The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine takes a total-person approach to health care encompassing the mind, body and spirit of the patient. The osteopathic physician becomes a partner with the patient on a pathway to health and well-being.
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is looking for medical students who will excel in academics, clinical care, research and community service. The College selects applicants who show an awareness of osteopathic medicine recognizing total-person health care for the patient and for the community.
LECOM has designed a student-centered curriculum recognizing different learning styles: traditional Lecture-Discussion Pathway (LDP); small-group, Problem-Based Learning Pathway (PBL); or the self-learning Independent Study Pathway (ISP). LECOM offers the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Degree at three campuses. The Erie, Pennsylvania campus offers five learning pathways, while Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida students enroll in PBL only. LECOM Erie also offers the Primary Care Scholars Pathway (PCSP) designed to attract more students to primary care and family medicine by condensing four years of medical education into three years. Recently, LECOM added the Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway (APAP), and like the PSCP, graduates students in three years.
LDP core curriculum starts with basic sciences and introductions to clinical education. Beginning first year, second semester, the LECOM systems curriculum integrates basic and clinical science of human organ systems. Lectures provide a physician’s "real life" view of contemporary health care.
PBL emphasizes student-centered, self-directed learning. Each group of eight students meets with a faculty facilitator three times per week. Students work independently and in small groups developing learning issues and discussing new information relevant to actual patient cases. Groups will request additional history and physical results, an EKG or an MRI as needed as students begin forming differential diagnoses. PBL students progress through basic science and onto clinical science as they become better at solving patient cases.
ISP provides significant flexibility for students during the first two years of medical school. For admission to ISP, the student must show excellent organizational and time management skills in order to proceed through the curriculum and meet strict examination deadlines. Though the program stresses independence, it is a closely directed course of study. ISP students use lists of highly structured learning objectives compiled into module booklets. Modules are divided into Core and Systems similar to the LDP curriculum. Core modules deal with fundamentals of basic science while systems modules integrate basic science and clinical disciplines in an organ systems approach to learning.
LECOM introduced PCSP as a response to the declining interest in primary care, and particularly family medicine. LECOM uses its experience with innovative teaching pathways to ensure that Primary Care Scholars receive the equivalent of four years of academic and clinical education to prepare for post-graduate training. APAP came in response to studies done for physician assistant associations that showed PAs are interested in expanding their education and practice independently if they had an affordable, and accelerated way to earn a physician degree and license.
Following unique courses and learning modules, students complete the first two years of basic science and preclinical education in under 20 months. They begin early clinical training and students must complete core competency-based clinical rotations that meet all the educational requirements necessary for primary care medicine.