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December 11, 2013

Otterbein partnering with Heritage College to offer early assurance program

Westerville, OH—Otterbein University is partnering with the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine to attract highly talented high school students into an early assurance program aimed at increasing the pipeline of primary care physicians in Ohio. The new program will begin with students entering Otterbein in the fall of 2014.

Within the next decade, experts predict a national shortage of more than 45,000 primary care physicians, with residents of rural or inner city medically underserved areas of Ohio feeling some of the greatest effects. Approximately 50 percent of Heritage College alumni practice in primary care and nearly 60 percent practice in Ohio, making the school uniquely positioned to help address these projected shortages.

“We’re excited to partner with Otterbein to address the increasing demand for primary care physicians in the state,” said Heritage College Executive Dean Kenneth Johnson, D.O. “Through this program, some of the best and brightest students in Ohio can pursue their medical education close to home, with the likelihood that many of them will remain in the region to provide high-quality comprehensive care to address the most pervasive medical needs of our state.”

According to the American Osteopathic Association, osteopathic medicine is one of the fastest-growing health professions, with one out of five medical students enrolled in a college of osteopathic medicine.

Students accepted to Otterbein’s Early Assurance Program will have the option of a 3+4 track or 4+4 track. The 3+4 fast-track of the Early Assurance Program ensures early graduation from Otterbein and entry into the Heritage College for qualified students. The 4+4 track allows students a traditional four-year undergraduate experience before entering medical school. A maximum of 10 students will be accepted into the program each year.

To be considered for the program, high school seniors must meet certain minimum criteria, apply for admission to Otterbein no later than Jan. 1, 2014, and be accepted by the Heritage College through an interview process. Minimum criteria include a grade point average of 3.5; an ACT score of 28 or an SAT score of 1250 to 1280 (math and critical reading); four years each of English, math and science, including biology, chemistry and physics; and residential status in the state of Ohio.

Students in the 4+4 program can pursue any major, while students considering the 3+4 program can major in biology, chemistry, or biochemistry and molecular biology.

The Heritage College is a national leader in training primary care physicians. The college is number one in Ohio and 11th nationally in medical schools that graduate physicians who practice in underserved rural areas. The state’s only osteopathic medical school, the college will open a new site in Dublin, Ohio, in 2014 and a campus in affiliation with Cleveland Clinic on the campus of Cleveland Clinic’s South Pointe Hospital in Warrensville Heights in 2015. Students participating in the Early Assurance Program can be considered for any of the Heritage College’s campuses.

Otterbein University is a private, co-educational, comprehensive liberal arts institution founded in 1847 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It is located in Westerville, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus that has been ranked the fifth friendliest town in America by Forbes and in 2012 and 15th on Money Magazine’s 2009 list of Best Places to Live. Otterbein enrolls approximately 3,000 students, including full and part-time undergraduates, adult learners, and students enrolled in The Graduate School. Otterbein offers more than 70 majors, as well as individualized fields of study. Master’s degree programs are offered in allied health, business administration, education, educational mathematics and nursing, including courses in its newly-accredited nurse anesthesia program in conjunction with Grant Medical Center. Otterbein’s first doctorate program, doctor of nursing practice (DNP), began classes in spring 2011. Accredited since 1913 by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Otterbein has consistently placed high among peer institutions in U.S. News & World Report’s “Guide to America’s Best Colleges” for over a decade. Otterbein is ranked 17th among 147 schools in its category in the 2014 guide. Otterbein has also been recognized by Washington Monthly as a top school for contributions to the public good and by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its commitment to community service and service-learning.

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