West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine Celebrates 50 Years
The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) was founded in 1972 and celebrated its anniversary on Wednesday at the Frederick Building in Huntington.
“We are now the largest medical school in the state with over 800 students,” said school president James Nemitz in a speech.
Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DO, are trained in the same services as other doctors, but take a more holistic approach to patient health.
WVSOM is headquartered in Louisburg and has campuses in Huntington, Charleston, Martinsburg, Clarksburg, Wheeling and Parkersburg.
As students have hands-on experience, the school has partnered with 59 clinics and hospitals across the state for their required clinical rotation.
“We bring our students before the whole state; We bring them to the forefront of rural medicine, ”Neimitz said. “A significant number of them are saying, ‘This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.'”
Students with WVSOM spend their first two years on campus in Louisburg. Starting their third year, students scatter to other parts of the state for their clinical work in their third and fourth years.
Third-year student Priyanka Pandey is originally from Columbus, Ohio. She is making her first clinical visit to Huntington, working in an inpatient psychiatric hospital.
Pandey said, “Many of the people there have been suffering from drug addiction for many years. “I was really happy to see that these people are either with family or they are in a group house, or there are many different social services to make sure they never leave them on the street. That’s why I wanted to be a D.O. In the first place. “
One of the major problems facing medical schools is the limited residential space available for graduates. The school reports that 99 percent of its graduates were able to match the residential program this year.
“If you have a person move into a residence, they will live within 50 miles, at least for their first job, when their residence is complete,” Neimitz said. “So one of the main things to keep a dock in the state is to increase residency and fellowship programs.”