Marian University has received pre-accreditation status for its college of osteopathic medicine from the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) of the American Osteopathic Association.
Pre-accreditation status is the initial recognition status awarded by the COCA. Pre-accreditation status is an important step forward in Marian University’s plan for the state’s first college of osteopathic medicine, an important project that will directly address the shortage of physicians in Indiana and have an economic impact of more than $100 million.
Indiana will be short 5,000 physicians by 2020, and will need 2,000 more primary care physicians. In Indiana, 57 of the 92 counties are medically underserved. “Putting osteopathic physicians who are interested in primary care into the pipeline is our answer to this pressing concern,” said Marian University’s president, Daniel J. Elsener. Approximately 41 percent of DOs go into family medicine and nearly 60 percent into primary care practice; a higher percentage of them practice in rural and underserved areas.
The Indiana Osteopathic Association (IOA), which has been an advocate of Marian University’s development of the state’s first college of osteopathic medicine, pledged its continuing support of the university. "The IOA is proud of our partnership with Marian University and we congratulate them on receiving pre-accreditation status,” said IOA president David Coil, DO. “The new college of osteopathic medicine will provide much needed primary care physicians to the many medically underserved counties in Indiana, and provide economic growth to the state. We are excited to champion Marian University in this endeavor and are here to help promote the university to our future DOs,” he continued.
The next step, provisional accreditation from COCA, could come as early as September of 2011. Then approval from the Higher Learning Commission is sought; after that is obtained the university can begin recruiting students. The college of osteopathic medicine is expected to accept applications in the summer of 2012 and open in the fall of 2013. Elsener commented that this timeframe creates a window of opportunity for the university.
“Students attending medical school are among the most academically talented; they expect the best. They can demand the best; it's a highly competitive environment for recruiting the best students,” he said. Opening the college of osteopathic medicine in the fall of 2013 will allow Marian University to enhance the quality of the program by:
- building a state-of-the-art, technology intensive building;
- recruiting an excellent faculty; and
- designing an innovative curriculum to meet the educational needs of 21st century physicians.
Dr. Paul Evans, dean of the college of osteopathic medicine, commented that this timeframe also means the university has more time to raise awareness of the new program with medical students. “We are pleased that Marian University has achieved the pre-accreditation status from COCA. This is official recognition that our college of osteopathic medicine is on the way toward provisional accreditation and eventually toward full accreditation when we graduate our first class. We plan to start our inaugural class in 2013 and hope to graduate our first DO class in 2017.”
A new building which will house both the college of osteopathic medicine and the university’s School of Nursing, the Center for Health Sciences and the Healing Arts, will be located at the corner of 30th Street and Cold Spring Road. This 140,000 square foot building is being designed to LEED Gold standards (LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council); construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2011.