The AZCOM course of study is typically four academic years. The first two years cover primarily didactic instruction with simulated patient clinical experiences and standardized patient experiences, followed by two 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.
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 assessment and treatment.
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/spiritual needs—an approach that underscores the osteopathic commitment to patient-oriented versus disease-oriented health care.
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 areas, but a candidate certain 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, including those on a computer screen or electronic device. Observation necessitates the functional use of vision and sense of touch and is enhanced by the functional use of all of the other senses.
- Communication: The candidate must be able to communicate in English, proficiently and sensitively, in verbal and written form, and be able to perceive verbal and nonverbal communication.
- Motor: Candidates must be able to coordinate both gross and fine motor 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. Candidates must be able to lift 20 lbs.
- 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: a. 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. b. The candidate must agree to participate in touching/palpating on the skin and being touched/palpated on the skin by individuals regardless of gender in all academic settings. These activities will take place in large and small group settings as directed in the College's curricular requirements.
Candidates are required to verify that they understand and are able to meet these Technical Standards at least four weeks prior to matriculation (or if admitted later, within one week of deposit). Candidates who may only meet Technical Standards with accommodation, must contact the Office of Student Services to make a formal requst for accommodation. The Dean of Students, in consultation with the College Dean/Program Director, will determine what reasonable accommodations can be provided. The College is not able to grant accommodations that alter the educational standards of the curriculum, including the requirement that students practice osteopathic manipulative techniques on each other. Students must meet the Technical Standards for the duration of enrollment at the College.
Starting with the 2018-2019 academic year, AZCOM program improvements have included the integration of ultrasound skill and interpretation training through the first two years of the curriculum, implementation and provision of COMBANK practice questions to assist students preparing for COMLEX-USA and COMAT post-rotation examinations, reduction of redundancies in the preclinical curriculum and compression of the block schedules to release students on most Friday afternoons, and the development of I'm HOME, an interprofessional second year class in which students provide education and episodic medical care for the homeless population in Phoenix. AZCOM has created an academic partnership with the new Abrazo graduate medical education programs and provides faculty development for academic partners and sponsored GME programs. The MWU-GME Consortium has completed the ACGME accreditation process with MWU serving as sponsoring institution for a number of residency programs in Arizona. Curricular mapping updates continue, including the development of a common syllabus tool. Curricular mapping for Arizona courses is based on the seven osteopathic core competencies, the AZCOM Mission Statement, and blueprints for COMLEX-USA.
Improvements planned for the 2021-2022 academic year include updating the Curricular Map in One 45 and using Curriculum Index to compare AZCOM curriculum with other colleges of osteopathic medicine and schools of medicine. The MWU-GME Consortium will continue to support its sponsored programs through continued accreditation and assist with achievement of osteopathic recognition for its programs.
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.
- Incorporate osteopathic principles and practice including osteopathic manipulative treatment into the curriculum.
- Incorporate basic scientific principles.
- Provide opportunities for research and scholarly activity for students, residents, 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 student acquisition of the osteopathic core competencies.
- Assess the performance of AZCOM graduates.
- Encourage participation in community service by students, residents, and faculty.
- Support postgraduate training programs associated with Midwestern University, including osteopathic recognition program development.
- Equip students to be successful in residency placement.
- Provide faculty and staff development opportunities.
- Provide financial literacy programs and events.
- Support mental health and wellness for students, residents and faculty.