Med School Focuses on Underserved Areas
Nestled along the serene shores of Bayou DeSiard in Monroe, Louisiana, you’ll find a significant milestone in the state’s healthcare landscape—the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM). This institution is Louisiana’s first and only college of osteopathic medicine, which has established an important partnership between VCOM and the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM).
ULM holds the distinction of housing Louisiana’s exclusive public school of pharmacy, alongside schools specializing in nursing, physical therapy, kinesiology, occupational therapy and various other health sciences disciplines. This rich academic environment opens a world of possibilities for research initiatives and educational collaborations among students.
VCOM-Louisiana’s recently constructed campus is equipped with cutting-edge amenities and is an example of a modern medical education facility, with a state-of-the-art simulation center, an expansive 4,100-square-foot anatomy laboratory and a 3,300-square-foot osteopathic manipulative medicine laboratory.
The genesis of VCOM-Louisiana arose from a critical need: the shortage of physicians in the state. Currently ranking 39th in the U.S. for per capita primary care physicians, Louisiana has declared 81% of its territory as a health professional shortage area, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
VCOM-Louisiana has been established in one of the most underserved regions in the nation, helping to ensure that the College will produce graduates who align with VCOM’s mission to train community-focused physicians who will address the healthcare needs of rural and medically underserved populations. In short: VCOM-Louisiana will have a tangible impact on the lives of Delta region residents.
VCOM stands out as one of only 41 colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. The core philosophy of osteopathic medicine emphasizes the interconnected unity of all bodily systems, which function collaboratively to restore health during times of illness. Osteopathic physicians are licensed to practice the full spectrum of medicine in all states. They can prescribe medications, perform surgical procedures and employ osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool for patients.
In fact, one in every four medical students in the United States attends an osteopathic medical school. While a majority of VCOM students gravitate toward primary care specialties such as family practice, pediatrics or internal medicine, osteopathic physicians have the versatility to practice within any medical specialty.
VCOM’s accomplishments include a remarkable 99.4% match rate for residency programs, with its graduates securing placements in even the most competitive categories. This figure significantly surpasses the average match rate for osteopathic graduates in the U.S., which stands at 84.6%.
Diversity, which enhances the quality of medical education, is a cornerstone of VCOM’s educational philosophy. The College actively seeks out and recruits minority students who are underrepresented in healthcare professions. The curriculum also instills the importance of providing culturally sensitive, comprehensive medical care to communities with significant minority populations.
VCOM-Louisiana is a significant step towards addressing healthcare challenges in the state. Through its commitment to modern facilities, community-focused education and diversity, VCOM-Louisiana aims to produce a new generation of physicians ready to serve those in need, making a substantial difference in the healthcare landscape of the Delta region.
For more information about VCOM and the Louisiana campus, visit www.vcom.edu.