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Preclinical Education

Medical 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 care, by ensuring that students have the resources necessary for a first class education in osteopathic medicine.

Overview of Preclinical Education Curriculum

The curriculum in the first two years is divided into a block system. Blocks are 9-12 weeks in length and provide concentrated training in core areas of medicine. The eight blocks are completed sequencially during the first two years of medical school, they 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 each block 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. The experiences are varied, focus on the “team-approach” to medicine through inter-professional experiences, and include 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 including: cardiac and pulmonary emergencies, pediatric emergencies, and obstetrical births prepare students for their experiences with patients during the clinical years. VCOM provides elective courses in the OMS 1 and 2 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.