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Curriculum Overview

A learner-centered, competency-based educational experience that is infused with best practices spanning all educational methods.

Our curriculum is designed to provide a medical education experience that succeeds through programmed innovation while optimizing outcomes, and that will help shape the future of healthcare through the skills of our future graduates. It is an exciting time to be at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific.

iPad over the shoulder shot - students in class


The landscape of the healthcare environment is amid a remarkable evolution that is transforming the delivery and in fact the very definition of healthcare in our nation. Some of the many key factors that are contributing to this paradigm shift in healthcare and healthcare delivery include:

-emerging technologies
-a profound increase in the breadth of medical knowledge
-increasingly complex and continually changing healthcare system
-patient population that is likewise increasing in complexity
  • The Model

    The College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) recently took on the challenge to re-engineer a dynamic, state of the art curriculum designed to help COMP students continue to meet the mission of the College, which is to become technically competent, caring and compassionate, culturally sensitive, service oriented, professional future osteopathic physicians who are prepared for graduate medical education and the journey of life-long learning, and who will continue to provide comprehensive, patient centered healthcare with the distinctive osteopathic philosophy throughout their future careers. Furthermore, COMP’s curriculum assures that its future graduates are prepared to become change agents, leaders of the profession, and to generally thrive in the emerging healthcare environment. From the vantage point of beginning with the end in mind, we launched what we felt was the ideal medical education design for the next generation of emerging osteopathic physicians. Starting with the existing legacy curriculum that was already an outstanding systems-based curriculum, we have re-sequenced and re-energized the curriculum into a dynamic innovative and integrated curriculum that would prepare osteopathic medical students for the future of healthcare. From its conception, our curriculum was designed to revolutionize healthcare education.

    The curriculum is driven by the initiatives of innovation, integration, and collaboration by the faculty of the medical disciplines ranging from the basic sciences to the clinical sciences. We are unique from many other medical schools in that we often see the multidisciplinary faculty working and teaching side-by-side. This makes for a dynamic and fun educational process that encourages life-long learning and collaboration between student doctors and faculty. We were also eager to create an educational experience that creates a balance between the rigors of medical school education, wellness and humanism that are critical to the development of each student. The entire COMP faculty and the iMED subcommittee successfully completed the first two years of the new curriculum and with it, a learner-centered, competency-based educational experience that is infused with best practices spanning all educational methods.


    The timing and sequencing of the curriculum allows for both formative and summative assessments that occur at optimal intervals. The assessment methods are designed to prepare students for the licensure examination process and their future clinical practice. Additionally, the curriculum has been created in such a manner that allows us to assess and improve the educational process and student performance in real time.

  • instructor working with students around table with testing equipment

    Conference Weeks

    The students will also partake in a unique process of longitudinal professional development whereby students can select topics of interest to personalize their growth as a student doctor; all of which makes for a highly dynamic and very strong student experience for all COMP students. Wellness and professionalism activities were intentionally embedded strategically throughout the years of training. The conference week framework mimics that of a professional development conference. Student attendees may choose from a variety of wellness-based and professional development activities designed to expand their skillsets as future physicians, as well as promote their overall well-being. As physicians in the future, students will be expected to manage their continuing education activities by individual choice. The conference week provides multiple opportunities throughout their first three years to build this important skillset.


    Pre-Clinical Curriculum

    The College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific and College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest students experience a highly integrated Pre-Clinical Curriculum in the 1st and 2nd year of medical school. This curriculum builds foundational medical knowledge, clinical and hands-on skills, and professional development longitudinally through a variety learning activities that help develop and prepare you for the 3rd and 4th year clinical experience and beyond.
    COMP Assistant Professor and Chair for the Department of Pediatrics Lisa Warren, DO '01, discusses a patient with COMP student Cassie Stegall with fellow classmates Garrett Suchecki abd Darina Dinov at the Medical Center at WesternU.

    Clinical Curriculum

    As a WesternU osteopathic medical student, you’ll gain considerable early clinical experience and be well-prepared when you enter your third- and fourth-year rotations. Your rotation experiences will enable you to further develop your clinical skills.