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Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (College of Osteopathic Medicine)

The mission of Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine is to provide men and women with a scholarly medical education and training in osteopathic principles, to encourage research, to promote lifelong scholarly activity, and
to serve the Pacific Northwest through educational experiences within the five-state region, leading to an increase in the number of osteopathic physicians practicing in rural and underserved areas.

School name:Pacific Northwest University of Health SciencesCollege of Osteopathic Medicine
Address:111 South 33rd Street, Suite 104, Yakima, Washington
Zip & city:9890 Washington
Phone:(509) 452-5100

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College of Osteopathic Medicine Medical School Location

College of Osteopathic Medicine Courses


Is discipline based lectures and labs integrated around gross anatomy. Examinations are given in blocks and are written in board exam format. Three courses are required for both first and second year students; Osteopathic Principles and Practices, Clinical Skills, and Community and Behavioral Medicine. First year Osteopathic Principles and Practices place emphasis on "normal" systems. Students will have early clinical exposure in Clinical Skills, utilizing standardized patients and virtual medicine simulation robots. Community & Behavioral Medicine covers ethics, community resources, spirituality in medicine, oral health, end of life, bioterrorism, and public health subjects.


Is an application-oriented systems curriculum which includes faculty-directed self-study on specific topics with specific learning objectives which the student learns in preparation for in-class interactive learning sessions. During the interactive learning sessions the student has the opportunity to answer questions based on cases presented, and cement the knowledge by applying it. These are mandatory sessions allowing the student to gain insight into how successful clinicians recognize patterns which lead to differential diagnoses. The curriculum shifts focus of class time to utilization of knowledge rather than information acquisition. On-line modules are used for honing differential diagnosis skills based on certain problems within a system. The application-oriented systems curriculum allows students to gain insight into recognizing patterns which lead to differential diagnosis, explanation, and treatment capabilities.


PNWU-COM is developing Core Rotation sites diffusely throughout the Pacific Northwest region. We are partnering with sites that have had allopathic and osteopathic medical school students before, as well as developing increased capacity for community-based training throughout the Pacific Northwest. Because we are collaborating with other schools that place students in sites in the Pacific Northwest, we are able to ensure the highest standards in these areas, both for students and faculty. The 3rd and 4th year rotations will not be a shadow experience unless the student chooses a site where there are many layers of medical students, residents and fellows. This is found typically at a major medical center, which is why we are not choosing to place our students at that type of site for their core rotations. We are investing heavily in developing community-based training because we want our students to be active participants, applying the knowledge they have acquired in the first two years. The rural sites for the 4 week rural requirement do not have students often, as a sole medical student at a rural site; the student will have more hands on experiences than at any other location.

There will be regional deans supporting the students at each site, specific objectives and expectations for the students, as well as end of rotation examinations. Every adjunct clinical faculty member of any medical school must be involved with faculty development/training, and PNWU faculties are no exception. Many of our faculties are adjunct faculty at other medical schools.

PNWU-COM rotation requirements will meet or exceed quality standards set by regional medical schools. Students will be training with all different types of physicians, DOs and MDs in varied settings. The community-based education model provides the medical student with more practical and pertinent experiences relevant to their level of training, and has been utilized for decades outside of the Pacific Northwest. With the Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation and state associations such as the Washington Osteopathic Medical Association, we are developing regional quality standards and improvement measures for students to obtain the best education possible.

Students at each core site will live in that community for up to two years, which is beneficial for housing. Students will not move around the Pacific Northwest from site to site for the core rotations. Preference for sites is given to people from the local area or who have family in the core site.

The 3rd year core rotations include family medicine, internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, women’s health, osteopathic principles, and ER. The fourth year is comprised of medicine, surgical, and behavioral medicine electives, which the student may schedule anywhere in the United States, with the approval of the Clinical Rotations Department. The student and clinic/hospital/preceptors must comply with stringent objectives and requirements for each rotation. Each core site will have a variety of electives available. As is typical with any medical school, the 4th year is when students try out potential residency programs in which they are interested.

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