VCOM College Catalog and Student Handbook

Academic Grading and Promotion

General Academic Policies

VCOM students are evaluated for promotion and graduation based on core competencies consistent with osteopathic core competencies required at the medical student level. The competencies include communication skills, problem solving skills, clinical skills in patient care, osteopathic philosophy and manipulation, medical knowledge, and professionalism and ethics. In the first two years of the medical curriculum examinations (written and performance) are used to test student’s medical knowledge and standardized patient exams are used to test communication, clinical reasoning, differential diagnosis skills, and physical diagnosis skills. Students are also evaluated during early clinical experiences. Knowledge of osteopathic philosophy and manipulation is tested through both written examinations and OMM practical exams. Knowledge regarding professionalism and ethics is also tested by examinations. In the clinical years these same competencies are measured in the application to patient care and medical knowledge exams. Through observation, clinical faculty complete the Clinical Rotation Evaluation Form. The student is evaluated on knowledge, clinical decision making and problem solving skills, communication skills, professionalism and ethics, physical diagnosis and problem solving skills, and osteopathic philosophy and manipulative medicine skills. Additional VCOM values of altruism, skill and empathy in caring for those from underserved populations are also evaluated. Medical knowledge is also assessed through post-rotation exams. Students have end of year testing following the OMS 2 and OMS 3 years to assess comprehensive medical knowledge and clinical performance. Grades are issued and become a part of the permanent record. In all four years students are assessed as to whether or not they are making academic progress on the basis of their performance of assignments, written and practical examinations, their evaluations in the clinical setting, their performance on COMSAE, and performance on national osteopathic board examinations. Students are evaluated for promotion at the end of each block and the end of each academic year based on meeting all requirements of the academic year. Students may be given a conditional pass for In Progress (IP) grades, but require a passing grade for full promotion. Accreditation requires VCOM to assure COMLEX Level 1, Level 2 CE, and Level 2 PE exams are required for graduation; therefore, a VCOM student must pass COMLEX exams in the expected time frames to make academic progress. Please refer to the COMLEX section of this Handbook for further detail. Grades are recorded on the transcript at the end of each block and the end of each year. Enrolled students in good standing may download their own unofficial transcript at any time, free of charge, through the Student Information System (SIS). The student academic progress records, transcripts, MSPE, and diploma copy are maintained as a part of the permanent record for lifetime. While VCOM does provide a grading system, VCOM does not rank students supporting the idea of collaboration rather than competition.

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