To address a growing need for more physicians in Florida, the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Bradenton will increase its class size starting in the fall of 2011.
The American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) approved a class-size increase from 150 to 182 medical students at LECOM’s Florida campus. The College admission team sees no problem attracting students to fill these extra openings since more than 3000 candidates applied to LECOM Bradenton for the Class of 2014 which began classes this fall. The number of applicants for fall 2011 are currently exceeding last year’s numbers.
“We're finding that LECOM’s innovative curriculum, high quality of educational programs and affordable tuition are attracting more applicants each year, “ said Robert J. George, DO, LECOM Bradenton Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. “LECOM’s reputation as a top quality medical school continues to grow and medical school candidates are taking note of the student-centered pathways and the low tuition.”
LECOM administrators led by President and CEO John Ferretti, DO appeared before COCA in late August to present the College’s case for an increased class size. Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs, Silvia Ferretti, DO and LECOM Trustee and Florida Sen. Durell Peaden, Jr., MD, JD were part of the team in Chicago.
LECOM’s report cited the substantial growth of the Lake Erie Consortium for Osteopathic Medical Training (LECOMT). Since 1998, LECOMT has grown from 44 post-doctoral positions to 744. The report also noted that 63 percent of LECOM Bradenton graduates from the classes of 2009 and 2010 have gone into osteopathic residencies. The establishment of an osteopathic residency program at Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton will also play an integral role in keeping physicians in the area.
U.S. News and World Report also ranked LECOM 7th in the nation for primary care graduates from 2006-2009.
LECOM opened its Bradenton branch campus in 2004 to 150 medical students. Since then, the campus has seen substantial growth and is now home to 600 medical and 400 pharmacy students. LECOM is the largest medical school in the country with two other campuses in Erie and Greensburg, PA. Total medical school class size will grow from 504 to 536 with the increase, leading to a total enrollment of more than 2100 medical students within a few years.
COCA serves the public by establishing, maintaining and applying accreditation standards and procedures to ensure that academic quality and continuous quality improvement delivered by the colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) reflect the evolving practice of osteopathic medicine. The scope of the COCA encompasses the accreditation of the COMs.
The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.