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The DCOM building is currently under construction.

DEBUSK COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE GRANTED PROVISIONAL ACCREDITATION



September 12, 2006 - HARROGATE, TN – Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) received notification from the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (AOA COCA) that the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (DCOM) has been granted provisional accreditation. This step in the accreditation process will allow the DCOM, Tennessee’s newest medical school, to accept applications for its inaugural class, slated to begin in the Fall of 2007.

“Lincoln Memorial University is proud to be one step closer to opening the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine,” President Nancy B. Moody said. “Dr. Ray Stowers, VP and Dean of the DCOM, has selected a stellar faculty and staff to assist in the development of this program. I commend Dr. Stowers and his staff on a job well done. This program opens up a whole new world of opportunity for young people in this region who previously thought that obtaining a medical education was out of their reach.”

The DCOM has launched a website at www.lmunet.edu/dcom. Prospective students may visit the DCOM site for more information about the school and to download application materials. Applications will be accepted immediately, and on-campus interviews with prospective students will begin October 1. DCOM officials will be making more than 40 campus visits to colleges and universities throughout the Southeast in the next six weeks and will be introducing the DCOM at various osteopathic professional conferences beginning in October. The DCOM inaugural class will be 150 students, selected from an anticipated applicant class of more than 2,000 prospective students. A full slate of highly qualified faculty with Ph.D., D.O., and M.D. degrees have committed to teach during the 2007-2008 school year.

On May 5, 2006, LMU broke ground on the facility that will house the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. The state-of-the-art DCOM building is a four story, 105,000 square foot facility that will house lecture halls, faculty and administrative offices, laboratories, research space, examination rooms and classroom space. The DCOM facility will rival medical education facilities found at much larger universities throughout the nation and is slated for completion in June 2007.

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and Lincoln Memorial University have a shared goal – service to humanity. LMU is committed to teaching, research and service, and strives to advance life throughout the region. The osteopathic profession has successfully trained primary care physicians and placed them in rural and underserved areas all across the United States. The Appalachian service area continues to have a severe shortage of well trained primary care physicians. The DCOM anticipates placing a majority of its graduates throughout Appalachia. Studies have shown that the local economic impact of just one physician into an underserved area generates $1 million annually.

“The mission of Lincoln Memorial University has always been to educate the people of Appalachia. Throughout its more than a century of service, LMU has evolved to meet the needs of the people in this area,” said Chairman of the LMU Board of Trustees and DCOM’s namesake, O.V. “Pete” DeBusk. “We caught the first glimpse of the emerging healthcare crisis years ago and launched a world-class nursing program in 1974. Today we are stepping up our efforts to fend off this crisis, by providing a place to educate the next generation of doctors to serve the people of Appalachia.”

An osteopathic physician (D.O.), like an allopathic physician (M.D.) is fully qualified to practice medicine and surgery in all 50 states. Both enter into all specialties, attend medical school for four years, must pass comparable state licensing requirements, practice and work side-by-side in fully accredited and licensed health care facilities. However, D.O.s receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system, especially via manipulative therapy, and learn to use their hands to both diagnose and treat illnesses. Many D.O.s work in underserved areas, and approximately 65% of D.O.s practice in primary care areas.

The provisional accreditation follows a campus site visit in July 2006 and a presentation by Dr. Moody and Dr. Stowers at the AOA COCA meeting in Chicago last weekend. The new program represents LMU’s first doctoral/professional (Level V) degree program and requires approval from both the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC) and the AOA COCA to achieve regional and professional accreditation. LMU has been working through the accreditation process for the last two years. LMU is working closely with SACS COC and AOA COCA to insure successful implementation of the new College of Osteopathic Medicine. In September, LMU will submit a formal Application for Change of Degree Level Approval with the SACS COC. A decision on SACS COC approval of the Application for Degree Level Change is anticipated in December 2006. Acceptance of LMU’s first class of medical students will follow SACS COC approval.

The DCOM curriculum is a four-year, full-time academic and clinical program leading to granting the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). The curriculum will stress the interdependence of the biological, clinical, behavioral and social sciences. Emphasis will be on educating physicians for primary care medicine, employing the distinctive osteopathic principles for the maintenance of health and treatment of disease.

The first and second year curriculum will be organized according to the major organ systems of the body, i.e., endocrine, reproductive, cardiovascular, etc. The third and fourth year curriculum will consist of month-long rotations in hospitals and clinics in varying specialties such as family medicine internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, emergency medicine, and other specialties.

The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. The DCOM is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community, and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of osteopathic doctors to provide healthcare in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about the DCOM, call 1-800-325-0900, ext. 7082, email dcom@lmunet.edu, or visit us online at www.lmunet.edu/dcom.

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