Jun 24, 2024  
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine 2023-2024 
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine 2023-2024

Academic Organization

Curriculum Overview

The goal of instruction at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is to graduate osteopathic physicians and surgeons who offer a holistic approach to practicing family-oriented medicine, with the realization that even medical specialists require a firm understanding of primary care.

Years One and Two

Pathways to Health and Wellness Curriculum

The Heritage College and the Pathways to Health and Wellness curriculum commit to the following goals:

  • Provide a clinically integrated, learning-centered, osteopathic medical education continuum for students, interns, residents, and primary care associates.
  • Embrace diversity and public service.
  • Improve the health and well-being of underserved populations.

All Heritage College medical students begin their medical education with Osteopathic Approach to Patient Care 1, which focuses on wellness. Each week, students are provided with learning objectives, outcomes, and preparatory materials to direct study, activate prior experience and knowledge, and identify areas for growth. 

Educational topics to be emphasized are identified and presented via a patient case and guide the integrated learning activities throughout the week. Activities include integrated learning labs, osteopathic patient care skills, simulated experiences, and early clinical experiences. A reporting phase will allow for reflection and assimilation in a small-group format.

     Heritage College Graduate Outcomes & Curriculum Outline

          1.  Foundation of personal well-being

                a. Sets aside time for self-care and renewal, recognizing that physician burnout is an impediment to best patient care and outcomes

                b. Strives toward a self-directed, evolving process to achieve one’s full potential

                c. Nurtures emotional intelligence in self and others

                d. Builds and maintains integrity in all relationships

          2.  Adaptable

                a. Demonstrates improvisation and creativity

                b. Intentionally learns by problem-solving in practice

                c. Continually improves and adapts one’s practice in response to errors, to feedback from patients and colleagues, and to changes in the environment of care delivery

          3. Team-based generalist

                a. Actively participates as a member of interprofessional healthcare teams

                b. Works well with other specialists in co-managing patients appropriately

                c. Demonstrates competence in a broad array of clinical areas, yet acknowledges own limitations

                d. Recognizes strengths in other members of team when choosing whether to lead or follow

         4. Integrated osteopathic thinking and practice

                a. Respects the uniqueness of each patient

                b. Works towards optimal wellness by acknowledging the body’s structure-function interrelationship and intrinsic healing potential, and applies treatment appropriately

                c. Integrates knowledge of the body’s form and function and the inter-connectedness of its systems to apply osteopathic principles throughout patient care

         5. Evidence-based

                a. Applies sound scientific evidence

                b. Builds empirical evidence from one’s own experience

                c. Uses best practices to continually advance one’s knowledge and decision-making skills throughout one’s professional career

                d. Critically evaluates and optimizes patient care and patient care practices

         6. Compassionate

                a. Demonstrates empathy for patients

                b. Respects patient autonomy

                c. Embraces diversity

         7. Community

                a. Engages in activities aimed at providing and maintaining healthier communities and lifestyles for one’s patients

                b. Follows developments in local, state, and national health policy

                c. Seeks opportunities to become a health policy leader to increase individual access to comprehensive, quality, cost-effective health care

Transformative Care Continuum - Elective Pathway

The Transformative Care Continuum is an accelerated pathway based on competencies that prepares students for careers in family medicine through a continuous experience from medical school through residency and beyond. Eight students are selected each year to join this innovative pathway which they will complete in addition to the Heritage College’s foundational Pathways to Health and Wellness Curriculum. These eight students will be matched to the family medicine residency program at Cleveland Clinic Lakewood Family Health Center or Cleveland Clinic Akron General.

During their first three years, TCC students will spend one half-day per week at residency sites, where they will serve in a variety of capacities including medical scribe, medical assistant, patient educator and junior intern. Students spend another half-day per week with a health care manager examining population health and quality improvement initiatives aimed at improving primary care delivery at Cleveland Clinic.

Upon graduation, physicians will seamlessly transition into their residency programs. Cleveland Clinic anticipates hiring successful graduates to serve as primary care leaders within their system.

     Benefits for Students
  • Active 1:1 engagement with a primary care physician mentor and experiences with medical teams
  • Opportunities to gain familiarity with medical technology, patient evaluation procedures, and the role of primary care physicians in team-based care
  • Early experiences with patients to cultivate clinical reasoning, empathy, and communication skills
  • Strong understanding of how health care systems work
  • Development of specialized leadership skills
  • Opportunity to create and carry out community projects that will benefit each student’s panel of patients
  • One less year of medical education, resulting in tuition cost savings

Years Three and Four

Students are assigned to a clinical campus during the Heritage College Clinical Education Site Assignment Process early in the second year of the program. In summer term of the third year, students move to one of the clinical education sites located throughout the state of Ohio for clinical education.

Students spend the two years of clinical education at teaching hospitals affiliated with Heritage College, as well as at clinics and private practitioners’ offices located throughout the state, nation, and world. Students meet curricular requirements in the combination of hospital-based and ambulatory rotations, which feature primary care medicine and ambulatory medical care, to provide a broad, well-rounded clinical experience. In addition to participation in required rotations, students have the opportunity to schedule elective rotations in medical disciplines to pursue their personal interests and/or meet unique clinical training needs. Rotations are designed to provide students with active, hands-on learning experiences in medical situations. Under the supervision of clinical faculty, students become involved in the case management of patients as they refine their problem-solving, diagnostic, and therapeutic skills. Rotation schedules are constructed with assistance from academic administrative personnel to ensure that curricular requirements are met. Each rotation is a separate learning experience and a separate course in the university system and each student’s evaluation is based on an individual assessment by clinical faculty during that rotation. Concurrent with these experiences, various didactic activities are incorporated into the curriculum to augment student learning, utilizing such instructional modalities as modules, lectures, professional development seminars, clinical case conferences, tumor board meetings, case-based discussions, interactive computer assignments and the use of self-instructional audio-visual materials. Required training sessions in osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) and clinical skills laboratories round out the clinical learning experience.

Academic Regulations

Academic essentials, professionalism, student government, educational costs and building usage information are published on the Heritage College Office of Student Affairs and Medical Education web pages, which explain the policies and procedures of the college. Please direct special attention to the Committee on Student Progress, Policies and Procedures. This online manual contains detailed information about what is expected of students and what resources the college and the university provide to help each student meet those expectations. The Ohio University Heritage College Student Resource Manual can be accessed at https://www.ohio.edu/medicine/med-admissions/accepted/survival-manual.

OU-HCOM Code of Professional Standards

Preamble: Professionalism is the set of values that govern the members of a profession. It is the obligation of all members of the profession to uphold the stated values. In medicine, medical education, and the research, scholarly activity, and community engagement associated with medicine and medical education, the values governing professional conduct include:

Respect: Honoring the rights, values, perspectives, choices, privacy, and time of others.

Honesty: Telling the truth and not presenting the work, research, or ideas of others as your own.

Integrity:  Admitting mistakes, exhibiting remorse after wrongdoing; fulfilling the obligations of one’s private and professional life.

Compassion: Treating each individual with empathy.

Inclusivity: Valuing all forms of diversity and listening to all voices.

Service: Contributing to the work of local, national, and international professional organizations; working to improve the health of individuals and communities on the local, national, and international levels

Excellence: Striving to exceed expectations; committing to life-long learning in order to provide the highest quality care and performance in educational, research, and clinical settings.

Duty/Dependability: Fulfilling professional obligations; demonstrating punctuality and thorough preparation; satisfying commitments in a timely fashion.

Accountability: Taking responsibility for one’s decisions and actions.

Altruism: Exhibiting an unselfish regard for, and devotion to, the welfare of others.

Academic Calendar

Ohio University and the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine operate on the semester system. The Ohio University Heritage College year one and two academic calendars and documentation of important dates for Ohio University Heritage College students can be found on the Academic Schedule web page.

Graduation Requirements

Heritage College faculty will recommend the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine be granted to students who:

  • are in good standing as determined by the Committee on Student Progress,
  • have successfully completed all required coursework in Pathways to Health and Wellness Curriculum for years one and two,
  • have successfully completed all the assigned and elective clinical rotations listed in the Year 3 and 4 Student Manual,
  • have successfully completed the Year 3 Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE),
  • have passed the COMLEX Level 1 CE, 2 CE, and 2 PE of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners,
  • have been enrolled for at least 10 semesters,
  • have satisfied all financial and legal obligations to their assigned clinical campuses, the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and Ohio University.

Curriculum Topics/Themes


Years One and Two: Pathways to Health and Wellness Curriculum

  • Osteopathic Principles and Practices applied to the healthy patient, acutely ill patient, and chronically ill patient
  • Medical Knowledge as applied to the healthy patient, acutely ill patient, and chronically ill patient
  • Patient Care as applied to the healthy patient, acutely ill patient, and chronically ill patient
  • Professionalism - Introduction
  • Counseling for Health Promotion/Disease Prevention - Introduction
  • Cultural Competency - Introduction
  • Interprofessional Collaboration - Introduction
  • Personalized Medicine and Health Information Technologies
  • Public Health Systems
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Other topics will be addressed but not emphasized
  • Evaluation of Health Sciences Literature - Introduction


Years One and Two: Transformative Care Continuum - Elective Pathway

  • Personal Clinician
  • Patient Centeredness
  • Team-Based Approach to Healthcare
  • Leadership Skills
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home Concepts
  • Patient/Community Navigation
  • Patient Centered Communication
  • Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
  • Culture and Patient centeredness in planning therapy and outcome goals
  • Bringing Population Health Full Spectrum
  • Population Health Data utilization
  • How to Work with Community Agencies
  • Payer perspectives on Population Health
  • TEAMSTEPPS (Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety)
  • SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendations and Request) 
  • CUS (Concern, Uncertainty and Safety Issues)
  • Serious Risk Event Reporting
  • Feedback Skills

Years Three and Four

Introduction to Clinical Education
Family Medicine
Primary Care
Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine Specialties
General Surgery
Surgical Specialties
Psychiatric Medicine
Women’s Health
Emergency Medicine
Pediatric Medicine
Palliative Care
Health, Policy, & Systems
Clinical Electives
Medical Ethics
Medicine and Law
Evidence-Based Medicine
Intravenous Cannulation
Medical Records Documentation
Nasogastric Tube Placement
OMM Diagnosis and Techniques
Surgical Preparation (scrubbing, gowning, gloving) and Suturing
Radiographic Interpretation
Skin Biopsy
Orthopedic Skills: Splinting and Casting
Foley Catheter Placement
Endotracheal Intubation
Application of Pharmacologic Therapy
Clinical Case Presentation
Interpretation of Diagnostic Testing


Dual Degree Programs

Students may apply for dual degrees by combining studies for the osteopathic medical degree with graduate programs offered by Ohio University. For further details, visit the website at https://www.ohio.edu/medicine/med-education/dual-degree.

Rural and Urban Scholars Pathways Program

The Rural and Urban Scholars Pathways program is a co-curricular learning community that aims to support and prepare medical students to practice in medically underserved areas.  With the addition of the 2022–2023 cohort, the total number of students participating in the RUSP program is 138, including all four years across all three campuses

Components of the program are:

  • Clinical Jazz, a longitudinal small-group experience in leadership development and peer coaching with a focus on competencies for practice in an underserved setting, experiential place-based learning, and mentorship

  • Individualized coaching with a physician who has practiced in a rural and/or urban underserved community
  • Professional development workshops focused on active exploration of issues relevant to rural and urban underserved practice. 

  • Immersion experience for students in between their first and second years in a setting of relative austerity (possibly a global health experience)

  • Six months or the equivalent of curricular time in a rural or urban underserved setting

  • Scholarly project relevant to the health of rural and urban underserved communities
  • RUSP Community Orienting Experience - a three-day immersive program in rural and urban underserved communities in central and southeastern Ohio for new RUSP students
Apply to RUSP

Unlike many other rural or urban tracks at medical schools, RUSP is a pathway. This means that students can apply to the program as an accepted pre-matriculated student or as an OMS1. The application opens each academic year on November 1. The deadline for current students to apply is March 15. The deadline for pre-matriculating students is May 1.

Contact the Administrative Director, Rural and Underserved Programs, mollicd1@ohio.edu for more information.