|James E. Powers, D.O.
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs - Virginia Campus
|Paul Kent Switzer, III, M.D., D.H.A.
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs
and Chair of the Discipline of Psychiatry -
COM Clinical faculty provide the Clinical Medicine Course and the Principles of Primary Care Course during the first two years of osteopathic medical school. The clinical curriculum is integrated throughout the eight blocks to augment the learning of the biomedical curriculum in a meaningful way and to build each block upon medical knowledge. The Clinical Curriculum is planned by the Clinical Chairs. VCOM begins early clinical experiences in the second year through various clinical experiences with preceptors and clinical simulations in the VCOM Simulation and Technology laboratories.
In the third year students complete a variety of clinical experiences including family medicine, internal medicine (1 and 2), pediatrics, obstetrics, geriatrics, surgery, psychiatry, and primary care in an underserved setting to complete a broad understanding of those conditions most likely to be seen in the primary care setting. In the fourth year students complete Emergency Medicine, two medical subspecialties, and two surgical subspecialties of their choice to complete a solid medical knowledge base required to begin their Internship. In addition students have four electives in the fourth year where they may visit various residency programs to choose and be seen by the program.
VCOM partners with community based hospitals in the target region of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and bordering West Virginia for the third year Core rotations. The fourth year utilizes additional regions where residency program exist and VCOM carries affiliation agreements. Many of the residency programs are a member of OMNEE, a consortium of hospitals and three academic osteopathic campuses: VCOM-Virginia Campus, VCOM-Carolinas Campus, and Campbell University.
VCOM students also have unique educational opportunities. In the third and fourth year, the opportunity exists to do a Global Medicine Outreach month in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, or El Salvador.
VCOM appoints and employs a dedicated clinical faculty within each region in ambulatory settings and affiliated community based hospitals. The clinical faculty who are located in each core site are hired by VCOM as faculty members in clinical departments and fully engage in curriculum development, student teaching in the clinical setting, curriculum development and feedback, and many provide on-campus classroom teaching as well. This partnership with the community-based hospitals and clinical faculty allow a structured academic health center model in a community based setting. VCOM delivers a core medical curriculum in each region that includes a monthly lecture series, on-line clinical presentations, videos, and cases. Students have access to the electronic library, VCOM TV, and web-based videoconferencing. Additional Core Academic Conferences are held three to four times yearly.
In addition to the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, each core regional site is administered by a Director of Student Medical Education who oversees the development of the academic program in that site and who assists with continued faculty recruitment and development. A Student Coordinator is employed in each region to assist students and regional preceptors with the coordination and scheduling of the academic program.