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VCOM Students

Clinical Education: Third Year

VCOM has developed a model medical curriculum that provides an academic environment within the community-based hospital and outpatient medical practices. The core clinical rotations provide students with a broad foundation for primary care medicine. 

The Clinical Curriculum includes:

  • Working in a faculty-supervised setting to assess and provide care for patients
  • Case-based study and reading assignments to augment the clinical rotation and assure medical knowledge.
  • Monthly case presentations with the Director of Student Medical Education on-site or his/her faculty designee.  These presentations include interacting with students from other health professions
  • Monthly workshops on the application of Osteopathic Manual Medicine (OMM) inpatient care
  • Students are also assured one or more core third-year rotations are with an osteopathic physician faculty member, one core third-year rotation provides exposure to working with a resident, and more than one core third-year rotation includes an inpatient component.

Clinical Assessments include faculty evaluations for each clinical rotation, end-of-rotation exams (over modules and assignments), assessment of the case presentation, and a research or case study paper following the research course/rotation.



  • For the third-year core rotations, VCOM partners with community-based hospitals and medical practices in the target Appalachian and Delta regions in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Louisiana, and Alabama. Each regional site includes a teaching hospital and teaching medical practices.
  • Medium-sized, urban, or suburban teaching hospital rotations are balanced with ambulatory medical practice and rural hospital, rural clinic, or medically underserved regional practice experiences.
  • Third and fourth year students also have unique elective opportunities to spend a four-week rotation in the Dominican Republic or Honduras.
  • Students with a military Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) scholarship have the opportunity to complete one or more rotations in a military hospital.

Read more about the Clinical Program (PDF)


Third Year Curriculum

VCOM’s third-year osteopathic medical students are required to complete ten, four-week core clinical rotations. During the year, students have one month to complete Foundations of Diagnostic Medicine (FDM), which is comprised of an online interactive curriculum covering the most urgent and emergent conditions seen in the clinical setting. Each clinical rotation is estimated to require a minimum of 160 hours to complete, including 40 to 60 hours each week in the regular program and after-hours on-call duty. All rotations must be taken and completed at VCOM core hospitals or ambulatory rotation sites. All rotations and assigned curriculum must be successfully completed to progress to the fourth year. Four credit hours are awarded for each clinical rotation.

2023-2024 OMS-3 Academic Calendar (PDF)

2024-2025 OMS-3 Academic Calendar (PDF)

Emma Kang

Meet VCOM Students on Rotation

Clinical rotations give students the chance to see different medical specialties in action and participate in the hands-on experiences they’ll need to be exceptional physicians. It’s a pivotal time for VCOM students, but the best way to understand the importance of rotations is to hear from the students themselves, so we asked a few of our current third-year students to tell us about their rotation experiences and offer some advice to our students who are about to begin this part of their medical education at VCOM. 

read more


The Via Learning Management System (VLMS) is a fast, easy to use system to gather student patient encounters and use those entries to provide real-time information and relevant review materials; all while documenting each student’s growing clinical portfolio. The system provides data relevant to the medical school administration and of value for researchers.