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
Type Private
Osteopathic Medical School
Established 2002
Parent institution
Virginia Tech and
Auburn University
Budget $28.75 million[1]
Dean Dixie Tooke-Rawlins
Students 1400
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[2]          
Website www.vcom.edu

The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) is a private, non-profit osteopathic medical school located 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 one of a growing number of osteopathic medical schools in the United States, which grant the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree, 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 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). 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 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]

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 and upstate South Carolina.

Curriculum and academics[edit]

The 1st and 2nd 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 2 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 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 3rd and 4th 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; they provide opportunities for students to develop clinical skills.


VCOM is located on 13 acres[11] within the campus of Virginia Tech, in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. 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]

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 Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute 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.[12]

The Auburn Campus is located in the Auburn Research Park in Auburn, Alabama and is affiliated with Auburn University and started offering classes in Fall 2015.

Patient care[edit]

VCOM operates a sports medicine clinic at Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg, Virginia.[13]

Graduate medical education[edit]

VCOM operates two fellowship programs, geriatric medicine and sports medicine.[14][15] Both programs are accredited by the American Osteopathic Association. In addition, VCOM operates a residency program in family medicine in collaboration with Johnston Memorial Hospital[16]


  1. ^ "Fiscal Year 2013 Revenues and Expenditures by Osteopathic Medical College" (PDF). AACOM. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ "Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine" (PDF). Commission on Osteopathic Colleges Accreditation. 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. 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.[1].
  10. ^ "VCOM College Catalog - Curriculum". VCOM. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  11. ^ a b c "Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine–Virginia Campus (VCOM–VC)" (PDF). AACOM. 
  12. ^ VCOM White Coat Ceremony
  13. ^ Skeen, Michelle (November 15, 2010). "VCOM opens new sports and osteopathic medicine practice". Roanoke Times. 
  14. ^ "Geriatrics Program". VCOM. 
  15. ^ "Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine - Sports Med Fellow". AOA. American Osteopathic Association. 
  16. ^ "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. 

External links[edit]