Dr. Hill and students

Wofford partners with medical school, SRHS

VCOM groundbreaking

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine breaks ground

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine broke ground Thursday (Feb. 25) on its new Carolinas Campus, a satellite of the Virginia-based program. Wofford College and Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System have formed alliances with VCOM to develop the program in Spartanburg.

The Carolinas Campus will feature a three-story, 65,000-square-foot facility on its 18.69-acre campus on Howard Street. Officials said the Carolinas Campus will matriculate 150 students in its first class in 2011.

“With the growth in applicants from the Carolinas, the addition of a VCOM branch campus right in the Carolinas is a natural evolution,” says William P. King, VCOM’s associate vice president for student services. “The VCOM-Carolinas Campus will not only help us in meeting our mission but it expands opportunities for qualified students to obtain a quality medical education closer to home or where they went to school.”

King, who also serves as co-chair of VCOM’s admissions committee, says the college has matriculated more than 80 students from the two Carolinas—and that number represents 20 percent of the school’s total students.

“With its emphasis on primary care, VCOM’s decision to locate here in Spartanburg offers immensely important benefits to this state and region — as well as to our own pre-med students here at Wofford,” says Wofford President Benjamin B. Dunlap. “We look forward to this auspicious partnership.”

Wofford will provide VCOM students with access to an enhanced campus experience, granting them admittance to performances and athletics competitions, in addition to the use of Wofford dining and library facilities, says Dr. David S. Wood, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college.

“This strategic alliance will allow VCOM students, faculty and staff to participate in educational, recreational, social and cultural activities on the Wofford College campus,” Wood says. “This cooperation capitalizes on the strategic locations of Wofford, Spartanburg Regional and now VCOM. This is a win-win for all parties, including the City of Spartanburg.”

Wofford students will be able to observe VCOM classes. “This will be an exciting opportunity for pre-med students,” he adds.

The growing number of students from the Carolinas region, coupled with Spartanburg Regional’s well-respected residency program, made Spartanburg a good choice to locate VCOM’s new campus, officials say.

“Being the only dually accredited residency program and being the only South Carolina hospital that could train osteopathic medical students in their third and fourth years, Spartanburg Regional quickly became a highly rated and favorite training site for regional osteopathic students,” says Dr. Otis Baughman, director of the Spartanburg Regional Family Medicine Program. “That excellence and reputation made Spartanburg Regional a natural partner in VCOM’s expansion plans.”

Spartanburg Regional, a teaching hospital, lays claim to South Carolina’s only residency program to achieve dual accreditation for both the allopathic and osteopathic wings of medicine, Baughman said.

“Physicians like to practice in academic settings due to the academic rigor,” Baughman says. “VCOM brings a major medical academic institution to Spartanburg making us an even greater draw to outstanding physicians of all specialties.”

The partnerships with Wofford and Spartanburg Regional will be appealing to prospective students, King says.

“Our partnerships with Wofford College and Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System will be a tremendous asset to our students,” King says. “Our collaborative partnership with Wofford will afford our students the opportunity to access many of the services and facilities on the Wofford campus, adding a richness to our students’ professional and personal growth as future physicians. We have had clinical students rotating at Spartanburg Regional for the past few years and all of them have shared extremely positive feedback on their educational experiences.”

For more information, visit www.vcom.vt.edu.

ABOUT VCOM: Located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Va., the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) provides medical education and research that prepares globally minded, community-focused physicians who improve the health of those most in need. The college has had a collaborative partnership with Virginia Tech since 2002.

ABOUT OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE: Osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) are licensed in every state to practice the full scope of medicine, including examining patients, diagnosing illness, performing surgery, and writing prescriptions. D.O.s practice in every field of medicine as full physicians and since their training emphasizes principles that the body can heal itself given optimum conditions, disease prevention and proper nutrition and exercise are emphasized in their practice of medicine. D.O.s also are trained in musculoskeletal manipulation to address overall health needs of their patients.

ABOUT SPARTANBURG REGIONAL: Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System serves a five-county region in Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina. The nationally recognized system includes an expansive physician network featuring both primary and specialty care physicians, three inpatient hospitals and multiple centers of excellence, including the Center for Women, the Heart Center, Gibbs Cancer Center and the Emergency Center. Spartanburg Regional is a not-for-profit research and teaching hospital offering state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment options. Its Family Medicine Residency program at accepts 12 residents per year, along with four transitional interns. Half of the current residents come from schools in South Carolina, while the other half come from schools all over the United States.

ABOUT WOFFORD COLLEGE: Wofford College, established in 1854, is an independent liberal arts college located in Spartanburg, S.C. It offers bachelor’s degrees in 26 major fields of study, and is well known for its programs leading to graduate and professional studies (medicine and other health professions, law and the ministry).