Emphasizing academic excellence, compassion, and comprehensive patient care, the four-year Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) curriculum is divided into two phases into which key osteopathic principles and techniques are interwoven. Throughout COMP’s curriculum, you will learn the problem-solving skills necessary to enable you to effectively care for the whole patient using state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment modalities.
The first portion of this phase (Semester 1) of the curriculum lays the basic science foundation, and teaches the key osteopathic principles that you will need to commence to the clerkship phase of the curriculum. The later part of this phase (Semesters 2 – 4) incorporates basic and clinical sciences into the in-depth study of ten human organ systems. This approach emphasizes the relevance of basic science to clinical practice. Osteopathic Principles and Manipulative Medicine (OMM) continue as the foundation of this study.
During this phase (Semesters 5-8), you will complete 20 rotations comprised of the major medical disciplines and electives which provide you with the opportunity to further develop your medical knowledge and clinical skills.
Students are required to take and pass the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) Levels 1, 2CE, and 2PE before graduation. During residency training COMP graduates are required to take and pass the COMLEX Level 3 Exam for state licensure. Our students have historically done exceptionally well on these exams. COMLEX first time pass rates and postgraduate residency placement rates can be found on the COMP Academic Outcomes page.
During the pre-clerkship phase, you will receive early clinical exposure through courses including Osteopathic Principles and Practices, Essentials of Clinical Medicine, Physician and Society, and Service Learning. Our students also refine their clinical skills by working with standardized patients in our Clinical Skills Lab and through participation in WesternU’s service-oriented clubs and organizations.
WesternU’s interprofessional curriculum provides a forum for you to collaborate and learn from students in eight other health-care programs. This curriculum provides an opportunity for early networking with other health professionals and ultimately prepares you to better serve your patients through interprofessional collaboration and referrals.
Dedicated clinical and basic science faculty, with many years of teaching experience, are committed to working closely with you to help you succeed in our rigorous academic program. Each student has a faculty advisor who serves as a mentor throughout a student’s academic career by providing advice, referral, letters of recommendation, and other support as needed.
“My favorite thing about WesternU is the people that are involved in it. It’s very much a family atmosphere. My classmates are supportive and I’ve been able to get to know the faculty, staff and administration.”
– Seth Criner, DO Class of 2010
The Office of Learning Enhancement & Academic Development Office (LEAD) is another resource for on-campus and distance students. LEAD helps students connect academic success with wellbeing. In individual counseling sessions, students learn time management, test taking, and studying strategies. LEAD facilitates training in managing stress, increasing focus, and professional skills.
Support for COMLEX and USMLE board exam preparation is also provided by College faculty and the LEAD office.
The preclinical classrooms support your learning using state-of-the-art technology including Ethernet ports at every seat, a built-in multi-media podium, and four large projection screens used to display PowerPoint’s, outlines, videos, and photos related to lectures.
Classrooms are also equipped with the Apreso system that digitally records lectures for online access and review as needed. The system allows students to review select portions of a lecture or even the entire lecture as needed.
As a WesternU osteopathic medical student, you will learn in a variety of settings including the classroom, anatomy lab, OMM lab, clinical skills lab, clinics, medical offices, and hospitals.
“I love the fact that I can review all or part of the recorded lectures while I study for my exams!”
-Tracy Chen, DO Class of 2011
You will also make use of the Harriet K. and Philip Pumerantz Library. The library’s collection is extensive with over 27,000 volumes and journal subscriptions to over 500 print journals and access to more than 9,000 electronic journals. Electronic databases are available both on-campus and off-campus through the Library’s e-resources page.
WesternU’s COMP-Northwest sits on the 50-acre Samaritan Campus Center in Lebanon, Oregon.
COMP-Northwest’s state-of-the-art facility features clinical skills:
- Anatomy labs
- Research labs
- Small group study rooms
- Lecture halls
- Student center
- Bio Wall which acts as an air filter circulating fresh air throughout the building