Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) has announced that it has been granted provisional accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (AOA-COCA), the programmatic accreditor for Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine in the United States.
Provisional accreditation allows LUCOM to officially begin recruiting and accepting students and offer education leading to the D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) degree. LUCOM has initiated that process, and the inaugural class will begin in Fall 2014.
In gaining provisional accreditation, LUCOM becomes the 30th College of Osteopathic Medicine in the nation, and the second in Virginia following Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. The profession boasts 38 campuses in 28 states. Today, one of four students attending medical school in the U.S is attending a College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“Provisional accreditation comes as a testament to the tremendous work of the faculty and staff, our clinical and community affiliates, and our financial supporters,” said LUCOM’s dean, Dr. Ronnie B. Martin, D.O., FACOFP-dist. “Having achieved the highest level of recognition available at this time, we are on track to achieve full accreditation prior to the graduation of our first class of students in 2018.”
Martin thanks Edward Via for support of Liberty’s program.
“Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine is an outstanding institution that has consistently supported our development,” he said. “They have established a high standard for us in the state by graduating quality primary care physicians for rural and underserved portions of our state, physicians who maintain a global mindset.”
LUCOM’s new status brings the college one step closer to graduating physicians dedicated to providing expanded access to quality health care both locally and across the globe.
“The college exists for one purpose: to provide service that benefits people in need,” Martin said. “Our mission centers around producing health care professionals who are not only excellent physicians but have servants’ hearts that will cause them to positively impact patients around the world, specifically those in underrepresented and underserved areas. Our graduates’ knowledge and skill, along with their passion and commitment, will positively affect the lives and health of countless individuals in the decades to come.”
In addition to its new provisional status, LUCOM is also ahead of schedule for construction of the much-anticipated, 140,000-square-foot Center for Medical and Health Sciences, which broke ground at the southeast end of campus in November 2012. A $20.5 million Virginia Tobacco Commission matching grant substantially supported the facility. The four-story building will include state-of-the-art technology, simulation and standardized patient education facilities; extensive clinical medicine, osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) and anatomy labs; an expansive learning resource center; and an interactive electronic library. In addition to a new and thoroughly equipped research lab and center, the building will contain a comprehensive medical clinic to serve both the public and the Liberty community. It will also boast the ability to broadcast medical educational presentations around the world. Construction is set for completion this coming spring.
“Though I am confident that Liberty University will have facilities, curriculum, and faculty to place it among the most advanced medical colleges in the nation, it must be clear that our vision is not about the building,” Martin said. “Our challenge is to graduate excellent physicians who will improve the lives of those they serve and who will continue to advance medical knowledge and the health care status of their patients for many years after graduation. They will be provided the opportunity to become excellent practitioners, but more importantly, influenced to become better servants.”
Referencing the unparalleled curriculum, Martin said the program focuses on active learning processes that are designed to produce primary and community-based physicians who practice holistic, patient-centric medical care while placing an emphasis on wellness prevention of disease.
“Our obligation may be to teach,” he said, “but our avocation is to serve.”