The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine at LMU (LMU-DCOM) has developed a modified systems curricular model that emphasizes basic science and foundational concepts of medicine in the first year of medical school and clinical application of the concepts in the second year. At LMU-DCOM, we combine traditional lecture-based didactic presentations along with highly interactive learning sessions, in the Team-Based Learning (TBL) format, and laboratories to practice skills and procedures needed as physicians. In TBL, students work outside of class with individual study of assigned material as preparation for in-class exercises that allow students to improve their critical thinking skills and demonstrate mastery of the topic under discussion. Students work in small teams of up to eight members to solve problems in various topics of medicine related to their current course work.
In the fall of year one, students are introduced to topics in medical biochemsitry, genetics and cellular biology in the Molecular Fundamentals of Medicine I course, with these topics being reinforced through the use of TBL exercises. The Medical Gross Anatomy and Histology courses cover the structure of the human body down to the cellular level. Neuroanatomy studies the structure and function of the brain. Foundations of Modern Health Care I includes presentations and discussion on the foundational skills and information necessary to understand the dynamic practice of medicine in our society.
The spring semester of year one includes Medical Physiology, in which basic principles of physiology are presented and, in a practical way relevant to medicne, expand upon the biochemistry introduced in the fall semester. Medical Physiology provides students with a framework on how the human body functions normally and is a foundation for the system courses in the second year. Knowledge acquired in Medical Physiology also provides a foundation for Medical Pharmacology. Basic principles of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokiinetics provides students a basic understanding of the therapeutic principles of pharmacology and the underlying mechanisms of drug function. In Molecular Fundamentals II, the functioning of the human immune system is studied as well as the bacterial, viral and parasitic invaders that cause human morbidity and mortality in infectious disease.
OMM and EPC
The manipulative techniques that DOs employ as an additional treatment modality in their "toolkit" as physicians are taught in Osteopathic Principles and Practices (OPP). OMM is structured for progressive learning over the first two years with fundamental tenets required to perform osteopathic manipulative techniques. Essentials of Patient Care (EPC) is a combination of didactic lectures, simulation labs and standardized patient experiences that help students practice techniques and examination skills essential as a competent physician. EPC builds in knowledge and compexity over the course of the first two years, preparing students for their clinical rotations in the third and fourth years.
The second year of medical school will focus on clinical application of the basic science concepts presented in year one. Students will have didactic lectures and interactive learning sessions (TBL), using an organ system approach to medicine. LMU-DCOM differs in its curriculum by presenting the systems that are related to each other, such as Cardiovascular, Renal and Respiratory systems, concurrently. This strategy helps students improve understanding and integration/correlation of course materials as clinical considerations are presented and integrated with practical application of basic science principles mastered in year one coursework. Simultaneously, lectures and labs on techniques and examinations in the OPP and EPC courses are presented in the fall and spring semesters and compliment the systems coursework. Second year students also spend time in one of LMU-DCOM's two local clinics to experience real-word settings of patient care.