Key policies that are pertinent to WCUCOM can be found below and in the WCUCOM Student Handbook. Any changes to University or WCUCOM policies that have occurred after the publication of the Student Handbook may also be found below.

William Carey University is committed to providing an environment in which all persons are
protected from discrimination and intimidation based on race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual
orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, age or disability, or religion. Such
discrimination is contrary to the standards of conduct expected of all members of the William
Carey University community, whether student, staff or faculty. A diverse administrative staff,
faculty, and student body are needed to provide the richness necessary for osteopathic
medical education. WCUCOM makes every effort to recruit and hire faculty from diverse
backgrounds to foster that richness while meeting its mission and objectives. This policy
complies with the “Accreditation of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine: COM Accreditation
Standards and Procedures (effective July 1, 2019).

It is clearly stated in university documents (COM, nursing, PT, etc.) that the university may make changes to any provision of these documents without prior notice. Such changes will be effective upon notification by posting to the website or other usual means of notification or on the date specified in the notification

Official Notification

Effective December 1, 2017 the following provisions of the policy on disability services will be strictly enforced:

  1. “Qualified healthcare provider” is defined as a licensed physician with special training in the condition diagnosed (example, physical handicap orthopedic physician, ADHA psychiatrist, neurologist, pediatrician who routinely engages in diagnosis and treatment of the condition; visual, ophthalmologist; etc

  2. The report must contain date of original diagnosis, as well as tests used to determine the current diagnosis.

  3. Complete documentation must be submitted to the office of disability services in a timely manner PRIOR TO THE REQUESTED TERM.

The university has initiated a review of its policies and procedures related to disability services and a revised policy will be published as soon as the review is complete. In the meantime the definitions/clarifications provided above will be followed.

WCUCOM does not encourage transfers; however, in special circumstances transfers will be considered from American Osteopathic Association/Commission on College Accreditation (AOA/COCA)-accredited colleges or schools. LCME transfers are not accepted (allopathic medical school).

In accordance with the AOA/COCA and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) standards, the transfer student must matriculate at WCUCOM for at least two academic years. The policy for acceptance of transfer students is as follows:

  • Applicants for transfer must be in good standing at a college or school of osteopathic medicine approved by the AOA/COCA;
  • Applicants must have notified the Dean of the college that they are transferring from and get a formal letter of release to submit to the WCUCOM Dean; and
  • Each applicant will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and interviewed prior to the approval to transfer.

WCUCOM will have the right to require additional courses be taken or rotations added if deemed necessary to ensure that the potential graduate will be of the highest quality and contribute to WCUCOM successfully meeting its mission.

All graduation requirements must be completed in no more than six academic years. Time missed for approved leaves of absence will not be counted in this six-year time frame. The Office of the Associate Dean, Academic Affairs will monitor student progress in meeting the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Students are required to schedule an appointment with the Associate Registrar no less than six (6) months prior to their anticipated graduation date.



The following policies relate to student mental health, wellness, and fatigue mitigation. These policies were developed by students, faculty, and administration and approved by the WCUCOM Curriculum Council.


Background / rationale

Stress and fatigue is a common experience in medical school. The longitudinal curriculum is expansive in volume, depth and students are required to assimilate, integrate and apply material in increasingly complex labs, simulations, cases and written cognitive examinations. This along with the competitive environment of academic standing and future medical residency training places steady stress on students.  When this continual stress is combined with a lack of sleep, poor unhealthy eating habits, demands for attention from family, lack of physical activity, and poor time management it can result in physical as well as emotional exhaustion and can have negative impact on academic performance, health and well-being. The intent of this policy is to be proactive in providing education and resources to prevent and mitigate stress and fatigue, as well as to promote strategies for lifelong approaches to health and wellness as a component of professional responsibility.



WCUCOM is committed to promoting medical education, safety and well-being in a supportive educational environment and ensuring students appear appropriately rested and appear mentally and physically fit for educational responsibilities. This policy provides guidance on methods available to provide education and provide available resources regarding:

  • Recognizing the signs of fatigue and sleep deprivation;
  • Understanding strategies for alertness management, protect against fatigue and strategies to mitigate fatigue; and
  • Learning about mental health and available resources for stress management and strategies for overall life balance.



Medical Student: Any medical student enrolled in WCUCOM undergraduate medical education program, including preclinical and clinical training years.

Fatigue: The policy addresses Fatigue at a level causing cognitive and/or motor impairment. Fatigue is defined as weariness or exhaustion from exertion and stress and it can manifest in physical and/or mental symptoms causing impairment in functioning. The symptoms of fatigue are extremely varied, including but not limited to: lack of energy/motivation, difficulty concentrating, impaired reasoning, anxiety, or mood swings.

Physical abnormalities can also contribute to fatigue.  These include, but are not limited to, the following: sleep apnea, depression, anemia, impaired cardiopulmonary health, thyroid malfunction, and diabetes. Prescription and over-the-counter medications, including those used in treating the aforementioned diseases, can also increase the symptoms of fatigue.




Students are responsible for completing curriculum on fatigue, health and wellness. Any concerns regarding fatigue, health and wellness including perceived symptoms (stress, anxiety, depression, exhaustion etc.) of self or others, may be reported to administration (COM Dean, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Associate Dean Academic Affairs, or Associate Dean Clinical Sciences).  Appropriate steps will be taken to investigate the concern confidentially and identify appropriate strategies to address the concern.



The follow steps will be required to address Fatigue Mitigation that causes impairment and inability to continue with required academic or professional duties:

  • Individuals are strongly advised to seek medical attention from a physician to ensure that there are no other acute health concerns that might require medical attention;
  • If a student will miss an exam, the steps of the WCUCOM the exam policy must be followed;
  • If a student will miss a required activity (lab/lecture) etc., the student must provide a physician’s signed note documenting that the absence is “due to fatigue” and provide a duration and date that the student will be “fit to return to class”;


Strategies for Education

WCUCOM will provide annual education available for all faculty members, students and staff on recognizing the signs of fatigue and sleep deprivation, and information on alertness management as well as self-care and life balance. 

Resource: LIFE Curriculum


Strategies for Fatigue Mitigation and Health and Wellness:

  • The attendance policy allows students to miss up to 20% of a class. This provides flexibility to students who are fatigued to take the time to rest within the academic year;
  • The preclinical academic allows for flexible time for study, life balance and rest if needed. This also allows flexible time for faculty and staff to balance various responsibilities with the goal of reducing stress and fatigue; and


WCUCOM provides limited number of free confidential counseling services each year for students. Services are provided by outside mental health providers and are completely anonymous to WCUCOM. To schedule a confidential appointment on the Hattiesburg campus, contact the office of the vice president for student support at (601) 318-6188.

In order to provide access and equity of mental health services for all students throughout the continuum of preclinical and clinical education, WCUCOM students have access to ProtoCall at 601-318-6062. This unique telehealth access has been provided to enable access to mental health services regardless of location and enables 24-hour access.  The following are local mental health services that students may access confidential services during business hours:

  • Wesley Behavioral Health Services- 239 Methodist Boulevard, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39401 268.5026;
    • March Holistic Christian Therapy,-M-F 8:00-5:00PM; S 9:00-12:00PM 805 W Pine Street, Hattiesburg MS 39401 268.8796;
    • Pine Belt Mental Health; or
    • Forrest General Hospital.


To supplement these services, another confidential telephone hotline is available to WCUCOM students from 5 p.m. until 8 a.m. on weekdays and 24-hours a day on weekends and holidays.  This telephone hotline is a confidential service and may be accessed by calling 228-5965654. The primary function of this service is to provide WCUCOM students the opportunity for stabilization and intervention options outside of regular office hours.


These providers accept all major insurances including the policy offered by WCUCOM. For a complete listing of providers offered on the WCUCOM insurance plan, please visit


If there are significant concerns of due to fatigue or life balance (e.g. resulting from health issues, life events or others), Leave of Absence (LOA) is available for students to take a break from academic requirements and return when issues have been addressed. LOA’s can be requested through The Office of Student Affairs.  


In addition, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This service is not owned or operated by WCU or WCUCOM, and the provider ensures confidentiality. This service may be accessed by calling 1.800.273.8255.


All WCUCOM students must maintain health insurance.


Since fatigue may be related to physical abnormalities, students experiencing continued fatigue are encouraged to seek medical advice from their healthcare provider.


Physician Services

Students are encouraged to engage a family physician or other primary care provider as the optimal source of healthcare while at WCUCOM.  Students with health care needs who do not have a provider will be referred to The Family Practice/After-Hours Clinic (110 Millsaps Drive, Hattiesburg, MS 39402; 601.261.5710;  


For emergencies, students should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department. 


In Hattiesburg, Forrest General Hospital and Wesley Medical Center are the local hospitals with emergency departments:

  • Forrest General Hospital

6051 U.S. Highway 49

P.O. Box 16389

Hattiesburg, MS 39404-6389

General Information/Main Number: 601.288.7000

  • Merit Health Wesley

5001 Hardy Street

Hattiesburg, MS 39402

General Information/Main Number: 601.268.8000

  • The William Carey Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment Clinic is located in the Mary Ross Hall. OMT services are available for students, faculty, staff and the families of faculty and staff. For appointments call (601) 318-6584;
  • The WCUCOM Office of Student Affairs and WCU Office of Student Services should be notified of any changes in a student’s health that may impact his or her studies; and
  • The Office of Clinical Rotations maintains a list of willing providers for WCUCOM students in each of our hubsite locations and each list can be found on the WCUCOM website under the current student tab,


Note: Any health professional providing health services, via a therapeutic relationship, must recuse him/herself from the academic assessment or promotion of the student receiving those services.

Performing Patient Care Activities

Student involvement in patient care is permitted when authorized by the College and the assigned clinical faculty member. These activities may include, but are not limited to early clinical experiences and clinical clerkships throughout the 4 years of the medical school curriculum. Supervision by a physician or authorized medical professional (i.e. PA, APN) who are under the supervision of the faculty physician is required. In certain cases such as medication counseling, a pharmacist is an appropriate supervisor. The student’s supervising faculty/preceptor is the faculty member that is responsible for the patient’s care. Students may not perform any medical treatment or procedures without appropriate supervision and that is not appropriate for his or her level of training. The faculty member/preceptor generally should be present for any treatment, procedure, or invasive exam. Students are not to take the place of qualified staff and should identify themselves to patients and others as an osteopathic medical student or “Student Doctor.” Students may not introduce themselves as Doctor regardless of previous degrees as this is a misrepresentation of the student’s position on a healthcare team.  Students may not write patient care orders independently and all such orders must be reviewed and approved by the faculty member/preceptor. Students may not accept payment or remuneration for services. Any student delivering unsupervised care is engaging in unauthorized treatment, is not insured by the University malpractice insurance and may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

While some students may be licensed in other healthcare areas (e.g. RN) they may not exercise the rights afforded by that license while simultaneously performing their duties as a medical student on a clinical clerkship or any early clinical experiences.

Note: If you have been assigned a supervising physician with whom you have a therapeutic relationship, please notify the Office of Clinical Rotations.

Assurance of Students Health Prior to Involvement in Patient Care

Upon admission, students are required to obtain and to provide the required documentation indicating that they do not have conditions that would endanger the health and well-being of patients. The documentation includes immunizations and titers for immunity, verification from a physician who has performed a medical history and physical examination as to the health of the student and background checks for a legal history. Students must also sign a document that they are free from contagious disease prior to caring for the patient. When this is in question, the student and college must follow CDC guidelines. The presence of a communicable disease may limit a student’s participation in clinical care. If a student has a communicable disease this must be shared with the appropriate personnel at the clinical site and the clinical site has the final determination in the student’s ability to participate in certain areas of clinical training. A student must be able to demonstrate that his or her health and abilities will enable them to meet the technical standards of the program. A copy of all immunizations and laboratory tests will be obtained and shared with the clinical site

Supervision of Students

A student (including those on clinical rotations) must be supervised in patient care situations. Supervision involves a responsible licensed physician to:

  • Be physically located in the facility where patient treatment is rendered;
  • Grant authorization of services provided by the student doctor;
  • Examine all patients seen by the student doctor;
  • Be physically present during and invasive procedure or exam;
  • Assure other clinical staff are present during any invasive or sexual organ examinations; and
  • Assure that the documentation in the patient’s medical record is appropriate

More to Explore