The goal of instruction at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine is the development of medical school graduates with a holistic approach to practicing family-oriented medicine, with the realization that even medical specialists require a firm understanding of primary care.
Matriculating students must select one of two distinct curricular tracks—either the Clinical Presentation Continuum (CPC) curriculum, which began September 1999, or the Patient-Centered Continuum (PCC) curriculum, implemented in September 1994. All OU-COM medical students, regardless of curricular track, begin their medical education with a four-week-long course on form and function, which is comprised of anatomy instruction integrated with osteopathic manipulative medicine. Thereafter, both curricula feature learning activities that include small group case study discussions, problem-solving workshops, hands-on laboratory sessions, a limited number of lectures as well as independent study, with regular assessments varying in format, and opportunities for early clinical experiences beginning in the first year. The medical educational program at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine is a four-year program, regardless of curricular track.
A primary goal of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine is to promote the development and maintenance of high standards of academic behavior and professionalism. To facilitate this, an Honor Code has been established as an intrinsic part of the medical education of OU-COM students. The main purposes of the Honor Code are to:
- foster ethical and professional standards of conduct in all academic endeavors;
- instill the habit of honesty and professional accountability; and
- ensure due process for any suspected Honor Code violation.
To that end, students are required to make the following pledge:
As a member of the medical profession, I will maintain the highest standards of academic and personal behavior. As a medical student I will not cheat or plagiarize or tolerate that behavior in others.
Complete text and related policies can be found at www.oucom.ohiou.edu/saffairs/survival_manual/honor_code.htm.
Years 1 and 2
Clinical Presentation Continuum Curriculum
The Clinical Presentation Continuum (CPC) is organized around clinical presentations that reflect common and/or important patient encounters in primary care medicine, with the clinical presentations grouped together around organ systems. Students are given an extensive list of specific faculty-identified learning objectives that provide explicit direction to guide student study. The CPC emphasizes learning in a clinical context and strives to encourage active, engaged, and independent learning to prepare students for a career of lifelong learning. The CPC curriculum accommodates approximately 80% of the entering class.
The first two years of the CPC curriculum are divided into blocks of curricular content, two or more of which are presented during each academic quarter of each year. These blocks are further segmented into weekly modules identified by a theme or clinical presentation (see Curriculum Topics section). Clinical, biomedical and psychosocial content is presented in an integrated manner, with the learning objectives directly related to the clinical presentation.
Structured classroom experiences, typically restricted to one-half day, consist of lectures, labs, problem sets, physical exam sessions and simulated patient encounters. The classroom experiences facilitate student understanding of biomedical and psychosocial principles and provide training in patient interviewing, history taking, psychosocial interactions, physical examination and osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM). These sessions are designed to provide opportunities for students to become actively engaged in the learning process as they address the faculty-constructed learning objectives identified for the module.
Four hours weekly are reserved for faculty-facilitated, case-based learning sessions. The patient cases explored in these small discussion groups (seven to nine students) illustrate the basic science and psychosocial underpinnings of medicine relevant to the clinical presentation that is the theme of the module. The small group learning environment helps students learn to work effectively as part of a collaborative learning team, taking responsibility for their own as well as others’ academic progress and professional development. Approximately once weekly, the entire class assembles to discuss the cases of the week with a faculty panel of experts that includes representatives of the basic sciences, clinical medicine and social medicine. CPC students also spend three or four half-days per academic quarter accompanying a physician faculty member in a clinical practice setting (community health facility, hospital, clinic or emergency department).
Following the completion of years one and two, students in the CPC and PCC participate in identical educational experiences.
Patient-Centered Continuum Curriculum
The Patient-Centered Continuum (PCC) is based on active learning and problem-based learning principles and organizes medical topics into a continuous, integrated student learning process. Student-directed learning and the development of clinical reasoning skills are integral parts of the program. Formally scheduled class time is kept to a minimum, and students personally accept a significant amount of responsibility for achieving curricular goals. The PCC provides students with frequent clinical experiences early in the program, the presentation of biomedical science material in the context of clinical case studies, the integration and reinforcement of biomedical sciences during clinical training, and a logical progression of knowledge through the medical school and residency years. The PCC serves approximately 20% of the class; students may apply for enrollment in this program following formal acceptance to the college through the regular admission process.
The first two years of the PCC curriculum incorporate active and problem-based learning principles into a variety of instructional methodologies, including small group discussions, clinical case studies, computer-assisted instruction, simulated patient encounters, independent learning, and distance learning technologies.
Students meet for three, two-hour sessions per week in small groups (six to eight students) with biomedical and clinical faculty content experts serving as facilitators of patient case discussions. Each case study encourages student-directed exploration of the basic science, psychosocial and clinical issues underlying the patient’s condition. The small group learning environment helps students learn to work effectively as part of a collaborative learning team, taking responsibility for their own academic progress and professional development and recognizing the role they play in interacting with others. Resource hours are scheduled as needed with content experts in the basic, social and clinical sciences in order to support student-directed learning activities.
The course in clinical sciences provides training in patient interviewing, history taking, psychosocial interaction and physical examination, as well as osteopathic manipulative medicine. As part of the Introduction to Clinical Osteopathic Medicine course, PCC students spend nine to 10 half-days per academic quarter accompanying a physician faculty member in a clinical practice setting (community health facility, hospital, clinic or emergency department).
Following completion of years one and two, medical students in the PCC and CPC participate in identical educational experiences.
Years 3 and 4
Students in both curricular tracks begin year three with a summer course directly after spring quarter of year two. The summer course is designed to prepare students for a transition from the classroom to the clinical learning environments they will experience at the Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE) sites. Examples of topics covered in the summer course include suturing practice, advanced cardiac life support and surgical preparation.
In fall quarter of the third year, students move to one of the CORE sites located throughout the state of Ohio. Students are assigned to their respective CORE sites during the CORE Hospital Assignment Process. Each student completes the structured ambulatory Clerkship in Family Medicine with an individually assigned preceptor. During this time, students also participate in weekly small group seminars with physician facilitators.
Following the family medicine clerkship, students enter the final one and one-half years of clinical training at affiliated CORE teaching hospitals, clinics and private practitioners’ offices located throughout the state. Students meet curricular requirements in the combination of hospital-based and ambulatory rotations, which heavily emphasize primary care medicine and ambulatory medical care, to provide a broad, well-rounded clinical experience. In addition to their participation in required rotations, students have the opportunity to schedule elective rotations in medical disciplines to pursue their personal interests and/or meet unique clinical training needs. Rotations are designed to provide students with active, hands-on learning experiences in medical situations. Under the supervision of clinical faculty, students become involved in the case management of patients as they refine their problem-solving, diagnostic and therapeutic skills. Rotation schedules are constructed with assistance from CORE administrative personnel to ensure that curricular requirements are met. Each rotation is a separate learning experience, and each student’s evaluation is based on an individual assessment by his or her preceptor during that rotation. Concurrent with these experiences, various didactic activities are incorporated into the curriculum to augment student learning, utilizing such instructional modalities as lectures, professional development seminars, clinical case conferences, tumor board meetings, case-based discussions, interactive computer assignments and the use of self-instructional audio-visual materials.
Dual Degree Programs
Students can apply for dual degrees by combining studies for the osteopathic medical degree with graduate programs offered by Ohio University. For further details, contact the director of predoctoral education at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine at 740.593.2518.
Academic essentials, professionalism, student government, educational costs and building usage information are published on the OU-COM Student Affairs Web page, which explains the policies and procedures of the college. Please direct special attention to the Committee on Student Progress, Policies and Procedures. This online manual contains detailed information about what is expected of students and what resources the college and the university provide to help each student meet those expectations. The OU-COM Student Survival Manual can be accessed at www.oucom.ohiou.edu/saffairs/survival_manual. A paper copy will be provided upon request.
The OU-COM year one and two Academic Calendar, which lists important dates for OU-COM students, is at www.oucom.ohiou.edu/AcademicAffairs/CalendarWebPage.
OU-COM faculty will recommend the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine be granted to students who:
- are in good standing as determined by the Committee on Student Progress,
- have successfully completed all required coursework in either the Clinical Presentation Continuum (CPC) or the Patient-Centered Continuum (PCC) curriculum for years one and two,
- have successfully completed all the assigned and elective clinical rotations listed in the year three and four Student Manual at www.oucom.ohiou.edu/AcademicAffairs/YR3-4Manual/2008-2010/index.htm,
- have successfully completed the year three Objective Structured Clinical Exam,
- have passed the COMLEX Level 1 CE, 2 CE, and 2 PE of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, and
- have been enrolled for at least 14 ten-week quarters, and have satisfied all financial and legal obligations to their assigned CORE hospital, the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Ohio University.
Clinical Presentation Continuum Curriculum Years One and Two
Clinical Presentation Blocks (Medical Knowledge and Clinical Skills)
Osteopathic Clinical Anatomy Orientation
Infection and Immunity
Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat
Endocrinology and Metabolism
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Addiction, Pain and Palliative Care
Patient-Centered Continuum Curriculum Years One and Two
Fundamentals of Clinical Osteopathic Medicine
Osteopathic Clinical Anatomy Orientation
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Year Three Summer Session—Combined Studies
Possible topics include:
Full History and Physical Exams
Surgical Preparation and Suturing
Orthopedic Skills: Casting and Splints
Advanced Cardiac Life Support
Oral Case Presentations
Years Three and Four—Combined Studies
Osteopathic Family Medicine
Internal Medicine Specialties
Health Care Management Clerkship
Medicine and Law