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VCOM Students

Diversity at VCOM

Diversity: Respecting our individual differences
Equity: Creating equal access to opportunity
Inclusion: Instilling a sense of belonging and value

The Mission of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee is to support Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) in its mission to prepare globally-minded, community-focused physicians to meet the needs of rural and medically underserved populations. Our goal is to provide the VCOM Community with the tools needed to affect positive and lasting change in their daily lives and their medical practices. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee consists of administrators, staff members, students and physicians focused on promoting a learning environment that educates not only on the sciences but on equality, equity, diversity and inclusion.

The Osteopathic philosophy is a belief in a holistic approach to human health care, which focuses on caring for the patient as a whole. Osteopathic physicians have traditionally served in both urban and rural communities, in populations of a broad socioeconomic range and diverse backgrounds. VCOM seeks to carry on this tradition and educate a future workforce in a time when health reform, demographic changes, and economic challenges are formidable.

 VCOM, comprised of multiple campuses, communities and people, is committed to supporting and promoting:

  • Recognition of diversity as the richness of human differences, including race, ethnicity, nationality, sex and gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, geography, and socioeconomic status.
  • Inclusion on campus to create a climate that fosters respect and a sense of belonging for our diverse student body, faculty, and staff.
  • Initiatives leading to equality and helping to abolish social injustice in healthcare for a sustainable and equitable healthcare system.  

The VCOM community advocates for a mindset of supporting diversity as a richness of human differences and fostering a sense of belonging, respect, and value for all.

As a college of osteopathic medicine, each campus also recognizes the need to address health disparities in all individuals and populations. As a VCOM community, when everyone is given equitable opportunity to succeed, we will all be successful.

VCOM makes minority access a priority

Increasing the diversity of physicians in the Appalachian and Delta Regions of the United States is an integral part of the College's mission, which is why the College is committed to recruiting and supporting historically underrepresented and first-generation students. VCOM is proud of its holistic admissions process and summer education and enrichment programs that help recruit students from our target areas. In addition, we regularly present exhibits at national meetings and conferences that focus on underrepresented groups. The College also offers several scholarships for minority students, including those for students enrolled from affiliated Minority Association for Premedical Students (MAPS) chapters and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Further, VCOM has active chapters of the Student National Medical Association, American Medical Women’s Association, the Muslim Medical Association, the Hispanic Community Medial Outreach Organization and others.

VCOM is committed to increasing healthcare access for those most in need, which is why VCOM's outreach activities embrace caring for diverse populations throughout the southeastern United States and through our global health programs. These outreach opportunities provide broader global health educational opportunities and allow VCOM students to make a difference in both the United States and abroad while they are attending medical school. 

For its efforts to promote inclusion and diversity, VCOM is a Partner Institution with Minority Access, Inc., and has received its Institutional Role Model Award each year the award has been offered since 2011. VCOM has also been recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine with its Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award four times, most recently in 2022 and 2023.

College Wide Resources

The College has gathered additional resources such as books, podcasts and websites that address diversity, inclusion, bias and so much more.

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Student Organizations

Student organizations and committees are a very important part of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM). The service performed by members of student organizations benefit not only the community and the region, but also the members, as they gain valuable knowledge, skills and experience.

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Rotation Opportunities

Graduate medical education (GME) programs across the country are offering opportunities for rotations that aim to advance diversity, health equity and inclusion. 

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Supporting the VCOM Community:

The Diversity Officer on each of the four VCOM campuses promotes an inclusive atmosphere where all students, faculty, and staff feel welcomed and respected.  Each Officer chairs the VCOM Diversity and Inclusion Committee on their campus and guides a mindset of supporting diversity as a richness of human differences and encompassing race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, and geography; and fosters a sense of belonging, respect, and value for all.

The Diversity Officer also meets with the various student minority organizations and representatives of a diverse student body to hear their concerns in a safe space, and assist with planning to address the concerns in a positive manner that supports both the students and the College as a whole. Students can be assured that the Diversity Officers will be available to meet with them to address concerns in confidence.

VCOM’s Diversity Officers serve as a conduit of information with the Campus Dean and higher administration on suggestions for positive change toward improving inclusion on campus and in the community, to promote equal access to health and healthcare and reduce healthcare disparities.