The Mississippi Legislature recently recognized the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine, located on the university's main campus in Hattiesburg, for its contributions to Mississippi medicine and named the week of April 19-25 as National Osteopathic Medicine Week in the state.
Medical college administrators organized several events to commemorate the week, beginning with the annual Research Symposium featuring Dr. Stefanie Jeffrey of Stanford University as the keynote speaker on April 17. On April 20, a community reception and open house was held at the medical college along with a brief introduction to osteopathic medicine and an update on the medical college's status and future plans.
Other events held to observe the week included an April 22 National ShaDO event, where prospective students shadowed an osteopathic medical student; an April 23 lecture on medical professional liability by representatives from the Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi; and an April 27 lecture by Dr. Robert Good, an osteopathic physician and former president of the American College of Osteopathic Internists.
The medical college was established in 2010 as the state's second medical school and the first in the region to focus on osteopathic medicine. The inaugural class of 91 students graduated in May 2014 and the college gained full accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. The medical college is the 26th school of osteopathic medicine in the country and has the goal of training student doctors for careers in primary care medicine to address the physician shortage in the Gulf South region, particularly within rural and underserved communities.
The fifth class of students, the Class of 2018, started their studies in August 2014 and consists of 108 students selected from a pool of 2,442 applicants. Admissions preference to the medical college is strongly given to applicants from Mississippi and the surrounding Gulf South states.