Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

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Kansas City University
of Medicine and Biosciences
Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
Former names

Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery
Kansas City College of Osteopathic Medicine

University of Health Sciences
Established 1916; 99 years ago (1916)
Type Private, Non-profit
Endowment $70 million[1]
Chairman Terrence P. Dunn
President Marc B. Hahn, D.O.
Dean Bruce Dubin, D.O., J.D.
Academic staff
Students 1,033[3]
Location Kansas City, Missouri, US
39°06′24″N 94°33′39″W / 39.1067°N 94.5608°W / 39.1067; -94.5608Coordinates: 39°06′24″N 94°33′39″W / 39.1067°N 94.5608°W / 39.1067; -94.5608
Campus Urban
Nickname KCU
Website www.kcumb.edu

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB) is a health sciences university located in Kansas City, in the U.S. state of Missouri. The university was founded in 1916, and currently consists of both a College of Osteopathic Medicine and a College of Biosciences. The school occupies the original site of Children's Mercy Hospital.[4]

KCUMB is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[3] and recognized by the Coordinating Board of Higher Education for the Missouri Department of Higher Education. The College of Osteopathic Medicine is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation.[5]


KCUMB's College of Osteopathic Medicine was founded on May 19, 1916, as the Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery. In January 1921, the college moved to the Northeast neighborhood, just east of downtown. In November 1970, the name of the college was changed to The Kansas City College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCCOM), and again in July 1980 to The University of Health Sciences (UHS). In 2004, the name was changed to the current Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.[6]

Since 1916, the University has awarded the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree to more than 7,000 graduates. Current enrollment includes approximately 1,000 students from nearly every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries. About 49 percent of the student body is female.

In 1940, Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery took over the assets of the Central College of Osteopathy, Kansas City, MO.[6]

In 1999, KCUMB joined with seven other research institutions to form the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI). As a founding KCALSI partner, KCUMB is working to transform Kansas City into a national center for biomedical research.

In May 2004, the UHS name gave way to Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. The name reflected a change in mission as the University added a second college, the College of Biosciences. The College of Biosciences accepted its first students in the fall of 2005, offering a one-year master of science in biomedical sciences degree. The College of Biosciences has since added a two-year master of science in biomedical sciences and a master of arts in bioethics, which enrolled its first students in Fall 2008.

For a period in 2009, Karen Pletz, the president of the university, was pursuing the possibility of offering a dual DO/MD degree.[7] The idea was very controversial and raised concerns within the osteopathic medical community.[8] Several leaders of the profession formally requested the option be abandoned. Pletz was subsequently fired, but refrained from discussing the details of her dismissal as a lawsuit was underway.[7] The lawsuit and firing related to financial disagreements between Pletz and the university.[1] Later that day, Pletz filed a countersuit against the school for alleged wrongful termination.[9] Pletz was indicted by Federal Prosecutors on March 31, 2011 for embezzling 1.5mil from KCUMB.[10] Pletz later committed suicide November 22, 2012 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.[11]

In January 2014, the university announced a $60 million expansion plan, which is expected to include a clinical training center, offices, classrooms, and a medical simulation building.[12][13]


KCUMB offers graduate degrees in medicine, biomedical sciences, business, and bioethics.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine is one of three medical schools in the United States to be recognized twice with the John Templeton Foundation’s Spirituality in Medicine Curricular Award, which recognizes outstanding medical education curricula incorporating spirituality in medicine. KCUMB is also one of three osteopathic medical schools nationwide working to enhance future physicians’ cultural competency and eliminate disparities in health care through a grant from the American Medical Student Association.

Through the Genesis curriculum, students in KCUMB’s College of Osteopathic Medicine develop clinical decision-making skills using an integrated, patient-centered approach to medicine that combines basic and clinical sciences. This "Body Systems" based approach means that students learn both basic and clinical sciences in sections that include Musculoskeletal, Cardiopulmonary, Gastrointestinal, Renal, Neuro, Reproduction, Skin/Blood/Lymph, and more. In addition students also take Osteopathic Clinical Skills, Osteopathic Communication Skills, and additional elective courses throughout their first and second year.[14]


Admission to KCU is very selective. For the 2014-2015 application cycle, 272 medical students were admitted to the university out of 6005 applicants.[15] The matriculants entering the Class of 2018 had an average MCAT of 27.6 and an overall GPA of 3.63.[16]

College of Osteopathic Medicine[edit]

The College of Osteopathic Medicine was established in 1916 and has graduated more than 7,000 osteopathic physicians since. Through this college, KCUMB confers the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree. The college of osteopathic medicine is fully accredited by the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA). The school also has an early matriculation program, called the Partnership Plan, with several undergraduate institutions. In this program students can apply to in their sophomore year of college and be accepted by their junior year.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine offers two dual-degree programs: a D.O./M.B.A. in Healthcare Leadership, and a D.O./M.A. in Bioethics. The M.B.A. in leadership and management is offered through a partnership with Rockhurst University’s Helzberg School of Management. The degree complements students' medical education by developing physician-managers of competence and conscience with the business and leadership skills necessary to provide quality, holistic healthcare. M.B.A. coursework is integrated into the existing KCUMB curriculum. Dual-degree students complete both programs in 4 years and graduate with other members of their KCUMB class.[17]

College of Biosciences[edit]

The College of Biosciences was established in 2005 and currently offers two degrees: a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences and a Masters in Bioethics. Students interested in pursuing the accredited master of science in biomedical sciences can enroll in either a 12-month or 24-month track. The 12-month track places emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge regarding state-of-the-art research methodologies and protocols. The 24-month track targets individuals interested in pursuing careers as research scientists, and includes coursework in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, research design and ethics, research instrumentation and methodology, biostatistics and epidemiology.

The Masters in Bioethics is Kansas City's only graduate-level degree in bioethics. It is designed to explore the moral values as they relate to research and the practice of medicine.

Score 1 For Health Program[edit]

Score 1 for Health is a non-profit organization that administers free, comprehensive health screenings to elementary-aged children living in Kansas City's urban core. The program gives students hands-on clinical training while still in their first and second year of medical school. The programs screens up to 13,000 kids for vision, dental, hearing, blood pressure, height/weight and more every year. Registered nurses follow up with kids who have a referral and their families to connect them to health resources in the community.[18]


On campus, there is the Administrative Building, located where Children's Mercy Hospital once existed, which houses the administrative offices and support facilities, the Annex Building, which houses 2,200+ seat lecture halls, and the D'Angelo Library. The D'Angelo Library opened in the spring of 2011 and includes a learning resources center, collection and reference rooms, several training and conference rooms, an audio-visual/multimedia room, a special collections room, and group study rooms and numerous offices for library support personnel. The library is named for Vincent F. D'Angelo, D.O. (COM '57), and his wife, Cleo V. D'Angelo.[19] The Leonard Smith Hall houses more than 50 individual and small-group study rooms, a computer lab, student lounge, and a state-of-the-art Bioethics classroom. The Mary Lou Butterworth, D.O., Alumni Center is a meeting center for students, faculty, and alumni.

The Dybedal Center for Research is the focus of research activities at KCUMB. The 45,000-square-foot (4,200 m2) center is equipped for Biosafety Levels I and II research and includes more than 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) of basic science laboratories. Opened in 2004, the Dybedal Center also includes an 8,000-square-foot (740 m2) clinical research center, the only adult academic clinical research center in Kansas City, Mo., which conducts Phase I-IV studies.[19]

The Kesselheim Center for Clinical Competence, completed in 2006, significantly enhances the early clinical education of first- and second-year KCUMB medical students. By linking eight high-tech human patient simulators with the College of Osteopathic Medicine’s well-established Standardized Patient Program, medical students are provided invaluable opportunities to evaluate, diagnose and treat hundreds of “patients” in a realistic, yet risk-free environment.[20]

The 96,000-square-foot (8,900 m2) Strickland Education Pavilion, opened in 1996, houses a state-of-the-art anatomy and OMT laboratories with fully integrated camera equipment, a high-tech classroom for biomedical sciences students, a 250-seat auditorium, a cafeteria, teaching labs, and meeting rooms.

The Student Activities Center opened in early 2011. The building includes a student lounge, Common Grounds Cafe, meetings and conference rooms, Matthews Bookstore, a multi-dimensional fitness center with cardiovascular and weight training equipment, an aerobics facility, and game room. The building is connected to Weaver Auditorium.

In 2007, the University officially opened the Weaver Auditorium, a 1,500-seat auditorium named in honor of Jack T. Weaver, D.O., Mary Weaver, Howard D. Weaver, D.O., and Debra S. Albers, D.O.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Alan Bates, D.O., an Oregon politician.
  • Earle Haas, D.O., osteopathic physician and inventor of the tampon with an applicator, marketed as "Tampax."
  • Reef Karim, D.O., has served as a medical expert for many movies and TV shows, such as "The Bourne Identity," "Lords of Dogtown," "Alias," "Private Practice," and "Pasadena." He is also a medical expert for "The Today Show," "Larry King Live," CNN and NBC, and appeared on "Oprah." He is the founder and director of the Beverly Hills Center for Self Control and Lifestyle Addictions.
  • Huy T.T. Nguyen, D.O.
  • Scott Ransom, D.O.
  • Paul Wakim, D.O.
  • Joel Weisman, D.O., one of the first to identify AIDS.
  • Phog Allen, D.O.
  • Kimberly Parks, D.O., a heart transplant cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, was prominently featured in the 2010 ABC documentary "Boston Med."
  • Leonard Calabrese, D.O., is credited with being one of the early pioneers of HIV research. Currently a physician at the famed Cleveland Clinic, he received a $3 million grant in 2010 to continue his research.
  • Ret. Col. Daniel K. Berry, D.O., Ph.D., his team developed the Remote Casualty Location and Assessment Device (RCLAD), which was used in attempts to locate victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He also invented the Patient Support Pallet (PSP), which is used to transport wounded soldiers, including Pvt. Jessica Lynch, who was held captive in 2003 as a prisoner of war in Iraq.


  1. ^ a b "In The Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri at Kansas City" (PDF). American City Business Journals. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine". Princeton Review. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine" (PDF). American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ White, D.O., Betty Jo. "The History of Osteopathy in Kansas City, MO (1903-1996)."
  5. ^ "Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine" (PDF). American Osteopathic Association. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Historic Reference of Osteopathic Colleges". American Osteopathic Association. 2006. Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Fired medical school president had been pushing big changes". Joplin Metro. December 25, 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Daily Report Blog". American Osteopathic Association. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Sherry, Mike (March 22, 2010). "Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences sues its former president, alleging fraud, mismanagement". Kansas City Business Journal. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "KCUMB President Pletz indicted for Embezzlement". 
  11. ^ http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article300923/Karen-Pletz%E2%80%99s-death-was-a-suicide-coroner-says.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ The Associated Press (January 12, 2014). "After recovering from controversy, KC osteopathic medical school begins $60 million expansion". The Daily Journal. 
  13. ^ Williams, Mara Rose (January 7, 2014). "Osteopathic Medical School is Ready to Grow Again". The Kansas City Star. 
  14. ^ "College of Osteopathic Medicine Curriculum". KCUMB. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  15. ^ "Class enrollment". Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  16. ^ "Class Profile". Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "Health Care Leadership Overview". Rockhurst University. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  18. ^ "Score 1 for Health | Home". KCUMB. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  19. ^ a b "KCUMB Student Center & Library Complexes". Straub Construction. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  20. ^ "KCUMB". KCUMB. 2011-09-22. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 

External links[edit]