The DO curriculum at ATSU-KCOM is systems-based, patient-oriented, and multiple innovative learning models have been adopted throughout its evolution. Each course has numerous presentation styles including problem-based sessions, case-based presentations, web-based instruction, and small-group labs, workshops, and other activities in the first and second years. Osteopathic theory and methods are taught throughout the first two years, integrated through an interdependent alignment with basic science and clinical courses. Courses in the first two years prepare the student for the curriculum expected during the clinical rotation experience. Clinical curriculum, including didactics, labs, workshops, and osteopathic manipulative medicine, is delivered to students in regional sites during the third and fourth years.
The DO curriculum is designed as a linear curriculum; that is, students should successfully complete the schedule of courses offered in sequence during their first and second years of matriculation. To proceed through the curriculum, students must demonstrate successful completion of each prior section and each course contained within the section. Failure to do so is subject to Student Promotion Board consideration.
First and Second Years
Early first semester is devoted to the foundation of basic medical sciences. Students spend the remainder of the first and second year learning clinical medicine and the evidence supporting it. ATSU-KCOM also includes clinical education experiences as early as the first semester. The first year of study includes a primary care clerkship. Osteopathic theory and methods are taught concurrently with the basic science and clinical courses during the first and second years.
Assessment during the first two years may include but is not limited to, multiple-choice question exams, similar to the national board examinations that are comprehensive and integrated across content. In addition, performance assessment is used to assess physical examination skills, osteopathic manipulation skills, interpersonal skills, and clinical skills. Many of the performance skills are assessed in ATSU-KCOM’s Performance Assessment Center and the Human Patient Simulation Center.
During the last 94 weeks of the academic program, students participate in clinical rotations at regional sites. The selection of rotation sites is by an electronic match and utilization of a letter of interest. This match is held during the second year.
To be eligible to enter clinical rotations, students must have completed all OMS I and OMS II coursework with the exception of CMLX6500 (COMLEX Level 1). Students who have not taken COMLEX Level 1 prior to the start of clinical rotations must have an approved board study plan and timeline approved through the office of Academic Affairs.
Military students are strongly encouraged to participate in officer training prior to matriculation or during the first two years of medical education. Military students wishing to complete officer training during the third or fourth year may utilize elective time (equal to the number of weeks required by their respective branch – up to 6 weeks) for clinical requirements, as approved by the RAD/DSME and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Students will complete the rotation report form and submit a copy of ‘orders’ to demonstrate confirmation of officer training. Upon receipt of documentation from the military program verifying completion, the course will be scored as pass/fail. The course will be documented on the student transcript as ELEC 8599 - Medical Military Officer Training.
Third and Fourth Years
Third year clinical rotations typically begin on the fifth Monday following June 30th. Each region prepares an on-site orientation preceding the start of clinical rotations. Students must attend the on-site orientation for their region unless previously approved for an absence or for an alternative schedule by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs or designee.
Documentation required for each rotation must be signed, completed and submitted for all third and fourth year experiences at least 30 days prior to the start of the experience. Proper procedures and forms will be included in the regional orientation sessions. Documentation includes but is not limited to Rotation Report Form, preceptor information and CV, hospital site information, updated audit/schedule, site application, site fee, provider agreement (if needed), and student personal health insurance.
Assessment of student learning during Foundations 1 clinical rotations includes clinical evaluations, NBOME COMAT examinations, and procedure logs recorded in the electronic tracking program. Other rotations are assessed via clinical evaluations only. A standard grading scale is used for all clinical evaluations. Students earn Honors, High Pass, Pass, or Fail for each clinical rotation. Additionally, students are assessed on curriculum performance via an oral case presentation, scholarly reports, online courses, and journal club presentations. Students are also assessed via a clinical skills performance assessment (PA-III) with standardized patient testing to assess physical examination skills, interpersonal skills, and clinical reasoning.
Students are responsible for working with the preceptor of record to assure that the clinical evaluation is completed by the final day of the rotation or notifying the regional coordinator if the preceptor has not responded. Students are required to complete the preceptor and rotation evaluation for Foundations 1 and 2 rotations within two weeks following the end of the rotation via the electronic evaluation system. Refer to the ATSU-KCOM Student Manual for further details.
Each region will have a series of scheduled education days. Attendance is required. Students should notify preceptors in advance if an education day is scheduled during their rotation period. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of this schedule and attend all required sessions. The site may also have didactic sessions with required student attendance. Responsibilities to the preceptor do not take precedence over required didactics.
Military students may schedule one four-week military rotation commitment as part of the Foundations 1 rotation schedule. The military rotation/specialty must be equivalent to the rotation requirement. The COMAT will be completed after returning to the region. Students must submit a request for military rotation substitution in writing to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs via the regional coordinator. Students will receive notice in writing regarding the approval status of the request. Students should avoid scheduling a military rotation that will interfere with the PA-III testing and COMSAE exam dates. Military students may use all elective rotations for military rotations.
Students may obtain credit for mission trips. Mission trips completed as a component of a four-week rotation (completed as one continuous block) may be approved for credit pending review by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs or designee. The same attending preceptor must accompany the student as part of the four-week experience. The mission trip may not exceed half of the scheduled time of the rotation. Students will receive clinical credit consistent with the entire four-week experience (e.g., pediatrics, surgery, etc.). The mission trip must be a clinical experience that includes patient care. Refer to the ATSU-KCOM Student Manual for more information for credit and non-credit mission trips.
ATSU-KCOM Programmatic Educational Objectives
The ATSU-KCOM programmatic educational objectives are aligned with the osteopathic core competencies for medical students:
- Demonstrate knowledge of osteopathic principles and practice such that care of patients is approached from distinct behavioral, philosophical, and procedural aspects of osteopathic medical practices related to the four tenets of osteopathic medicine. [Osteopathic Principles and Practices and Manipulative Treatment]
- Demonstrate the understanding and application of established and evolving principles of foundational biomedical and clinical sciences integral to the practice of patient-centered care. [Application of Knowledge for Osteopathic Medical Practice]
- Osteopathic Patient Care and Procedural Skills
- Gather accurate, essential data from all sources, including the patient, secondary sources, medical records, and physical examination (including structural examinations).
- Formulate a differential diagnosis based on the patient evaluation and epidemiologic data and to prioritize diagnoses appropriately.
- Perform basic clinical procedures essential for the generalist practice of osteopathic medical practice.
- Provide diagnostic information; to develop a safe, evidence-based, cost-effective, patient-centered care plan.
- Demonstrate health care services that are consistent with osteopathic principles and practice, including an emphasis on preventive medicine and health promotion based on best medical evidence.
- Assess patient health literacy, counsel and educate patients accordingly.
- Demonstrate the ability to effectively document and synthesize clinical findings, diagnostic impressions, and diagnostic / treatment instructions in verbal, written, and electronic formats. [Interpersonal and Communication Skills in the Practice of Osteopathic Medicine]
- Consistently display high moral and ethical standards exemplifying integrity, humanistic behavior, cultural sensitivity, and responsiveness to the needs of the patient. [Professionalism in the Practice of Osteopathic Medicine]
- Assimilate and apply fundamental biostatistical and epidemiologic concepts, clinical decision-making skills, evidence-based medicine principles and practices, fundamental information-mastery skills, and methods to evaluate the relevance and validity of research information. [Practice-Based Learning and Improvement in Osteopathic Medicine]
- Systems-based Practice in Osteopathic Medicine
- Effectively identify and utilize system resources to maximize the health of the individual and the community, thus improving the health of populations.
- Work as part of an interprofessional team to identify areas for enhancing quality and patient safety and reducing medical errors and inequities.
Additionally, the Core Professional Attributes (CPAs) are a set of five cross-curricular meta-skills inherent to all A.T. Still University graduates including ATSU-KCOM osteopathic medical students. The CPAs enable graduates to select, adapt and apply their discipline-specific knowledge and skills to varying situations, enhancing competence and improving outcomes across all aspects of their roles as healthcare professionals.