The Curriculum at COMP is a four-year full-time academic and clinical program leading to the granting of the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO).
The curriculum stresses the interdependence of the biological, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences. The emphasis is to educate physicians with specific roles of osteopathic principles in the maintenance of health and treatment of disease.
The educational program is centered around the basic concepts of osteopathic medicine. The College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific identifies and develops the knowledge, cognitive and psychomotor skills, and the personal and professional behaviors required of an osteopathic physician in order to provide competent and comprehensive health care to all members of a family, on a continuing basis. This academic program is intended to meet the following goals:
- To accord primacy to the role of the musculoskeletal system in the total body economy.
- To recognize and emphasize the inherent capacity within the total person to overcome disease and maintain health; to educate physicians to cooperate with this therapeutic capacity in their methods of treatment.
- To provide sufficient academic training to make students aware of health needs that must be referred to a specialist.
A physician must first of all be capable of problem solving and develop expertise in diagnosis. In order to achieve this goal, the curriculum adopted at COMP emphasizes the integration of basic and clinical science aspects of medical practice. With this approach, practice in problem-solving becomes a part of the learning experience.
The curriculum is divided into three phases:
I. Introduction to the basic sciences.
II. Correlated system teaching, incorporating basic and clinical sciences in the study of 10 organ systems of the body.
III. Clinical experiences.
The four-year curriculum has been developed to appropriately prepare the graduate for the postdoctoral training years of their choice, with an emphasis on primary care.
In addition to the regular curriculum, COMP offers elective courses. These focus on the art of medicine and seek to sensitize the future physician to the important aspects of life and to instill a greater sense of ethics and human values. Various extracurricular activities also contribute to the personal and professional growth of students, among them a student drama troupe called SANUS.
The first semester of the first year is designed to introduce the students to the basic concepts of anatomy (gross, embryology and histology), biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology. Interwoven throughout the curriculum are osteopathic principles and practice.
This phase begins in the second semester of the first year and continues throughout the second year. The basic and clinical sciences concerned with one particular organ system of the body are integrated in classroom instruction. This approach emphasizes the relevance of basic sciences to clinical practice. The osteopathic approach is continually emphasized by lecture and laboratory demonstration including manipulative techniques. Other courses not directly related to a system are also included in Phase II as Family Medicine Core Courses.
PHASE III: CLINICAL TRAINING
Clinical training via rotation through each of the major medical disciplines (family practice, internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, pathology, psychiatry, emergency medicine and radiology) is accomplished in the third and forth years of training. Twenty-two rotations of four weeks each provide an opportunity for clinical skill development in primary care medicine. Several elective options are also offered during this two-year period.
Goals – The goal of COMP’s clinical curriculum is to prepare each and every COMP student with the knowledge, attitudes and skills to excel in his or her chosen postdoctoral training program. Specifically, the student will be able to:
- Identify the wide range of normal human functioning.
- Recognize, diagnose and treat the most commonly encountered health conditions in a primary care practice.
- Recognize, diagnose and treat the acute, life-threatening conditions encountered by the primary care physician.
- Differentiate health and common health problems from less common diseases.
- Recognize conditions or situations which are best handled by consultation and/or referral.
- Provide continuity of health care beginning with initial patient contact.
- Assess and treat chronic health conditions in various stages of progression.
- Develop appropriate, professionally intimate relationships with patients.
- Understand a patient’s individual concerns and incorporate those concerns into routine patient care.
- Integrate osteopathic philosophy and practices into routine patient care.
- Access medical references to understand current medical knowledge and applications.
- Understand and apply the concepts of community oriented primary care, epidemiology, health screening and prevention.
- Understand and work with the family unit to improve the health and welfare of the individual patient and his or her family.