The AZCOM course of study is typically 4 academic years. The first 2 years cover primarily didactic instruction with simulated patient clinical experiences and standardized patient experiences, followed by 2 years of primarily clinical rotations, including applicable didactic material. Upon graduation with the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree, AZCOM graduates are eligible for postdoctoral residency training in all fields of medicine.
As scientists and practitioners of the healing arts, osteopathic physicians subscribe to a philosophy that regards the body as an integrated whole with structures and functions working interdependently. Therefore, osteopathic physicians treat their patients as unique persons with biological, psychological, and sociological needs—an approach that underscores the osteopathic commitment to patient-oriented versus disease-oriented health care.
Using this philosophy, AZCOM's four-year curriculum educates students in the bio psychosocial approach to patient care, as well as the basic medical arts and sciences. AZCOM students spend their first two years completing a rigorous basic science curriculum and preparing for clinical studies. During their third and fourth years, students rotate through a variety of clinical training sites, accruing an impressive 84 weeks of direct patient care experience. By stimulating intellectual curiosity and teaching problem solving skills, the AZCOM curriculum encourages students to regard learning as a lifelong process.
The educational mission of AZCOM is to produce qualified osteopathic physicians. Because the D.O. degree signifies that the holder is a physician prepared for entry into the practice of medicine within postgraduate training programs, graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care, including direct hands-on analysis and treatment.
Accordingly, the following abilities and expectations must be met by all students admitted to AZCOM with reasonable accommodation. A candidate must have abilities and skills in five areas: 1) observation; 2) communication; 3) motor; 4) intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative; and 5) behavioral and social. Technological compensation can be made for some limitation in some areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.
- Observation: The candidate must be able to accurately make observations at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation and is enhanced by the functional use of all of the other senses.
- Communication: The candidate must be able to communicate effectively, efficiently and sensitively in both oral and written form and be able to perceive nonverbal communication.
- Motor: Candidates must be able to coordinate both gross and fine muscular movements, maintain equilibrium and have functional use of the senses of touch and vision. The candidate must possess sufficient postural control, neuromuscular control and eye-to-hand coordination to perform profession-specific skills and tasks.
- Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: The candidate must be able to problem solve, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, record and synthesize large amounts of information in a timely manner. The candidate must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand spatial relationships.
- Behavioral and Social Attributes: The candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment and the consistent, prompt completion of all responsibilities and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically, mentally and emotionally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. The candidate must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, effective interpersonal skills, willingness and ability to function as an effective team player, interest, and motivation to learn are all personal qualities required during the educational process. The candidate must agree to experience touching/palpating and being touched/palpated by individuals of either gender as defined in the College's curricular requirements.
Candidates are required to certify that they understand and meet these Technical Standards. Candidates must provide such certification prior to matriculation. Candidates who may not meet the Technical Standards must inform the Director of Admissions, who will then contact the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students, in consultation with the academic dean (and program director), will identify and discuss what accommodations, if any, the College(/Program) would need to make that would allow the candidate to complete the curriculum. The College(/Program) is not able to grant accommodations that alter the educational standards of the curriculum. Students must meet the Technical Standards for the duration of enrollment in their professional program.
For the 2012-2013 academic year, AZCOM program improvements included the development of didactic learning programs for clinical clerkship sites, developed an advising tool to assist students in preparing for the match, based on previous match performance of AZCOM students, and engaged in faculty development using faculty learning communities to increase the interaction of basic science and clinical science faculty. AZ. In 2012-2013, four new residency programs opened in the Glendale OPTI region, providing additional training opportunities for AZCOM students and graduates. These programs included Internal Medicine, Family Medicine and General Surgery at Mountain Vista Medical Center in Mesa, AZ, and Orthopedic Surgery at Doctor's Hospital in Modesto, CA. Curricular mapping, which began in 2011, was completed in 2012 so that the Curriculum Committee may more completely review and update the educational program, as needed.
Improvements planned for the 2013-2014 academic year include providing additional certified testing locations in California, Arizona and Illinois, as well as incorporating hands-on OMM as a requirement in the OCM III and OCM IV courses. We continue to work with hospitals, most in the Phoenix area, to develop residency programs and affiliated student training sites with the MWU/OPTI. For the 2014-2015 academic year, AZCOM plans to convert all post-rotation examinations, to computer-based examinations.
Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine educates students to exhibit professionalism, provide patient care, and serve their communities in order to become qualified osteopathic physicians.
The mission will be achieved by meeting the following objectives:
- Incorporate clinical teaching into the curriculum throughout the four year program.
- Incorporate osteopathic principles and practice into both preclinical and clinical training years.
- Incorporate basic scientific principles into the learning and medical curriculum.
- Provide opportunities for research and scholarly activity for students, graduates, and faculty.
- Prepare students for COMLEX-USA Level 1, Level 2 CE, and Level 2 PE to support completion of the program and graduation.
- Demonstrate continuing progress in acquiring the core competencies during student clinical clerkship training.
- Assess the performance of AZCOM graduates.
- Encourage community service by students, graduates, and faculty.
- Support the Midwestern University Osteopathic Postgraduate Training Institute (MWU/OPTI) to mutually enhance the training of our students, residents, and faculty.
- Equip students to be successful in residency placement.
- Provide faculty development opportunities to promote AZCOM objectives.
- Provide financial literacy programs and events.