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Frequently Asked Questions About The Directed Study Pathway

Can I finish the DSP preclinical curriculum in less than two years?

No. Because the curriculum is based on both modules and some specifically required lecture-style courses with mandatory attendance throughout the OMS I and OMS II years, it is not possible to finish the preclinical curriculum in less than two years.

Can I matriculate within the DSP and live outside the Erie area?

Since DSP students must attend specific courses and laboratories on campus throughout the semesters, it is required that they live within 30 miles of the school. You should expect to be on campus at least three days per week, and in some cases, up to five days per week when mandatory attendance courses are held.

Is it possible to transfer into, or out of, the DSP once matriculation at LECOM has begun?

Yes, transfer between pathways can occur at specific times during the first year, and between the first and second years. However, there are AOA-mandated limits on the number of students that will be accepted into the different pathways, and a transfer will only be allowed if there are openings available for the pathway and following approval from administration. The DSP tends to maintain a waiting list, and therefore, if you are interested in the DSP, you should indicate this as soon as possible during the interview process by ranking it as your primary choice.

Do DSP students have access to faculty members in the other pathways?

Faculty members are readily available to help all students, regardless of the pathway. Faculty may, upon request, conduct individual or group tutorials, voluntary discussion sessions and clinical correlation conferences for DSP students.

Do DSP students need to make appointments to consult with LECOM faculty members?

No, not necessarily. LECOM has an open-door policy; however, at times, appointments may be necessary because of faculty members’ other commitments, including teaching, administration, research, patient care and community service.

Are all courses in the DSP curriculum presented as modules?

No. While the majority of coursework is presented in a DSP module, certain courses are presented in the traditional lecture and laboratory format with mandatory attendance.

Are the traditional courses with mandatory attendance clustered together or are they spread out?

Some courses that DSP students are required to attend, such as OPP and History & Physical Examination, are spread throughout OMS I and OMS II years and typically require students to be on campus approximately one to two days in any week (in some cases more). Other courses are clustered and may require daily attendance over a few weeks.

Will the students learn osteopathic manipulative techniques (OMT) through modules?

No, students must attend OPP lectures and laboratories throughout the two years of the DSP curriculum, typically once per week.

Can I work while enrolled in the DSP, since I could work during the day and study in the evening?

No, this is strongly discouraged. Medical school is a full-time commitment and it is strongly recommended that students do not participate in any employment while enrolled at LECOM. Students who do maintain employment often have serious academic difficulties. Medical school is required to be the primary focus of any medical student, as medical education bears little resemblance to undergraduate education with respect to the intensity and time requirements. All students must understand that it is impossible to complete the required material presented in modules and classes with less than a full commitment of time and effort.

If you have any interest or any further questions, please contact the LECOM Admissions office or the Director of DSP.

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