Artist's rendering of DCOM building.


July 23, 2006 - Lincoln Memorial University has notified the Commission on Colleges (COC) of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) of its intent to initiate a College of Osteopathic Medicine and seek Commission approval to award the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. The new program represents LMU’s first Level V (doctoral/professional) degree program and requires approval from both SACS COC and the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (AOA COCA) to achieve regional and professional accreditation. LMU received pre-accreditation status from AOA COCA in December, 2005. LMU is working closely with SACS COC and AOA COCA to insure successful implementation of the new College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The University has selected a Dean’s Council to guide the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine through the AOA COCA accreditation process under the direction of Vice President and Dean for the DCOM, Ray Stowers, D.O. The Dean’s Council includes Senior Associate Academic Dean/Associate Dean for Clinical Sciences, Craig Lenz, D.O., Assistant Dean of Pre-Clinical Sciences, Dennis Kiick, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of Admissions and Student Advancement, Jonathan Leo, Ph.D., and Director of Educational Development and Assessment, JooHee Kim, M.P.H.

The University is currently seeking AOA COCA provisional-accreditation. This step will include a site visit in July 2006 and an appearance before AOA COCA in September 2006. In August 2006, LMU will submit a formal Application for Change of Degree Level Approval with the SACS Commission on Colleges. A decision on SACS COC approval of the Application for Degree Level Change is anticipated in December of 2006.

After the University receives AOA COCA provisional-accreditation in September, it can then begin to recruit students and after SACS COC approval in December, it can then accept students into the program. The University hopes to begin classes the fall semester of 2007.

The DCOM curriculum is a four-year, full-time academic and clinical program leading to granting the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). 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. These Organ Systems/Courses, which will vary in length of study, include anatomy, biochemistry, immunology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, and virology. These preclinical domains are integrated with the clinical sciences from within each system. This affords the student an improved understanding and integration/correlation of course materials as clinical considerations are presented and integrated with the practical application of the basic science principles.

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 American Osteopathic Association’s mission is consistent with the mission of the University. Trends have shown a large number of applicants in osteopathic medical schools with a limited number of openings. LMU has already enlisted the support of multiple health care systems by assisting in the third and fourth year clinical studies. 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.

An osteopathic physician (D.O.), like an allopathic physician (M.D.) is a fully qualified physician 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. The difference is that 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. D.O.s are required to complete continuing education courses to stay current in their field. Many D.O.s work in underserved areas and approximately 65% of D.O.s practice in primary care areas. D.O.s comprise a separate yet equal branch of American medical care that has been fully integrated into the health maintenance of our nation.

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 estimated at 105,000 square feet with four floors and 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. It is projected to be complete in June of 2007.

Contact the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine at (423) 869-7090 or email inquiries to
The Dean’s Council:

Also click on the news link for more articles about the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at

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