State of the College 2008
October 7, 2008
University College of Osteopathic Medicine may be facing the same
financial issues as the rest of the university, state and nation,
but the college is very well positioned to face them, Jack Brose,
D.O., dean of the college, said Wednesday, Oct. 1, during his
annual State of the College Address.
“It’s been a
really amazing year. We’ve had an amazing number of
accomplishments,” Brose said. “We’ve got some challenges ahead, but
we’re going to get through them just fine.”
highlighted some of the achievements and honors of the past year:
This year’s class
of first-year medical students is the largest,
top-performing and most diverse in the college’s
history. The 120 members of the Class of 2012 have a
combined grade point average 3.63 overall – 3.56 in
science and 3.71 in non-science. Of the class, 26
percent are minority students and 55 percent are
About 54 percent of
the college’s alumni practice in primary care
specialties, such as family medicine, internal
medicine and pediatrics; and 44 percent of alumni
practice in communities with a population of less
During the past
five years, OU-COM researchers secured more than
$35.8 million in federal, state and private grants.
According to a report currently under development
for Ohio Board of Regents, during that same time,
college scholarly activity – measured in
presentations, workshops, journal articles, chapters
and books – more than doubled.
Programs provided an estimated excess of $1 million
in clinical, educational and other community
services last year. This included 8,544 childhood
vaccines, 327 breast and cervical cancer screenings,
and 4,015 childhood vision screenings, among other
services. CHP now operates six free clinic locations
in some of the region’s neediest areas.
received prestigious professional recognition this
year. Brose named two examples:
college received an outstanding
accreditation evaluation – including
four commendations – from the U.S.
Department of Education’s
on Osteopathic College
American Osteopathic Foundation
named Keith Watson, D.O.,
associate dean of graduate medical
education, Educator of the Year,
their highest teaching honor.
new hospitals joined the Centers for Osteopathic
Research and Education: Adena Regional Medical
Center, Marietta Memorial Hospital and OhioHealth
Riverside Methodist Hospital. Mt. Carmel Health
System in Columbus, which joined as a participating
hospital last year, welcomed its first new class
this past year.
that the Ohio Board of Regents expects the state budget to continue
its downward turn, impacting funding for the college. “The budget is
going to get worse and that is not a good sign for us,” he said.
the state cut 4.75 percent, about $268,000, from the college’s
clinical teaching funding and four other state budget lines for the
college. Brose warned that he expects additional state funding cuts
for the medical school as soon as early 2009.
followed a policy of fiscal responsibility and plans to continue to
do so by maintaining a strong financial reserve; preparing
contingency budget plans based on possible three-, five- and
10-percent funding cuts from the state; and taking a hard look at
expenses that may not be absolutely critical in tough times, such as
lunches and outside consultants, the dean explained. OU-COM will
also be following the university hiring freeze for new employees.
administration will continue to work with officials from other
medical schools to aggressively lobby the Board of Regents, the
legislature and the governor’s office, Brose said.
“And if all
else fails, we’re going to apply for a $700 billion bail out,” he
joked, referencing the proposed solution to the current national
“It’s a big
cycle,” Brose said of current economic challenges. “We have gotten
through it before, and we’re going to do it again. We’re going to
excel and grow.”
A few of the
initiatives that Brose wants to undertake in the upcoming year
include developing new scholarships for students, curricular
innovations that make the most of new technologies and addressing
issues of professionalism for students, faculty and administration.
Brose said the
most important issue facing the college is the continually
increasing debt load that OU-COM students accumulate upon
student at our college is graduating with more than $150,000 in
debt, despite the fact that we are almost the lowest tuition out of
the six medical schools in Ohio,” Brose said.
To help ease
the debt burden for medical students, the dean wants to continue to
ramp up fundraising efforts for endowed scholarships. “We are really
going to put forth every bit of energy we can to raise money and
increase our endowment to provide scholarships for our students,” he
The dean also
wants to implement more technological innovations in the college
curricula to improve classroom instruction, address the learning
styles of the millennial generation and possibly recognize some cost
savings in the process. He referenced the successful introduction of
electronic case studies. He said he looks forward to putting more
lectures online, offering accompanying question-and-answer
teleconferences with experts at our teaching hospitals across the
state, and he discussed the possibility of electronic testing.
students) are amazingly intelligent and they have computer skills
that absolutely dwarf any of ours as a faculty or administration,”
Brose said. “We need to use some of their skills, and there are ways
we can utilize those in our instruction.”
Last year the
college began its Partners in Professionalism program, in which
students directly interact with the Ohio State Medical Board. OU-COM
is the first medical school in Ohio with such a program, he said,
and it has been very successful.
“We need to go
a lot farther. I’ve asked student government to take the lead in
developing professionalism in our medical students. Our students are
very professional, and we’re proud of them, but some run into
problems. Some of it is generational.”
the talk with the introduction of the new design for the college
magazine, Ohio University Medicine.
on campus thinks of ‘professionalism,’ we want them to think of our
school, because the College of Osteopathic Medicine is the only
professional school on campus.”