Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine – School Profile and Medical Student Interviews

Student Interviews:

Chuck Chan, OSM1


The Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific is located in Pomona, California. The College of Osteopathic Medicine was the first osteopathic medical school to open in the Western region of the United States. In 2011, a satellite campus was opened in Lebanon, Oregon (College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest). The most recent COM Pacific class was composed of 221 students, 84% of which were in-state residents. The Western University of Health Sciences offers significant opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration given the institution is composed of 8 additional health professional campuses.

Curriculum: The first and second year curriculum at Western COM Pacific focuses on the basic sciences, laying a foundation of osteopathic principles necessary for a successful clerkship phase in the third and fourth year. The basic and clinical sciences are taught in a systems-based manner, focusing on the normal physiology, histology, and biochemistry of the ten organ systems. Osteopathic Principles of Manipulative Medicine are integrated with this pre-clinical coursework. A cornerstone of the Western curriculum are case-based studies. Faculty facilitators help students from several different professional schools on the Western campus work together on a case that demonstrates major principles of osteopathic medicine. These unique, highlight interdisciplinary approach is part of the College of Medicine’s Interprofessional Education.

Curriculum Highlights:

— Interprofessional Education: Western’s approach to interdisciplinary training is truly innovative as it is the first program to help students work alongside nine distinct health professions in the treatment of patients. In addition to learning to lead cohesive healthcare teams, medical students learn the intricacies and nuances to dealing with all aspects of a patients chronic conditions. Team members include students from the Physical Therapy school, Dental School, Nursing school, and Public Health school. Cases are studied in depth over three-week periods, beginning with ‘uni-professional’ sessions followed by the interdisciplinary small groups.

— Longitudinal Track Programs: The Track programs at Western offer students to tailor their medical education to their particular interests. Tracks include, but are not limited to, the Applied Anatomy track, Chronic Care, Lifestyle Medicine, and Global/Community Health. Tracks may consists of additional workshops, mentorship, lectures, and clinical experiences that equip students to enter a particular niche within medicine upon graduation and entrance into residency.

Location: Pomona, California is an hour outside of Los Angeles, meaning the campus is in close proximity to a variety of ‘hot spots’ as Western calls them on Student Life page. These include major museums like the Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Museum of Tolerance. Major sports and entertainment venues like the Colleseum, Staples Center, and the Hollywood Bowl are all easily accessible to students in the area. Professional sports teams include the Los Angels Rams, Chargers, Angels, Dodgers, Kings, and Lakers. Not only does Pomona have its own hiking and biking trail options, but the region is surrounded by a variety of outdoor destinations.

Grading Scheme: 1st and 2nd Year: Honors/Pass/Fail/Remediated Pass, 3rd and 4th Year: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Low Pass/Fail/Remediated Pass 

Match List: https://prospective.westernu.edu/media/osteopathic/do/pdfs/DO-2017-Placement-Report.pdf