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The Liberty University Center for Medical and Health Sciences is more than a magnificent new building on Liberty Mountain offering spectacular views of campus and the surrounding area. As home to the new College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM), it will soon become a well-known fixture on the state, regional, and national landscape of medical practice and preparation.
LUCOM reached a major milestone on July 30 when it welcomed its first class of 162 students — 80 male and 82 female — for orientation. Out of 3,505 applicants, nearly 500 prospective students were interviewed. The Office of Admissions and Student Services identified those who would best advance the mission and vision of the medical school and the university. The inaugural class, representing 30 universities, 25 states, and two countries, has a median MCAT score of 24 and a median GPA of 3.4. Students began training for their Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degrees when classes began on Aug. 4.
LUCOM received provisional accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (AOA-COCA) last August and will become eligible for full accreditation in early 2018, shortly before the graduation of its first class.
The new building contains a spacious medical library and a comprehensive, state-of-the-art Center for Standardized Patients and Simulation that provides hands-on learning opportunities in simulated environments ranging from operating and emergency rooms to an intensive care unit (ICU).
It also features more than 10,000 square feet of anatomy and osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) labs, complete with cutting-edge technology and equipment.
“We have put an extensive amount of technology in this new building,” said Dr. Ronnie Martin, dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. “There is not a medical school anywhere that will be better equipped than we are.”
Students will be trained using the most advanced medical technology available, as faculty and staff instruction incorporates the latest in scientific knowledge and techniques.
A building dedication has been scheduled for Friday, Aug. 22.
LUCOM has designed its curriculum for the purpose of training much-needed primary and community-based physicians who will serve as patient advocates and educators. It will teach a philosophy that places the patient, rather than the disease, at the center of any treatment plan. Osteopathic physicians focus on holistic treatment (mind, body, spirit), while emphasizing wellness and the prevention of disease and disability.
“Our faculty, staff, and students each possess a servant’s heart, a scientist’s curiosity, and the desire to improve the lives of others through the practice of medicine,” Martin said. “Together we meet our mission and vision for the future of this university and college, our profession, and our faith. We are dedicated to producing physicians who are knowledgeable, skilled, and competent, while remaining grounded in professionalism, ethics, and Christian principles.”