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New Master of Medical Science Classes Start

New LECOM Degree Program Allows Students to Prepare to Reach Their Goals of Entering Medical, Pharmacy or Dental School and Earning a Master’s Degree.

Master of Medical Science Degree Emphasizes Knowledge, Skills and Career Development

The first students in the newest program at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) will arrive at the Lakewood Ranch campus Monday, June 13,  to begin their pursuit of the Master of Medical Science degree (MMS).

Kimberly and Catherine Boldig are among the excited new MMS class at LECOM Bradenton

Kimberly and Catherine Boldig are among the excited new MMS class at LECOM Bradenton

The one-year, non-thesis program is designed to academically, scientifically and professionally prepare students to become candidates for the LECOM College of Osteopathic Medicine, the School of Dental Medicine or the School of Pharmacy.

“Our goal was to accept 75 students into the first class,” said Ronald Berezniak, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at LECOM Bradenton. “We accepted 82 students into the program.”

“In addition to the preparation for further education in the health professions, it does lead to a master’s degree,” Berezniak said.

Class members introduce themselves at orientation.

Class members introduce themselves at orientation.

For Logan Rutch, 22, of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., the opportunity to gain an advanced degree attracted him to the program.

“Post-baccalaureate programs at other places typically lead to certificates, but with this program, getting a master’s degree in the same amount of time was a big draw,” said Rutch, who intends to pursue dental medicine.

Reginald Floresca, 26, of Austin, Texas, said he will use the program to prepare for his future.

“I graduated from the University of Texas in microbiology, so I had all the prerequisites done, but I wanted to enroll in this program to better prepare for medical school,” said Floresca.

James Diep, 27, of Pasadena, Calif., also said he plans to apply to LECOM’s College of Medicine.

“I was in the working world already,” said Diep. “I was working full time as a pharmacy tech and then as a medical coordinator and I decided I wanted to go back into medicine. This program gives you a lot of opportunity to take medical school classes and one of the big things is just getting back into a structure that will prepare you for medicine.”

LECOM assures all candidates for the MMS degree that if they successfully complete all of the academic requirements and apply to one of LECOM’s professional degree programs they will be offered an interview.

The LECOM MMS program is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to develop life-long strategies for professional and career development, to enhance written and oral research presentation skills, and to learn principles and strategies for becoming effective team members.

The program, accredited by the Commission for Independent Education of the Florida Department of Education, encompasses 38 weeks of study in three sessions: summer session, eight weeks of study; fall session, 15 weeks; and spring session, 15 weeks. All coursework for the MMS program will be conducted by faculty members at the Lakewood Ranch Campus.

The academic format of the program will focus on four primary areas of study: Basic Sciences; Health Care; Biopsychosocial Aspects of Medicine; and Introduction to Research.

Initially, students will take classes in structural anatomy, physiology, biostatistics and research basics. The second set of classes includes health disparities, biochemistry, epidemiology and microbiology. In the final selection of classes, students will take biochemistry, evidence-based medicine, functional anatomy, pathology and behavioral medicine.

“Part of the thing that attracted me here were the classes that we’ll be taking,” said Chris Johnson, 23, of Fayetteville, Ga. “These are courses that I excelled at as an undergraduate at the University of West Georgia;  heavy on anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pathology. The fact that I did well in those made me feel that I would thrive here.

“And I felt that the rigors of the program, an extra year of training under my belt and a master’s degree would set me up for a better experience in medical school.”

New LECOM students in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Dental Medicine and School of Pharmacy will begin classes in July and August.

For more information on the MSS program, please contact Admissions at LECOM Bradenton at (941) 756-0690.