WCU College of Osteopathic Medicine – Transforming Students into Compassionate Healthcare Providers

The institute aims to produce primary care physicians who are committed to serving the healthcare needs of all individuals, with special attention directed to the medically underserved and diverse populations of the state, region, and nation.

William Carey University (WCU) is a private Christian liberal arts college situated in Mississippi. The college is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and the Mississippi Baptist Convention. WCU has its main campus is in Hattiesburg, and a second campus at the  Tradition community near Gulfport and Biloxi.

Promoting Students’ Interest in Medical Science

With a primary aim to train physicians for careers in primary care medicine, the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine (WCUCOM) curriculum is based upon core competencies in medical education as identified by the AOA and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM): Osteopathic Principles and Practice; Medical Knowledge; Patient Care; Interpersonal and Communication Skills; Professionalism; Practice-based Learning and Improvement; and System-based Practice.

Courses follow a developmental sequence in that foundational courses (e.g., Clinical Anatomy, Medical Physiology, Histology, and Medical Biochemistry) provide the anatomic and cellular/molecular underpinnings of the science of medicine taught through clinically relevant application.  The OMS 2 year continues with expanded integration of the basic and clinical sciences, with increased opportunities for self-directed learning and self-assessment.

About the President

Dr. Tommy King, President, William Carey University, joined the college at one of the most challenging times when Hurricane Katrina hit America, which had destroyed the Gulf Coast campus. Subsequently, the campus was operating in about 40 portable units and night classes were meeting in a local church. From this disaster he led a campaign to not only rebuild the campus at Tradition, Mississippi but raised capital to found the College of Osteopathic Medicine and later the School of Physical Therapy and School of Pharmacy. During this time, he led a phase of insightful growth for the university. He has also obtained 82 tracts of land around campus.

Financial Support Initiatives

WCUCOM currently offers to scholarships to second year medical students:

  1. The Asbury Award for Academic Excellence is given to a second-year medical student with the highest grade point average who lives in the eight-county area served by the Asbury Foundation of Hattiesburg. Preference is given to a student who intends to practice in Mississippi.
  2. The Ross Excellence in Anatomy Award, established by local physician Dr. Randy Ross and his wife, is given to the medical student who has the highest Grade Point Average in anatomy.
    Ross is Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Hattiesburg Clinic. The recipient of the award must be from Mississippi and plan to practice in Mississippi upon graduation.
  3. Additionally, WCUCOM students have ample opportunity to apply for financial aid through the COM’s financial aid office. WCUCOM provides robust financial aid counseling for students before, during, and after their tenure as student doctors. WCUCOM students are eligible for two types of loans:
  4. Federal unsubsidized Stafford Loan: Students can take out a maximum of $40,500 annually for the duration of their medical student career.
  5. Graduate Plus Loan: Student can take out a maximum of $40,000 annually for the duration of their medical student career.

Remarkable Accomplishments

WCUCOM has as an institution received three recognitions since January 2018 that are noteworthy. U.S. News and world report ranked the College of medicine in the following categories:

#3 in the nation for “Most affordable private medical schools”; #3 in the nation for highest percent of students entering primary care; and Top Ten for percent of students receiving first choice of residency placement.

Career Development of Students

WCUCOM strives to encourage primary care through all aspects of medical education.  The first two years didactic education has a focus on general practice and developing a well-rounded physician skill set. During their third year training, students also begin the process of career counseling and advisement.  Each student has direct communication with the Associate Dean of Clinical Sciences regarding their desired specialty choice.

During their fourth year clinical rotations, students are allowed to participate in structured elective rotations with ample time allotted for audition rotations at their preferred residency program locations.

Finally, during match week, WCUCOM establishes a command center on their campus to assist and individually advise any student who desires.  Strong counseling efforts are provided to ensure that students are aware of all aspects of the supplemental offer process should they find themselves in the unlikely position of failing to match in the initial match process.

Words of Trust

WCUCOM is a unique school that afforded me the opportunity to grow drastically in the short time I’ve been here. The accessibility and friendliness of the faculty combined with attention to student feedback make the grueling medical school process feel like a team effort.” – Paarth Dodia, M.S., OMS-II, WCUCOM SGA President.

I am humbled to be part of WCUCOM, and will always strive to be the best possible physician I can be thanks to the drive and passion I have witnessed from my fellow students, faculty, and staff.” – Phillip M Jenkins, OMS III, WCUCOM Class of 2020.

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