Marian University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM), Indiana’s first new medical school in more than 100 years, has received official word that it may begin to recruit students and offer instruction for its fall 2013 inaugural class.
MU-COM has also been accepted into the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and is now listed among the colleges of osteopathic medicine on the AACOM web site. Prospective students may submit applications through AACOM.
Marian University had been eagerly anticipating this announcement from the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA). Recruitment and preparation to receive prospective student applications is now underway.
“Marian University is now right on schedule toward the plan for full accreditation for our inaugural DO graduating class. Advancing to these levels will allow us to recruit and accept the first class of osteopathic students who will graduate as Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) from Marian University in 2017,” said MU-COM Founding Dean Paul Evans, DO. “Today we are taking a very public step toward establishing the university as a center for health and life sciences for decades to come.”
Addressing the brain drain and doctor shortage
Until now, prospective medical students in Indiana could either choose Indiana University’s School of Medicine or relocate out of state to pursue their education. Marian Univeristy seeks to keep more of those top-tier students in Indiana by providing a new option close to home. When MU-COM opens its doors in August 2013, the school will enroll 150 students per year. The university currently has clinical educational partners and is establishing affiliation agreements with multiple hospitals throughout Indiana. MU-COM will begin hiring faculty members this summer.
“We weren’t content to sit on the sidelines and observe Indiana’s brain drain and growing doctor shortage,” said President Daniel J. Elsener. “We took action, and today we have an important confirmation that our action was correct. We have conquered another peak on our way to the ultimate summit—opening the MU-COM doors in the fall of 2013.” He continued, “I would like to thank the Board of Trustees, Dr. Paul Evans and the MU-COM leadership team, the Marian University community, and the many generous donors—especially Michael A. Evans, St.Vincent Health, Community Health Network, Eli Lilly and Company, Hill-Rom and other supporting organizations—for their hard work in making this courageous venture a reality.”
The Michael A. Evans Center for Health Sciences
Construction on Marian University’s Michael A. Evans Center for Health Sciences—a 140,000-square-foot-facility that will house MU-COM and Marian University’s existing School of Nursing—began in August 2011 and is expected to be complete in June 2013. The new construction on the Marian University campus, near the intersection of 30th Street and Cold Spring Road on Indianapolis’s near west side, is a visible indicator of the university’s commitment to and investment in its medical school.
The Michael A. Evans Center for Health Sciences is named for benefactor Michael A. Evans, founder and Chairman of the Board of AIT laboratories, who made a $48 million gift to the university to construct a home for its medical school. The facility will feature state-of-the-art simulation labs, many sponsored by Indiana hospitals and medical corporations, that will allow students to gain realistic training experiences from day one at MU-COM.
Among the many other distinguished donors to the school are:
- St.Vincent Health Network
- Community Health Network
- Eli Lilly and Company Foundation
- Suburban Health Organization, which includes
- Hancock Regional Hospital
- Hendricks Regional Health
- Henry County Hospital
- Johnson Memorial Hospital
- Major Hospital
- Riverview Hospital
- Rush Memorial Hospital
- St. Vincent Health, Inc.
- Community Westview Hospital
- Witham Health Services
- Margaret Mary Community Hospital (Batesville, Ind.)
- Union Hospital (Terre Haute, Ind.)
- Good Samaritan Hospital (Vincennes, Ind.)
- Roche Diagnostics
- Pike Medical Consultants
The COCA announcement grants MU-COM pre-accreditation with immediate permission to recruit students. Effective July 1, 2011, MU-COM will be granted provisional accreditation status that, as outlined by COCA, means MU-COM is eligible to actively recruit students, matriculate new students, and offer a program of medical instruction with an approved osteopathic curriculum. Provisional status remains in effect until 2017 when the first class graduates and full accreditation is made possible.
In February 2012, the Institutional Action Council of Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of College and Schools approved expansion of Marian University’s accreditation to include the doctor of osteopathic medicine degree. Doctor of osteopathic medicine degree is the proper name granted by an osteopathic medical school in the United States and is represented by the acronym DO. In its 75-year history, the doctor of osteopathic medicine degree is the first doctoral-level degree offered by Marian University.
About osteopathic medicine
There are two kinds of physicians qualified to be licensed for unlimited practice of medicine in all 50 states: those holding the M.D. degree and those who have earned the DO—doctor of osteopathic medicine—degree. Osteopathic physicians perform surgery, deliver babies, and prescribe medicine in hospitals and clinics across the nation. Whether they’re family doctors or specialists, DOs use all the tools of modern medicine and more.
DOs help their patients develop attitudes and lifestyles that don’t just fight illness, but prevent it. They give special attention to how the body’s nerves, muscles, bones, and organs work together to influence health. Through osteopathic manipulative treatment, they can use their hands to diagnose injury and illness and encourage the body’s natural ability to heal itself. These”extra touches” distinguish the DO’s whole-person philosophy of medicine. It’s a century-old tradition of caring for people, not just treating symptoms.