Established by act of the Ohio General Assembly in 1975, the state’s only osteopathic medical school is located at the Ohio University, Athens Ohio. The College of Osteopathic Medicine was created to help alleviate the state’s growing shortage of family physicians and to train doctors for chronically underserved areas. The educational program has been tailored to meet this legislative mandate. The Ohio University Board of Trustees officially changed the name of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine to the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (Heritage College) in 2011. The name change recognizes the historic, transformative $105 million gift to the medical school from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations.
In July 2015, the Heritage College opened its third campus in Warrensville Heights, Ohio. This campus, located at 4180 Warrensville Center Road, Warrensville Heights, Ohio, 44122 occupies Building A of South Pointe Hospital. The Cleveland Clinic is our preeminent educational partner for this campus. In July 2014, the Heritage College opened its second campus in Dublin, Ohio. This campus is located at 6775 Bobcat Way, Dublin, Ohio, 43016. OhioHealth is the preeminent educational partner for this campus. Each extension campus will have an enrollment of approximately 50 students with an enrollment of 140 students at the Athens campus. Although the campuses are geographically distant, the college has adopted and enacted a “one college-three locations” philosophy that ensures the same student-centered experience for all students regardless of location.
Entering students are enrolled in the Pathways to Health and Wellness curriculum. The curriculum commits to provide a clinically integrated, learning-centered, osteopathic medical education continuum for students, interns, residents and primary care associates; embrace diversity and public service; and improve the health and well-being of underserved populations.
In the third year of medical education, Heritage College students begin their clinical clerkship years at one of our many clinical campus sites across Ohio.
Although training the best osteopathic physicians is the college’s first priority, research is also an essential part of medical education at Heritage College. College faculty and staff carry out a wide range of investigations funded by state, federal and private sources.
Heritage College and Ohio University offer multicultural programs that strive to expand health care career opportunities for economically and educationally disadvantaged students of all races. The college also offers several international educational experiences to increase cultural sensitivity and awareness.
An orientation toward family medicine, a commitment to supply medical care where such services are not otherwise available, a promising research program and a commitment to diversity are key components of the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. These factors have earned the college recognition as one of the nation’s trend-setting medical education institutions.
The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine receives accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation ( see full COCA accreditation statement here ).
Founded one year after Ohio became a state in 1803, Ohio University sometimes uses the motto “Ohio’s First University.” This, however, does not adequately portray the university’s place in history since Ohio University is the oldest state-supported institution of higher education west of the Allegheny Mountains.
Today the university remains dedicated to the ideals of its founders as expressed in the Ordinance of 1787, which is etched in stone on the campus gate: “Religion, Morality and Knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools, and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
From humble beginnings as a small frontier college, Ohio University has grown until, today; it is a comprehensive institution with a total enrollment of more than 32,300 students. The university offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in a wide variety of fields. On the graduate level, in addition to the osteopathic medicine professional degree program, Ohio University offers master’s degrees in 195 majors encompassing 59 programs of study, and doctoral degrees can be earned in 58 majors in 31 programs of study. The all-campus graduate and professional school enrollment is about 4,050.
Ohio University has been cited for academic quality and value by such publications as U.S. News and World Report, America’s 100 Best College Buys, Princeton Review’s Best Colleges, and Peterson’s Guide to Competitive Colleges. The John Templeton Foundation has also recognized Ohio University as one of the top character-building institutions in the country.
The university is designated a Research University (high research activity) under the 2005 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Basic Classification. This is the same research classification as Auburn, Clemson, Loyola and Rutgers universities.
Ohio University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and by the recognized professional accrediting associations identified with its major academic divisions.
Men and women holding the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree can be found in such medical disciplines as neurosurgery, psychiatry, endocrinology and anesthesiology. The majority of D.O.s, though, choose to practice family medicine and the related primary care disciplines of family medicine, general pediatrics and general internal medicine.
The osteopathic profession was established in the late 19th century by Andrew Taylor Still. In 1874 Still laid the cornerstone of osteopathic medicine by describing the principles and philosophy on which the profession was to be based. This philosophy viewed the human body as a single organism in which each part interacts with and influences every other part. D.O.s, therefore, are taught to treat each patient as a whole person, rather than focusing just on the area that is causing the immediate medical problem.
In addition to other medical modalities, osteopathic physicians are trained to use osteopathic manipulative medicine. By manually examining the patient, osteopathic doctors can detect changes in the body’s joints, bones, muscles and nerves. By using direct or indirect pressure to move the muscles and bones, doctors often improve circulation and nerve response, helping the body heal itself.
The osteopathic approach leads to a personal, “people-oriented” style of practice that today’s medical students find very rewarding. It is not surprising that with this focus, the majority of D.O.s become family doctors who provide the “grass roots” general health care so much in demand in the United States today.