Med School Focuses on Underserved Areas
On the banks of the beautiful Bayou DeSiard in Monroe, Louisiana, sits the state’s first and only college of osteopathic medicine, the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM). VCOM’s new Louisiana campus is a partnership between VCOM and the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM).
ULM houses Louisiana’s only public school of pharmacy and has schools of nursing, physical therapy, kinesiology, occupational therapy, and other health sciences, offering many opportunities for research and educational collaboration for students.
The campus boasts some of the most modern medical teaching facilities available, including a high-tech simulation center, a 4,100-square-foot anatomy lab, and a 3,300-square-foot osteopathic manipulative medicine lab.
VCOM-Louisiana was established to address a physician shortage in Louisiana, which currently ranks 39th in the U.S. for per capita primary care physicians. In fact, 81% of the state has been designated a health professional shortage area by the Louisiana Department of Health.
By establishing the new campus in one of the most underserved areas of the country, VCOM-Louisiana graduates will have ample opportunity to further VCOM’s mission to prepare globally-minded, community-focused physicians to meet the needs of rural and medically underserved populations and make a real difference for citizens in the Delta region.
VCOM is one of only 37 colleges of osteopathic medicine in the U.S. Osteopathic medicine is a distinct branch of medicine, emphasizing the interrelated unity of all systems in the body, each working with the other to heal in times of illness.
Osteopathic physicians are licensed to practice the full scope of medicine in every state. They prescribe medications, perform surgery, and use osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) as a tool to diagnose and treat patients. Today, 1 in 4 medical students in the U.S. attends an osteopathic medical school. While a majority of VCOM students tend to choose primary care specialties, such as family practice, pediatrics or internal medicine, osteopathic physicians can practice any specialty.
VCOM has a match rate of 99.4% for residency programs, and their graduates get matched into programs in even the most competitive categories. The average match rate for osteopathic graduates in the U.S. is 84.6%.
VCOM understands and embraces the idea that diversity among students and faculty enhances the quality of VCOM’s medical education. The College actively recruits minority students who are underrepresented in healthcare professions. The curriculum also teaches students to provide culturally sensitive, comprehensive medical care to communities with minority populations.
For more information about VCOM and the Louisiana campus, visit www.vcom.edu.