Directed Study Courses and Modules

The first semester at LECOM in the Directed Study Pathway (DSP) involves attending classes along with lecture-based students in a set of lecture and laboratory-based anatomical science courses, including Gross Anatomy, Embryology, and Histology and also a Biostatistics course. These courses have mandatory attendance, typically five days per week. Because of this requirement and similar on-campus obligations throughout the first two years, LECOM DSP students are required to live within 30 miles of the Erie area to minimize lost study time due to travel.

Following successful completion of the initial lecture-based course load, students are introduced to and start to use the DSP curricular methods beginning with Core I. DSP students continue their studies using lists of highly structured learning objectives compiled into directed-study modules. The instruction materials for the modules are made available individually for each Core or System course and students use this material in combination with textbooks, resource guides, and computer-based materials.

While faculty help is always available, the DSP has mandatory scheduled meetings weekly with the faculty who contribute to the modules. Students are expected to have previewed the modular material for that meeting so that they can interact with the faculty member by asking/answering questions. Each meeting begins with a short quiz based on the material covered. Examinations are administered on the Examsoft platform and, where possible, follow the lecture/discussion pathway schedule. Examinations consist of multiple-choice, matching, or short-answer questions written by the faculty who contribute learning objectives for each module.

The directed study modules are divided into two curricular categories: Phase I and Phase II. Phase I modules deal with fundamental basic science disciplines, while Phase II modules integrate basic science and clinical disciplines in an organ systems approach to learning. Phase I modules are utilized during the late Fall and part of the early Spring semesters of the OMS I year. The use of Phase II modules begins in the Spring semester of the OMS I year and continues through the full OMS II year. A few lecture/laboratory-based courses, including Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP), one of the most characteristic courses of osteopathic medical education, are presented throughout the OMS I and OMS II years, joining together members of the DSP with students from the other curricular pathways.

The DSP Curriculum Calendar

As noted, entering DSP students begin work on the modules during the Fall semester. The DSP curriculum calendar is available at the beginning of every semester during matriculation and contains module titles, the schedule of study days for each module, and scheduled meetings and examinations. The DSP calendar is made available to each student in Microsoft Outlook so that any changes can be shared directly with the students. A copy of the curricular schedule is also maintained online. The curriculum calendar closely follows the LDP curriculum calendar so that DSP students are afforded the opportunity to sit in on LDP lectures when possible. The calendar is based on seven study days per week, with students expected to dedicate a total of about 60-70 concentrated study hours per week, so that the DSP preclinical curriculum can be completed in two years. Several directed study courses (Public Health, Medical Spanish, and an optional Medical Jurisprudence) are held during the summer period between OMS I and OMS II years, and are taken by all pathways. Successful completion of the two-year DSP program by the set date prepares students for the COMLEX Level I Licensure Examination and allows them to continue onto the Biomedical Sciences and Osteopathic Principles Convergence course.

The DSP modules and the classroom/laboratory based courses (which have mandatory attendance) include:

First-Year ModulesFirst-Year Courses
PhysiologyGross Anatomy
PharmacologyIntroduction to Biostatistics and Research Methodology
PathologyOsteopathic Principles and Practices I & II
Medical GeneticsHealthcare Management I
Musculoskeletal SystemHistory and Physical Examination I & II
Basic NeuroscienceHuman Sexuality
Clinical Neuroscience
Second-Year ModulesSecond-Year Courses
Digestive SystemMedical Spanish
Cardiovascular SystemPublic Health
Respiratory SystemMedical Jurisprudence
Renal SystemOsteopathic Principles and Practices III & IV
Hematology/Oncology SystemHistory and Physical Examination III & IV
Endocrine SystemGeriatric Medicine
Reproductive SystemPsychiatry
Integumentary SystemAdvanced Cardiac Life Support
Biomedical Sciences and Osteopathic Principles Convergence