The course of study to gain a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree from ARCOM consists of four years of progressive integrated education. Two years are held primarily on campus and the second two years are held predominately at clinical sites that are collaborative partners of ARCOM. The Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine has a mission to educate students to become the finest osteopathic physicians based upon:
- A dedicated faculty,
- Established affiliations with medical centers, hospitals, and healthcare systems,
- A structured and supported rural/underserved medicine program.
The design of the curriculum is based on successful integrated academic models. Emphasizing an interdisciplinary collaboration, the curriculum guides students to develop a holistic, and more importantly, an osteopathic approach to medicine. We continuously correlate basic scientific information and methodology with fundamental clinical application. Students are exposed to clinical experiences (community health fairs, nursing home rounds, summer mission trips) in their first year, which gives them the opportunity to prepare for the “real world” of medicine.
This clinical exposure expands in the second year wherein the students have increased opportunity to interact with standardized patients on campus as well as to become involved with real patients in the office and hospital setting while under physician supervision.
For the third and fourth years, students are assigned to one of our core educational centers to ensure continuity and coordination of clinical education in the form of four week rotations at various hospitals, as well as clinics and doctors’ offices within our clinical training network. Our innovative curriculum is designed to fulfill our mission of training students who are competent and ready to enter graduate medical education and training with an emphasis on preparing students to become primary care physicians.
A notable aspect of the clinical program is a required month-long rotation in an underserved practice setting. In rural clinics and hospitals throughout the state of Arkansas and across the United States, our students will participate in providing healthcare to medically underserved and indigent patients. Students will learn to treat various patients whose lifestyles, practices, and attitudes toward healthcare differ from those seen in more traditional training sites. This enriching educational experience is one that cannot be taught in the classroom. Physicians do not work in a vacuum, but rather in a healthcare team, and ARCOM promotes interdisciplinary cooperation whenever possible in the classroom and in all of its clinical settings.