Academic Departments


Chair: Sandra Inouye, Ph.D.

The Department of Anatomy provides thorough instruction in the morphology of the human body. The study of anatomy is particularly germane to osteopathic medicine because the relationship between structure and function is a fundamental tenet of the osteopathic philosophy. Direct observation of human structure is the essence of the anatomy courses. In Gross Anatomy, all students participate in the dissection of the body under the guidance of the anatomy faculty. Dissection is supplemented by the study of models, osteologic specimens, radiographs, and transverse sections. In Histology laboratory, students apply the principles presented in lecture to the microscopic identification of normal human materials, while the Neuroscience courses use case studies to apply and reinforce basic concepts.

The Department offers several elective courses, including Advanced Gross Dissection and Research. The Research elective gives students the opportunity to participate in ongoing research projects with the Anatomy faculty. Members of the Anatomy Department are actively engaged in the study of human and lower vertebrate morphology. Areas of research interest include the evolution of the mammalian middle ear and mandible, cortical control of autonomic functions, and use of computer instruction in the teaching of anatomy.

1511 Histology

1521 Neuroscience

1550 Gross Anatomy/Embryology


The Department of Anesthesiology provides a required two-week clinical anesthesiology rotation that is incorporated in the surgical clerkship. The rotation is an introduction to clinical operating room anesthesiology with special emphasis on airway management in the unconscious patient. Students are given strictly supervised, hands-on training in airway management to the extent possible based on the availability of clinical material.

Introduction to this rotation begins with students viewing videotape that states the objectives of the rotation and introduces commonly used anesthesia equipment, including monitors, anesthesia machines, ventilators, and infusion pumps. A manual of selected readings is included in the introductory presentation.

The rotation also includes lectures on pre-anesthetic patient examination and treatment. Other lectures on appropriate topics are presented in an informal format. Additionally, students are encouraged to attend departmental educational seminars, case presentations, and journal club sessions held each Wednesday morning.

Elective Clerkship in Anesthesiology

The elective clerkship offers insight into the broad specialty of anesthesiology and provides for additional hands-on experience in the practical aspects of anesthesiology-related patient care, i.e., cannulation of peripheral veins, bag and mask ventilation of unconscious patients, arterial cannulation, the monitoring of patients, and evaluation of post-anesthetic complications. Electives are available for two- or four-week durations on an individual basis.


Chair: Sandy Rhee, D.O.

It was Hippocrates, the father of medicine, who was quoted as saying, "One must know of the person who has the disease as much as one must know of the disease the person has." Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, in the Hippocratic tradition, emphasized and expanded the integration of structure and function. The Behavioral Sciences curriculum provides the coursework and clerkship that builds the foundation for the practice of whole-person medicine. An emphasis is placed upon the importance of treating each patient in the context of that individual's unique biopsychosocial matrix.

1702 Psychiatry Rotation

Working on hospital wards and outpatient clinics, the student experiences direct patient contact under the supervision of attending psychiatrists. This experience integrates previous learning with the clinical experiences. A series of didactics including lectures and demonstrations facilitate this process.

Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Chair: Nalini Chandar, PH.D.

First-year medical students complete a required, two-quarter sequence in medical biochemistry, the educational goals of which are to understand the major biochemical concepts of cell, tissue, and organ function in health and disease. These goals are achieved through lectures, small group case studies, and readings in the biomedical literature. In addition to the required courses, the Biochemistry faculty offer an elective course in Clinical Nutrition. Faculty members also accept students into a research elective program.

BIOC 1501 Biochemistry I

BIOC 1502 Biochemistry II

Clinical Integration

Chair: George Borelli, D.O.

Clinical Integration is a department structured to provide oversight for the clinical aspects of the years one and two curriculum. Courses are designed to acquaint the osteopathic medical student with the clinical knowledge required for the practice of medicine, enabling them to integrate the knowledge gained in the basic sciences courses in order to formulate diagnostic decisions. Faculty in this department are osteopathic physicians, clinicians and education specialists.

CLIND 1490 Directed Study

CLIND 1500 Health Care Communications I

CLIND 1501 Foundations in Osteopathic Medicine

CLIND 1503 Behavioral Health Assessment

CLIND 1550 Patient Symptom Presentations

CLIND 1551 Physical Exam Skills

CLIND 1603 Mental Illness and Treatments

CLIND 1650 Clinical Symptom Integration (CSI)

CLIND 1651 Simulated Patient Care

CLIND 1702 Clinical Skills Assessment I

CLIND 1703 Clinical Skills Assessment II

CLIND 1800 Integrated Clinical Activities (ICA)

CLIND 1800 Elective Clinical Clerkship

Emergency Medicine

Chair: Daniel Kowalzyk, D.O.

Medical emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time. It is imperative that an osteopathic physician be prepared to provide emergency care not only in an emergency department or a physician's office, but also in social settings where little or no emergency equipment or supplies are readily available. The College's core emergency medicine rotation provides fourth year medical students with didactic training in emergency medicine. At CCOM, emergency medicine is taught in the emergency departments of core hospitals under the supervision of board certified emergency physicians and emergency medicine residents. Students are exposed to a full range of clinical pathology presenting to both inner city and suburban emergency departments. A formal weekly didactic program on campus complements their clinical exposure.

The members of the Department of Emergency Medicine are all specialists in the field of emergency medicine. They are engaged in both the clinical practice of emergency medicine as well as in clinical research in the field. Medical students may assist in clinical research projects within the Department of Emergency Medicine.

1805 Emergency Medicine Rotation

Family Medicine

Chair: Kathy Bewley-Thomas, D.O.

Family medicine practitioners personify osteopathic medicine. Departmental members endeavor to instill respect for holistic, osteopathic medicine, particularly in primary care. The basics of the art of medicine are included in the family medicine curricula. Thus, all medical students must have extensive experiences in this area. Medical students are expected to master the continuum of the biopsychosocial aspects of medicine, and then apply these concepts in clinical settings. These basic experiences provide the background necessary for the selection of a medical specialty.

Family Medicine provides staff who act as models for group practices where osteopathic medical students gain clinical experience. As externs in CCOM affiliate facilities, medical students are responsible for taking a patient's history and conducting a physical. They learn how to provide the holistic health care for patients coming to these facilities. Students also work in community outreach programs. Medical students have the opportunity to be members of a health care team. These programs include health screening, school health programs, and health promotion and illness prevention programs for community groups and organizations .Members of the Department of Family Medicine are actively engaged in clinical studies. Students can assist the clinicians in teaching patients through these studies. Departmental members help medical students understand the principles of osteopathic medicine. Further, they foster the development of the skills necessary to apply the osteopathic concepts in all aspects of patient care. The course of study includes osteopathic history, philosophy, and principles, the somatic components of disease, examination, treatment, and problem-solving skills.

1702 Family Medicine Rotation I

1802 Family Medicine Rotation II

Internal Medicine

The core of an osteopathic physician's knowledge and treatment of disease entities is found in internal medicine. The basics learned here pervade primary care, surgery, and the subspecialties of medicine. At CCOM, medicine is taught on the floors of affiliate hospitals. Because much of the teaching in medicine is one-on-one or with small groups, the members of the department are able to provide individualized instruction for the medical students. This enables the faculty to ascertain whether or not the medical students can incorporate the material mastered in the basic sciences into their practice of clinical medicine. The medical students can gain significant ambulatory experience in the general internal medicine and subspecialty clinics while rotating through their required and elective clerkships in internal medicine.

The members of the Department of Internal Medicine, all of whom are highly trained specialists, sub-specialists, or general internists, are engaged in clinical as well as basic research. The sections of cardiology, gastroenterology, and rheumatology are actively involved in research and investigative pharmaceutical studies. The medical students may assist in these projects by monitoring the patient's progress and helping to analyze the data collected for these studies. Consistent with our osteopathic principles, students will learn about the whole patient approach to medical care. Students will also understand how to partner with the patient care team to assist with the promotion of health.

IMEDD 1702, 1802 Internal Medicine Rotation I and II

Microbiology and Immunology

Chair: Michael V. Violin, Ph.D.

More than one-third of the cases seen by family practice physicians involve infectious disease or immunologically related disorders. Medical students complete a required two-quarter sequence in the Fundamental Principles of Microbiology, Immunology and Medical Microbiology. The goals of this sequence are to provide students with the fundamental information necessary for the diagnosis, rational management and control of infectious disease, as well as immunologic disorders. These goals are achieved through problem-based interactive clinical case studies, computer-based case modules and lectures. The material presented in lecture is reinforced in the mandatory laboratory sessions that help students develop the skills they will find necessary to perform the most commonly used microbiologic techniques. The laboratory also allows students to become familiar with the general operations of a clinical microbiology laboratory.

In addition to the required courses, the Microbiology faculty also accept students into a research elective program. Areas of ongoing research include microbial communication, viral infection and entry, viral impact on immune system function, immune mechanisms of protection and pathology in microbial infections, and autoimmunity.

1651 Infectious Diseases and Their Etiologic Agents and the Immune Response

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Chair: Teresa Hubka, D.O.

Obstetrics and Gynecology remains an essential part of the practice of all primary care osteopathic physicians. The basics of good prenatal care, the daily activities of office gynecology, and the indications and options for appropriate surgical care of the female patient challenge all physicians on a daily basis. The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology provides the student with a dynamic educational experience, combining traditional fundamentals with fresh, innovative thinking and technology. Our primary goal is to train students to solve clinical dilemmas by applying clear, concise thinking to a solid foundation of knowledge in women's health.

1702 Obstetrics and Gynecology Rotation

Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

Chair: Kurt Heinking, D.O.

The Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine is designed to serve as a focal point of osteopathic uniqueness within the Downers Grove Campus, Midwestern University. In addition to the traditional role of teaching the osteopathic courses to students, the Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine is a resource to provide leadership to facilitate the demonstration of this osteopathic approach. A continuum of osteopathic training is essential, and the Department will work to facilitate this continuity in the training process. The Department recognizes the necessity for a base of scientific research to support osteopathic theory and practice, as well as the necessity of clinical studies to document the efficacy and cost effectiveness of osteopathic care.

OMEDD 1550, 1551, 1650, 1650 Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

OMEDD 1801 Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Rotation

OMM Scholar Clinic

In the fall of 1998, Dr. Robert Kappler created the OMM Scholars' Clinic as part of the Downers Grove Campus Wellness Center. The clinic was established to offer much-needed OMM services to the Midwestern University community. It was also created to provide first-hand clinical experience for the OMM Scholars. The OMM Scholars' Clinic is currently held in the OMM Lab in the lower level of Science Hall. The clinic is staffed by the OMM Scholars who are on service that month under the supervision of Dr. Heinking. Charts are kept on all patients, and in addition to the OMT, exercise/stretching prescriptions are a mainstay of treatment. Please call Laura Trusk 630-515-7123 for an appointment.


Chair: John Kasimos, D.O.

By focusing on the human body as an integrated system, the study of pathology provides students with an understanding of the pathophysiologic mechanisms of disease while familiarizing them with the vast spectrum of human disease processes encountered through an organ system approach. It initiates students to critical clinical analysis by demonstrating the relationships between basic scientific principles and the practice of clinical medicine and emphasizing the integration of these principles into the study of human disease. This approach provides students with a complete overview of disease processes in relation to their genetic, pathophysiologic, anatomic, histologic, and cellular alterations. Students will develop skills necessary to interpret and incorporate laboratory data in diagnosing and treating the spectrum of illness. The relationships of the mechanisms and characteristics of human disease to osteopathic principles and practice are emphasized.

PATHD 1601 Pathology I

PATHD 1602, 1603 Pathology II and III


Section Director: Catherine Macyko, M.D.

Pediatric patients present opportunities, challenges, and rewards that are unique in medicine. As a student it is essential to be exposed to growth and development from newborn to adulthood, the medical management of the pediatric patient, preventive care and psychosocial issues of childhood. The management of pediatric patients requires special thought processes, skills, and techniques that must be mastered by all medical students. Pediatrics is a six-week rotation in the third year.

PEDID 1702 Pediatrics Rotation


Chair: Phillip Kopf, Ph.D.

The science of pharmacology deals with the properties and effects of drugs and chemical compounds of living systems. Medical pharmacology focuses on the mechanisms of action, toxicities, and therapeutic uses of biologically active substances in humans. Physicians must be able to utilize basic knowledge of pharmacology to treat and prevent disease in their patients. At CCOM, medical students are shown the correlation between pharmacology and related medical sciences, taught how to interpret the actions and uses of major classes of drugs, and instructed in the application of pharmacodynamics to the therapeutic management of patients. Students are also instructed on various aspects of the toxicology of common drugs and environmental agents. The 10 credit pharmacology course spans the Fall, Winter and Spring quarters of the OMS-II curriculum. In addition, the Pharmacology Department offers elective courses in the areas of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Medical Spanish. Pharmacology Faculty maintain active research programs in the areas of metal (cadmium) toxicology, diabetes, cancer biology, vascular smooth muscle biology, endocrinology and molecular biology. Medical students interested in participating in these research programs may do so through Research Electives or the CCOM Summer Research Fellowship program. Students interested in research should contact individual faculty or the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

PHARD 1650 Pharmacology I


Chair: Kathleen O'Hagan, Ph.D.

Physiology is the branch of the life sciences concerned with the function of living systems. Health is customarily defined in physiologic terms: disease is perceived as a deviation from the normal physiologic states of the body. Disease states and the associated signs and symptoms are understood through a refined appreciation of the diverse regulatory processes that maintain the normal, functional status of the human body.

The Physiology Department offers courses that present the physiological principles and regulatory processes that underlie the normal function of the human body. These core principles provide a foundation upon which to develop an understanding of the physiologic mechanisms engaged in response to homeostatic imbalance and of pathophysiologic alterations that occur in disease. In addition to conventional didactic instruction, osteopathic medical students participate in small group clinical case discussions that are used to promote critical thinking, problem solving and application of physiologic concepts and principles to clinically relevant problems. Medical students interested in research are encouraged to participate in ongoing research projects as a part of CCOM's Dr. Kenneth A. Suarez Research Fellowship Program. Current research interests of the faculty include a variety of areas associated with cardiovascular and endocrine physiology and mechanisms underlying osteopathic manipulative medicine.

PHYSD 1501, 1502 Physiology I, II


Chair: Andrew Dennis, D.O.

All osteopathic physicians must be trained to understand surgical diseases as presented in a clinical setting. They must master pre- and postoperative assessment of patients so they can function in any medical setting as an important and integral part of the patient care team.

The members of the surgery department are committed to CCOM's precepts of teaching, healing and serving. The academic mission of the department is to provide each student with both didactic and clinical training in the surgical arts. The members of the department provide comprehensive surgical care for the patients throughout CCOM's affiliated clinical facilities. The members of the department serve as mentors for all medical students in addition to identifying and supporting those who have the ability and interest to become osteopathic surgeons .Students are required to complete an 8 week core surgery block during their third year, and may participate in a 4 week core general surgery block during their fourth year. Additionally, the department of surgery offers elective surgical clerkships during the 3rd and 4th year. Clerkships are commonly four weeks long, but select sites offer two week experiences. Selective and elective surgery clerkships are offered in anesthesiology, orthopedics, general surgery, burn surgery, trauma surgery, ophthalmology, plastic surgery, vascular surgery, cardio-thoracic surgery, surgical critical care, surgical oncology, ENT, urologic surgery and neurosurgery .All core clerkships are offered at CCOM affiliated hospitals, surgi-center sand clinics.

SURGD 1702, 1802 Surgery Rotation I and II

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