Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

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Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine logo.jpg
Former names
Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Established 2002
Type Private, non-profit
Students 1400
Location Blacksburg, Virginia; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Auburn, Alabama, USA
37°11′56″N 80°24′22″W / 37.1989°N 80.4060°W / 37.1989; -80.4060Coordinates: 37°11′56″N 80°24′22″W / 37.1989°N 80.4060°W / 37.1989; -80.4060
Colors Maroon and Orange
Nickname VCOM
Website www.vcom.edu

The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), formerly named the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, is a private, non-profit medical school in the United States with its main campus, the Virginia Campus (VCOM-Virginia) located in Blacksburg, Virginia and two branch campuses, the Carolinas Campus (VCOM-Carolinas) located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and the Auburn Campus (VCOM-Auburn) located in Auburn, Alabama. The Virginia Campus is located in the Corporate Research Center of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The school is one of 30 colleges of osteopathic medicine in the country, offering instruction at 40 locations in 28 states. VCOM is one of four located in the Appalachian Region, and grants the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. On June 2, 2007, VCOM graduated its first class of 139 students.[1]

History and mission[edit]

The school was founded in 2002, when Virginia Tech and the Harvey W. Peters Research Foundation worked together to start up a new private school of osteopathic medicine called the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM). The mission of the school is to help alleviate the critical shortage of physicians in Appalachia. The school places primary recruiting on students from a rural Appalachian background, particularly the rural sections of central and southwestern Virginia, Piedmont North Carolina and upstate South Carolina. While students are fully prepared to specialize in any division of medicine, the primary focus of the college is the training of primary care physicians to serve a rural population.[2]

VCOM is incorporated as a private, non-profit institution with no state interest, but has a collaborative agreement with Virginia Tech for education, research, and student activities.

In 2010 the school founded its second campus in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with classes starting in September 2011.[3]

In 2012 the school announced plans to establish a third campus in collaboration with Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, with classes starting in the fall of 2015.[4]

Curriculum and academics[edit]

While students at VCOM are educated in all basic medical sciences (as are their M.D. counterparts), VCOM students also receive approximately 200 extra hours of musculoskeletal/neuromuscular training. VCOM develops partnerships to improve the spiritual and social well-being of the communities it serves. In Southwest Virginia as well as in Spartanburg, South Carolina, VCOM partners with free clinics, faith based organizations and other non-profit organizations to provide preventive medicine and primary care outreach programs. VCOM has permanent medical clinics located in Veron, Dominican Republic and Tegulcigalpa, Honduras, and in El Salvador.

The school uses a system of "blocks" as opposed to semesters. Each block concerns a specific organ system, incorporating anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, pathology, and osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) courses in relation to that system. The first 2 years consist of 8 blocks. The blocks in order are: Foundations of Medicine, Musculoskeletal System, Neurological System and Special Senses, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Systems, Gastrointestinal and Renal Systems, Reproductive and Endocrine Systems, Dermatologic Hemostatic and Lymphatic Systems, and Comprehensive Board Review.[5]


Admission is based on an applicant's GPA, entrance interviews, and MCAT score. Demonstration of a history of compassion, empathy, dedication, patient care, orientation to a rural or primary care medicine, and research is also considered in the admissions process.[6]

Relationship with host institutions[edit]

The Virginia Campus is located in the Corporate Research Center, adjacent to the Virginia Tech campus. As a part of a long term agreement, students are granted the same benefits as Virginia Tech students in terms of use of the library, recreational facilities, student center, arts and theatre programs, intramural programs, and access to Virginia Tech football and other athletic event tickets. The school features Tech's "Hokie Bird" mascot as its own, however the school is private and receives no state support from Virginia. Additionally, Virginia Tech is affiliated with the private VT-Carilion School of Medicine granting the M.D. degree, which is off-campus in Roanoke, Virginia.

The Carolinas Campus, until 2014, had a similar relationship with the private Wofford College, but this is no longer in existence. The Carolinas campus also participates in the "College Town Consortium" with five other local colleges. The annual White Coat Ceremony for first year medical students is held at nearby Converse College.[7]


  1. ^ Roanoke Times - First Class
  2. ^ VCOM Mission Statement.[1].
  3. ^ Dustin Wyatt (April 19, 2012). "Hands-on medical approach inspires students at VCOM". GoUpstate. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ "VCOM to Build Campus in Auburn Research Park". August 30, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ "VCOM College Catalog - Curriculum". Vcom.vt.edu. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  6. ^ VCOM Admissions
  7. ^ VCOM White Coat Ceremony

External links[edit]