College of Osteopathic Medicine

The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) takes a total-person approach to health care encompassing the mind, body, and spirit of the patient as 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 Directed-Study Pathway (DSP, formerly Independent Study). LECOM offers the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Degree at four campuses. The Erie, Pennsylvania, campus offers four learning pathways while the Greensburg, PA, Bradenton, FL and Elmira, NY campuses enroll students in PBL only. LECOM Erie also offers the Primary Care Scholars Pathway (PCSP) designed to attract more students to primary care, general internal medicine, and family medicine by condensing four years of medical education into three years. The Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway (APAP) also allows Certified Physician Assistants (PA-C) to earn a DO degree in three years. APAP is available at the Greensburg campus only.

LDP core curriculum starts with basic sciences and introductions to clinical education. Beginning the first year, second semester, the LECOM systems curriculum integrates basic and clinical science of human organ systems. Clinically based 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.

DSP provides significant flexibility for students during the first two years of medical school. For admission to DSP, 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. DSP students use lists of highly structured learning objectives compiled into modules that are divided into the core and systems curricula similar to the LDP courses. Core modules deal with the 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 need for primary care physicians, particularly for 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. Students complete the first two years of basic science and preclinical education in under 20 months by attending class year-round and using the DSP learning strategy. 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.

Certified physician assistants (PA-C) who are interested in expanding their education and practicing independently now have an affordable and accelerated pathway to earn a DO degree and license. APAP students enroll in the PBL curriculum at the Greensburg campus. The two-year pre-clinical curriculum mirrors that of all students in the PBL pathway with acceleration occurring during the clinical curriculum.

As medical practice is a team-based environment, students of all pathways participate in interprofessional education (IPE) elements across the curriculum to give them experience in working effectively with health care teams.

Number of curricular weeks:

LDP/PBL/DSP: 176 weeks
PCSP: 144 weeks
APAP: 140 weeks