fall of 2020, and that class has now begun their third-year clinical rotations.
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