About the Curriculum
The curriculum is built around a trimester schedule utilizing an integrated, interdisciplinary, systems-based model with an emphasis on active learning. It combines lecture demonstration with active learning techniques including team learning activities, interactive classroom learning, case-based education, a strong emphasis on utilization of simulation, and standardized patient events. It emphasizes biomedical and clinical interdisciplinary collaboration, guiding students to develop a holistic, and importantly, an osteopathic approach to medicine. We continually correlate basic scientific information and methodology with fundamental clinical application.
After an introductory foundations course
during the first 6 weeks of the curriculum,
the remainder of the first year consists of
a system-based look at normal structure
and function – from the molecular level to
the whole-person level - as well as general
pathological processes that affect human
health. During the second year of the
student’s education, a second pass through
the system-organized courses places more emphasis on the pathological conditions
common to humans that detract from human health during the second year of the student’s education. Throughout the first two years, students have an active introduction to and interaction with challenges related to the professional, ethical, moral, humanitarian, and business aspects of the life and work of a physician. Additionally, students examine the dynamic nature of national and global health policy and health care delivery.
Students have extensive lab based active learning opportunities during the first two years designed to develop problem solving, osteopathic principles and manipulative techniques, diagnostic and clinical skills. Students have extensive anatomy education with cadaveric education encountered across the first two years of the curriculum.
Students begin clinical exposure in their first trimester, with shadowing experiences, standardized patients, simulation encounters and patient care opportunities that give them exposure to and prepare them for the “real world” of medicine.
Each student’s clinical exposure expands in the second year. Students have increased opportunity to interact with standardized patients and high fidelity simulators on campus as well as be involved, under physician supervision, with real patients in the office and hospital setting.
Students are assigned to one of LUCOM’s core clinical education centers for their entire third year of medical school. Clinical rotation experiences are supplemented with an on-line, computer based module curriculum based on best practices established by each core discipline provided by the faculty of the COM. This foundational clinical education ensures quality, consistency and coordination of the students’ clinical education as well as preparation for graduate medical education (GME) and board examinations. In the fourth year of medical school, each student has ample opportunity to explore GME training opportunities through four elective rotations. During the hospital based sub-internships - consisting of four core selective rotations in medicine, emergency medicine and surgery - students are expected to develop the knowledge and skills required to be a resident in their desired GME training program.
Our core curriculum is designed to fulfill our mission of training students who are competent and ready to enter graduate medical education in any medical discipline, with an emphasis on preparing students to become community based and primary care physicians.
A notable aspect of the clinical program is
a required month long rotation in a rural
practice setting. In community health
centers, rural clinics and hospitals through-
out the state of Virginia, our students
participate in providing health care to
medically underserved and indigent
patients. Our students learn to treat
various patients whose lifestyles, practices,
and attitudes toward health care differ from those seen in more traditional training sites. This enriching educational experience is one that cannot be taught in the classroom.
LUCOM students have the opportunity to perform clinical rotations globally during their OMS-3 and OMS-4 year, as well as the opportunity to participate in medical outreach events during break times beginning near the end of the first year of education. Liberty University has clinical affiliations with institutions in Africa, Asia, and Europe as well as Central, North and South America.
Liberty University students have opportunities to study and advance public health and health policy through programs in cooperation with the School of Law at Liberty, elective rotations, and intern opportunities with policy makers in Virginia and in D.C.
Physicians and medical practices do not exist in a vacuum, but rather in health care team settings. LUCOM promotes interdisciplinary cooperation whenever possible in the classroom and in all of its clinical settings. Liberty University has a strong and viable nursing program and there are students from pharmacy, physician assistant, physical therapy, emergency medicine technician and nursing at each of the core rotation sites.