Directed Study Pathway - LECOM Education System

Directed Study Pathway

The Directed Study Pathway (DSP, originally Independent Study) is a unique program for medical education. It is initiated with significant daily classroom time early in the first semester and allows adult learners, who are capable of learning with minimal classroom time, to gradually decrease his or her lecture attendance and utilize specific “directed study” modules to finish his or her first two years of medical school. The pathway requires the student to have well-developed organizational and time-management skills in order to complete the rigorous requirements in an independent manner.

How Does DSP Work?
The DSP stresses student self-motivation and self-learning. After attending classes in anatomical sciences in the first semester, students begin the transition to studying in small groups, in an independent but closely directed manner. This study is directed by highly structured learning objectives compiled by the faculty and incorporated into self-directed learning modules. With the absence of lectures, textbooks and other appropriate resources serve as the basis for learning. It must be stressed that DSP is not a “correspondence course” of study and requires significant on-campus presence throughout the two years. All modules require attendance, including those with a laboratory portion. After initially attending classes five days per week, students are typically on-campus from two to five days each week throughout the remainder of their two years in the curriculum. As such, all DSP students are required to live within 30 miles of Erie. While students utilize their time as they see appropriate, the pathway is closely directed by the faculty. Students meet with the faculty on a weekly basis.

Though not required, DSP students may attend any or all of the Lecture Discussion Pathway classes as part of their learning experience.

Clinical Experience
History and Physical Examination stresses a comprehensive examination of the patient while developing a proficiency in the use of diagnostic equipment. The course gives the student firsthand knowledge of the clinical aspects of medicine.

Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
LECOM students learn the basic history, philosophy, principles and practice of osteopathic manipulative medicine. This hands-on diagnosis and treatment is the foundation of osteopathic whole-person health care.

All examinations include multiple-choice questions that are generated by the faculty and based upon learning objectives. These questions help prepare students for their national licensure examinations. The DSP has a regularly scheduled date and time for each module examination.

Is DSP the choice for you?

DSP is ideal for students who:

  • Are self-motivated learners with good organizational and time-management skills;
  • Learn best through reading and small-group interactions;
  • Are dedicated, above all else, to the rigor of academic activities; and
  • Have a strong science education background.