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VCOM Students

Preclinical Education

The Medical Education department at VCOM works with administration, biomedical and clinical faculty and staff to provide pre-clinical curriculum, assessment, and educational development for students during the first and second years of osteopathic medical training. The goal of every staff member in the Medical Education department is to support the College’s mission to educate primary care physicians for underserved communities, by ensuring that students have the resources necessary for a first-class education in osteopathic medicine.


    The curriculum of the first two years is divided into a block system, which is 9-12 weeks in length and provides concentrated training in core areas of medicine. The eight blocks are completed sequentially during the first two years of medical school. The blocks are Foundations of Medicine, Musculoskeletal System, Neurological System and Special Senses, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Systems, Gastrointestinal and Renal Systems, Reproductive and Endocrine System, Dermatologic, Hemostatic, and Lymphatic Systems, and finally a Comprehensive Review.

    Clinical experiences are integrated throughout the eight blocks to augment the learning of the biomedical curriculum in a meaningful way and to build upon medical knowledge. Students in the first and second year learn from faculty-supervised Early Clinical Experiences (ECE) and have approximately 16 to 20 one-day clinical experiences. Each one is varied, focuses on the “team-approach” to medicine through inter-professional experiences, and includes such experiences as pharmacology rounds, geriatric assessment, EMS, radiology, a day with an ICU nurse, a day with an athletic trainer, and internal medicine rounds with a resident.

    In VCOM’s service-based learning experiences, patients from medically underserved regions receive free medical care, provided by VCOM faculty and students in free clinics, shelters, and rural community health outreach programs.

    Additional clinical experiences provided through high fidelity simulation models include cardiac and pulmonary emergencies, pediatric emergencies, and obstetrical births. These additional pieces of training prepare students for their experiences with patients during the clinical years.

    VCOM provides elective courses in the OMS I and II years available to students who are not experiencing difficulty in the required curriculum. These courses include Medical Spanish, Health Policy, and a Global Health Course.

    For complete curriculum, course descriptions and credit hours, please consult the Academic Programs of Study section in the  College Catalog and Student Handbook.