Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

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Edward Via College of
Osteopathic Medicine
VCOM multi campus logo small.jpg
Former names
Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Type Private
Osteopathic Medical School
Established 2001
President Dixie Tooke-Rawlins, DO, FACOFP
Students 1853
Location Main Campus Blacksburg, VA; Spartanburg, SC; Auburn, AL, U.S.
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
Accreditation COCA, SCHEV, SCCH, ADPE
Colors Chicago maroon and burnt orange[1]          
Website www.vcom.edu
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine is located in Shenandoah Valley
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
Location in Shenandoah Valley
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine is located in Virginia
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (Virginia)
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine is located in the US
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (the US)

The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) is a private, non-profit osteopathic medical school on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia (VCOM-Virginia), with two branch campuses located in Spartanburg, South Carolina (VCOM-Carolinas) and Auburn, Alabama (VCOM-Auburn). Founded in 2002, VCOM graduated its first class of 139 students in June 2007.

VCOM is currently the second largest medical school in the U.S., with a total enrollment of 1,853 students between its three campuses[2].

VCOM is one of a growing number of osteopathic medical schools in the United States, which grant the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (DO), and one of four located in the Appalachian region. VCOM is fully accredited by the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation.[3]


The school was founded in 2001, 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). In June 2007, VCOM graduated its inaugural class of 139 students.[4] The college was originally named the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, which was later shortened to its present name.

VCOM is incorporated as a private, non-profit institution and has a collaborative agreement with Virginia Tech and Auburn University for education, research, and student activities.

In 2010 the school founded its second campus in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with classes starting in September 2011.[5] VCOM-Carolinas graduated its first class in May 2015.

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.[6]

Graduates of VCOM receive a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree and are referred to as osteopathic physicians. Osteopathic physicians, like M.D. physicians, are complete physicians and are licensed to prescribe medication and perform surgery. Osteopathic physicians and M.D. physicians are very similar, but D.O. physicians receive additional training in the musculoskeletal system,[7] and learn osteopathic manipulative medicine. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine describes the training of osteopathic physicians as "virtually indistinguishable" from that of M.D. physicians.[8] D.O. physicians may choose to enter either a D.O. or an M.D. residency. While graduates of VCOM 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.[9]


The mission of the school is to alleviate the critical shortage of physicians in Appalachia by training medical students to become patient-centered physicians who focus on evidence based medicine. The school places primary recruiting on students from a rural Appalachian background, particularly the rural sections of central and southwestern Virginia, Piedmont North Carolina, upstate South Carolina, and Alabama.

Curriculum and academics[edit]

The first and second years of medical school at VCOM are primarily classroom based and focus on the basic sciences. The school uses a system of "blocks" as opposed to semesters, with eight blocks occurring within the first two years. 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 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 Hemotologic and Lymphatic Systems, and Comprehensive Board Review.[10]

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 Virginia, South Carolina, and Alabama, 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 third and fourth years of training are clinically oriented, where students complete rotations, or clerkships, through various specialties of medicine. The core rotations are family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, geriatrics, surgery, psychiatry, and primary care medicine. These disciplines provide opportunities for students to develop clinical skills.


VCOM currently operates 3 campuses: Virginia, Carolinas, Auburn.

VCOM-Virginia is located on 13 acres within the campus of Virginia Tech,[11] in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. The College operates within a public/private collaboration with Virginia Tech, sharing resources for the purposes of education, research and student activities. On campus, the main building consists of 60,000 square feet.[11] The Center for Simulation and Technology is located within a 22,000 square foot building, where training occurs with simulated patient encounters in several specialties.[11]

VCOM-Carolinas is located on the edge of historic downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina. The campus is approximately 70,000 square feet and is situated on a 18-acre campus. Facility features include state-of-the-art anatomy lab and the Center for Simulation and Technology, offering standardized patient and manikin-based simulation education.

VCOM-Auburn is a 100,000 square foot, four-story, state-of-the-art campus situated on 16 beautiful acres located on the Auburn University Campus, in Auburn, Alabama. The campus offers the nurturing feel of a small private college, but with access to resources and activities of a larger university community. The collaborative partnership with Auburn University student activities, events, research and the arts.

Planning is currently underway to open a fourth VCOM campus, which will be a 100,000-square-foot, $31 million building on the campus of University of Louisiana at Monroe [12]. Between 150-162 medical students are planned to enroll in Fall 2021.

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, the official medical school of Virginia Tech is the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute granting the M.D. degree, which is located in Virginia Tech's Roanoke, Virginia campus.

The Carolinas Campus, until 2014, had a similar relationship with the private Wofford College, but currently 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.[13]

The Auburn Campus is located in the Auburn Research Park in Auburn, Alabama and has a partnership with Auburn University. The partnership is similar to that of Virginia Tech, students are able to use nearby facilities but they are separate entities. The campus started offering classes in Fall 2015.[14]

Patient care[edit]

Academic Primary Care Associates,[15] as well as Academic Sports and Osteopathic Medicine, in Blacksburg, Virginia[16] are affiliated with VCOM-Virginia.

In 2017, VCOM-Carolinas will open Northside Direct Primary Care, a college-affiliated clinic located on campus in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The clinic will be operated in part by Palmetto Proactive, and will be staffed by VCOM faculty physicians.

Graduate medical education[edit]

VCOM operates three fellowship programs, geriatric medicine, sports medicine, and osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine.[17][18] All programs are accredited by the American Osteopathic Association. In addition, VCOM operates a residency program in family medicine in collaboration with Johnston Memorial Hospital[19]


VCOM fosters a culture of faculty growth and institutional excellence through support of faculty, resident, and student research, innovation, and scholarly work. New research projects are stimulated through competitive internal funding programs – Research Eureka Accelerator Program (REAP) and the One Health Program. VCOM conducts research that spans all of multidisciplinary biomedical, clinical and community-based research areas.[20] Some major efforts include Sports Medicine, Concussion and Brain Trauma, Primary Care, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine and Infectious Disease. Supported by the Bradley Foundation, VCOM amplified its research in cancer, heart and neurological diseases as well as bioinformatics and primary care, by creating the Center for Bioinformatics and Genetics and the Primary Care Research Network.[21]


ViaSTAR, LLC, affiliate of VCOM, provides nationally recognized courses as well as on demand services for hospitals, healthcare providers, and medical product companies, with a focus on validated competency-based training that results in improved patient safety.[22]


  1. ^ "The Brand Guide: Virginia Tech Identity Standards and Style Guide" (PDF). Virginia Tech. February 2015. p. 10. Retrieved November 4, 2015. The burnt orange and Chicago maroon are the university's official colors that were adopted in 1896.
  2. ^ "10 Medical Schools With the Most Students". Archived from the original on 2018-08-29.
  3. ^ "Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine" (PDF). Commission on Osteopathic Colleges Accreditation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-13. Retrieved 4 Nov 2015.
  4. ^ Esposito, Greg (May 31, 2007). "First class graduates from osteopathic college". Roanoke Times.
  5. ^ Dustin Wyatt (April 19, 2012). "Hands-on medical approach inspires students at VCOM". GoUpstate. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
  6. ^ "VCOM to Build Campus in Auburn Research Park". August 30, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-11-11. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  7. ^ "Doctor of Osteopathic medicine". Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
  8. ^ Dennis L. Kasper, Eugene Braunwald, Anthony S. Fauci, Stephen L. Hauser, Dan L. Longo, J. Larry Jameson, and Kurt J. Isselbacher, Eds. Chapter 10. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 16th Ed. 2005. McGraw Hill.
  9. ^ VCOM Mission Statement."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2013-12-19..
  10. ^ "VCOM College Catalog - Curriculum". VCOM. Archived from the original on 2012-08-13. Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  11. ^ a b c "Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine–Virginia Campus (VCOM–VC)" (PDF). AACOM.
  12. ^ "Regents approve med school license for ULM". The Advertiser. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  13. ^ VCOM White Coat Ceremony
  14. ^ http://www.vcom.edu/about/about-vcom
  15. ^ "Academic Primary Care Associates | A Caring family medicine practice, pediatrics, and sports medicine in Blacksburg VA. Serving Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, Salem, and Roanoke. PCMH Certified. VCOM residency. Oesteopathic manipulation". www.academicprimarycare.com. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  16. ^ Skeen, Michelle (November 15, 2010). "VCOM opens new sports and osteopathic medicine practice". Roanoke Times.
  17. ^ "Geriatrics Program". VCOM. Archived from the original on 2015-10-12. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  18. ^ "Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine - Sports Med Fellow". AOA. American Osteopathic Association. Archived from the original on 2015-10-12. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  19. ^ "Johnston Memorial Hospital welcomes first class of residents as part of collaboration with VCOM | Mountain States Health Alliance". www.mountainstateshealth.com. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  20. ^ "Research | VCOM - The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine". www.vcom.edu. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  21. ^ "Edward Via College of Medicine". cbg.vcom.edu. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  22. ^ "ViaSTAR Center | Homepage". viastarcenter.com. Retrieved 2017-05-22.

External links[edit]