Primary Care Scholars Pathway
The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) introduced the innovative curricular pathway, the Primary Care Scholars Pathway (PCSP), as a response to the declining interest in primary care, and particularly family medicine. LECOM Primary Care Scholars will graduate in three years from the Erie, PA campus with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree that is equivalent to a four-year academic program. PCSP students must make a commitment to complete a residency in family medicine or general internal medicine.*
LECOM’s PCSP offers the first of five of the nation’s only three-year medical degree programs and brings LECOM to the forefront of competency-based education. PCSP accelerates the traditional four-year medical school curriculum into three calendar years and greatly reduces the time and expense involved in earning a medical education geared toward primary care. Students will be trained in accredited graduate medical education programs in primary care and receive early clinical experiences coupled with primary care mentoring.
How PCSP Works
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. Following unique courses and learning modules, students complete the first two years of preclinical education in under 20 months. They begin clinical training in March of the second year. Students must complete core competency-based clinical rotations that meet all the educational requirements necessary for primary care medicine. LECOM introduced new core rotations to continue OMM training and other essential medical skills. A sub-internship introduces students to the hospitals where they will continue their clinical training after graduation.
Clinical rotations are chosen from multiple sites among the LECOM clinical teaching affiliations with a number of local teaching hospitals providing added support for PCSP students. These hospitals include:
- Millcreek Community Hospital
- St. Vincent Hospital
- Meadville Medical Center
- UHHS – Richmond Heights
- Clarion Hospital
*The PCSP Student Primary Care Commitment
The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine acknowledges the national shortage in primary care physicians in the United States. The goal of LECOM’s PCSP is to attract competent students to the primary care specialties of Family Medicine (FM) and General Internal Medicine (IM) through a reduction in the time and cost of becoming a practicing primary care physician. The PCSP students acknowledge and confirm that their entry and continued matriculation in the PCSP is contingent upon the students’ commitment to enter primary care residency programs in FM or general IM directly after graduation and practice primary care medicine for a minimum of five years following the successful completion of residency. The actual practice of medicine may be delayed by a fellowship in geriatrics, neuromuscular medicine, or family medicine obstetrics.
The PCSP student acknowledges that in the event he/she chooses not to enter into a primary care residency directly following graduation from LECOM or chooses to not practice primary care medicine for a five-year period following the completion of said residency, the student is asked to return the scholarship award with assessed fees based on the tuition paid at the inception of the student’s final year at LECOM.