VCOM College Catalog and Student Handbook

Osteopathic Medical School -YearThree

VCOM has developed a model medical curriculum that provides an academic environment within the community based hospital and outpatient medical practices. The purpose of the core clinical rotations is to provide the student with a broad foundation for primary care medicine. Each rotation is accompanied by curriculum delivered in case based format and reading assignments to assure consistency of learning of the required content. The curriculum also includes monthly didactic presentations and student case presentations/discussions where students from other health professions attend. OMM is integrated throughout the clinical curriculum including monthly OMM workshops and website materials. In addition, all students are required to complete at least one core rotation with an osteopathic physician and opportunities exist in the core sites for more than one rotation with an osteopathic physician. Students must also work with a medical resident in at least one rotation. Students are evaluated through clinical faculty observations of competencies and computer-based end-of-rotation exams. The curriculum in the third year is divided into two semesters, each 22 weeks in length. Full-time enrollment during the OMS 3 year is defined as being enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours per semester and is required of all students. VCOM partners with community-based hospitals and medical practices in the target Appalachian and Delta region in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Louisiana, and Alabama for the third year Core rotations. Each regional site includes a teaching hospital and teaching medical practices. Teaching hospitals that range in size from 100 to 500 beds or those that are in urban or suburban areas are balanced with ambulatory medical practice experience and rural hospital, rural clinic, or medically underserved regional practice experiences. The blend of training in rural and medically underserved settings along with training in the larger community-based hospital provides students with a one-on-one experience with the teaching physicians, which resemble the more traditional formal hospital service-based education seen in hospitals where residencies most often exist. OMS 3 and OMS 4 students also have unique global health educational opportunities by utilizing an elective opportunity to spend four weeks in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, or El Salvador for a global health clinical experience. VCOM students who have a military HPSP scholarship are also provided the opportunity to complete one or more four-week rotations in a military hospital. During the OMS 3 year, students must demonstrate competence in history and physical exam skills through the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Performance Exam (COMPE). The Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Performance Exam, is a summative evaluation of the student’s skills in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, History and Physical Diagnosis, and Differential Diagnosis through a comprehensive standardized patient examination. This assessment is a mandatory evaluation, of which the student is required to pass to matriculate to the fourth year. The assessment is designed to evaluate the student in the performance of communication and history taking, physical examination skills, osteopathic medicine skills, differential diagnosis and basic initial treatment of patients in the ambulatory, hospital, or emergent care settings and in the development of skills to become a caring, compassionate clinician. All rotations and curriculum, including testing, must be successfully completed in order to progress to the fourth year. The Campus Clinical Division The Clinical Division on each campus consists of on-campus clinical faculty and clinical site faculty. The Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs serves as the Division Chair. Core Clinical Discipline Chairs oversee the OMS 3 and OMS 4 core disciplines including Family Medicine, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Surgery, Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, Geriatrics, and Internal Medicine. The Discipline Chairs oversee the curriculum and faculty in their discipline. Surgical specialties fall within the Surgical Discipline and Medical Specialties fall within the Medicine Division. When a Chair is selected for a surgical or medical specialty they serve as the “Co-Chair” for that specialty along with the Chair for that core clinical discipline.


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