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West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

Lewisburg, WV 24901
United States

The mission of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) is to educate students from diverse backgrounds as lifelong learners in osteopathic medicine and complementary health related programs; to advance scientific knowledge through academic, clinical and basic science research; and to promote patient-centered, evidence based medicine.

WVSOM is dedicated to serve, first and foremost, the state of West Virginia and the special health care needs of its residents, emphasizing primary care in rural areas.


Because of our outstanding medical education programs. Because of our latest high-tech learning tools. Because WVSOM has a sense of community togetherness and family feeling.

Reason #1: The feel of a small school with a national reputation

Our legacy of excellence has earned WVSOM national recognition for many years as a leader in the nation for family medicine, primary care and rural medicine by the highly regarded U.S. News & World Report. With a passion for providing the best osteopathic medical education, WVSOM fosters the development of caring and compassionate physicians.  WVSOM has also been named by The Chronicle of Higher Education in “Great Colleges to Work For.”

Reason #2: Education is our top priority

At WVSOM, our faculty is dedicated to our principal mission: educating osteopathic students in all areas of medicine. Because we are a free standing program—not part of a larger university—our faculty of nationally and internationally recognized PhDs, DOs and MDs are free to focus on the education of our students. Their passion for teaching and commitment to lifelong learning are the hallmarks of a WVSOM medical education.

Reason #3: Preparing students for primary care and all other specialties

WVSOM is leading the charge to elevate community-based services to a more prominent position in our nation’s health care system. With the firm medical education that we provide, students are well prepared to succeed in any field of medicine they choose to pursue.

Reason #4: Curriculum to maximize learning style

WVSOM presents a 21st century, clinically integrated approach to medical education. In the first two years, students are exposed to a variety of learning modes, including small group case presentations, lectures and laboratory experiences, and interaction with standardized patients and robots. Students learn a variety of clinical skills, and have early clinical encounters with real patients. All of these curricular activities integrate the basic sciences and their application to the patient. During years three and four, through the Statewide Campus System, students spend time in physician offices and hospitals, honing their skills with actual patients.

Reason #5: Our professors

Students at WVSOM have unprecedented access to consult with professors on an individual basis beyond the classroom setting. Open office hours, combined with the fact that most faculty members live in close proximity to campus, ensure that instructors are not just available, but eager to address questions or concerns one-on-one. Teaching is our primary objective, and we understand that learning often happens outside of classroom time.

Reason #6: A holistic approach to healing and emphasis on preventive medicine

The osteopathic philosophy of medicine provides everything students need to become a fully competent, practicing physician with a more holistic approach to the patient. While osteopathic physicians practice traditional medicine and surgery, they also focus on preventive medicine and ways to attain and maintain wellness. An osteopathic medical education provides training in OMM (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine), a practice where physicians use their hands as another tool to diagnose and treat injury and illness.

west_virginia_school_of_osteopathic_medicine1.jpgReason #7: Leading edge technology

WVSOM is on the forefront of innovation, providing a cutting-edge medical education. For first and second year students, wireless Internet service envelops the entire campus, ensuring 24/7 access to research sources, classroom materials and a global communications network. Each first year student receives a new, fully programmed laptop computer to utilize during their four years of study. During third and fourth year off-site rotations, students can gain access to testing, grading and evaluation forms, required reading lists and other instructional materials via WVSOM’s secure student portal.

More traditional research needs can be fulfilled in WVSOM’s modern library facility. Consisting of over 33,000 items, the library features current books, literature, scientific journals and access to over 8,000 full-text e-journals. Of special note is the osteopathic history collection and a unique index of over 23,000 osteopathic articles. The library also provides comfortable space for individual and group study with computer workstations, AV study rooms and individual cubicles.

Reason #8: Human patient simulators (robots) put real-life scenarios in students' hands

Students at WVSOM utilize human patient simulators to confront and treat real-world patient situations in a safe, controlled clinical training environment. These full-size, interactive, computerized mannequins can provide real-life simulations of more than 80 medical conditions, allowing for many different kinds of training scenarios.

With their life-like exterior and hi-tech internal components, WVSOM’s  patient simulators provide an incredibly realistic training experience for students.

With the robots, failure does not mean a bad grade; failure means a patient dies. This visceral experience enhances the learning experience and makes a lasting impression.

Reason #9: World-class anatomy lab offers hands-on learning environment

The study of human anatomy is a core component of the nationally recognized osteopathic medical education program at WVSOM. Our advanced anatomy lab features state-of-the-art equipment and ventilation systems, along with a multipurpose anatomy demonstration room to enhance the learning experience. This tactile learning environment offers a level of hands-on exposure to the human anatomy in a sterile and controlled environment that no simulator or model can provide.

Reason #10: Standardized patients training

In the medical field, effectively communicating with the patient is critical to acquiring complete medical histories, performing thorough physical exams and accurately diagnosing and treating the whole patient. In a simulated and controlled environment, actors portray patients with a specific set of medical issues and symptoms. Students must complete a comprehensive physical examination on the patient. This experience provides an invaluable opportunity to practice interview skills and develop a compassionate bedside manner.

Reason #11: Early clinical exposure through first year physician shadowing

At WVSOM, exposure to the clinical environment begins immediately in the first year through physician shadowing at the Robert C. Byrd Clinic—WVSOM’s on-campus health clinic. Working alongside practicing physicians, students learn to take a medical history, perform a physical exam, suture wounds, apply and remove casts, scrub for surgical procedures, administer injections and numerous other clinical duties. This early exposure allows students to develop the clinical skills and caring bedside manner that will prepare them for more intensive clinical rotations in the third and fourth years of the program.

Reason #12: Student clinics provide community health care to real patients

WVSOM’s student-run clinics provide free community health screenings that allow students to gain hands-on experience with real patients while providing a valuable service. Under the supervision of WVSOM staff physicians, the student is the doctor—performing medical histories, examinations, diagnoses and treatment. Clinics include public health screening services at the nearby West Virginia State Fair, campus-based men’s and women’s health fairs and student run osteopathic clinics.

Reason #13: Personal touch of osteopathic medicine

At WVSOM, students learn a specialized technique called osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM)—a hands-on method of patient care. A key component of the osteopathic philosophy of care, OMM training begins early in the curriculum. By practicing OMM techniques on fellow students in the Osteopathic Clinical Skills Lab, students learn to perfect this unique healing approach under the careful and professional instruction of WVSOM faculty.

Reason #14: Research opportunities enhance the educational experience

While our primary mission at WVSOM is to deliver a high quality medical education, research plays a vital role in the advancement of medical science and treatment discoveries. Many WVSOM faculty members actively conduct research in both basic and clinical sciences, and they enthusiastically invite student involvement. WVSOM allows students to gain career-enhancing knowledge and experience in research principles, statistical analysis, ethics and presenting findings to peer groups. WVSOM encourages students to pursue these fascinating opportunities.

Reason #15: Because you are more than just an employeewest_virginia_school_of_osteopathic_medicine2.jpg

Our close-knit campus and inviting community provide a sense of family and a safe and comfortable atmosphere where students are encouraged to explore creative, athletic and leadership opportunities. Students, faculty and staff participate together in recreational sports and fitness activities, which strengthen the bonds of friendship and community and enhance the overall educational experience.

Reason #16: Opportunities to serve the community

Nurturing students' commitment to community-based care and holistic medicine is a key component of the WVSOM educational experience. Through various student-directed service projects at WVSOM, students serve their community by assisting those in need throughout Greenbrier County, the state of West Virginia, and across the country. Some students extend their service beyond our borders, in underserved countries such as Honduras, Dominican Republic and Guatemala during holiday breaks. These opportunities allow students to play a role in the physical, emotional and social well-being of diverse populations in preparation for practice in a global society.

Reason #17: Variety of clinical experiences

During the third and fourth years, clinical experience becomes the primary educational curriculum. WVSOM’s statewide campus system allows students to gain specialized training in various disciplines through a regional consortium of clinical sites, predominantly located in West Virginia.

Third year WVSOM students begin with an eight week preceptorship with a primary care physician, which serves as a foundation for future rotations. Students complete the remaining third year required rotations at one of our numerous statewide campus sites. During the fourth year, clinical rotations may be conducted at a statewide campus site, the site of the student's choice, or a combination of both. This flexibility allows students to explore prospective clinical specialties in a location that is most convenient or accessible for them.

WVSOM continues to expand its highly regarded postdoctoral medical education program to provide quality training opportunities for graduating physicians. Managed by the Mountain State Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institutions (MSOPTI), internship and resident training programs are currently sponsored for WVSOM graduates at 13 regional hospitals.

west_virginia_school_of_osteopathic_medicine3.jpgReason #18: Well-established residency training

The growing network of Mountain State Osteopathic Postdoctorate Training Institution (MSOPTI) sites offers a wide variety of medical rotations and training programs for recently graduated doctors. Physicians enrolled in MSOPTI AOA-approved programs can specialize in several different tracks, including family medicine, emergency medicine, internal medicine, combined internal medicine/emergency medicine, urological surgery, and pediatrics. Students have access to these and other specialty residency programs throughout the country.

Reason #19: Quality of life plays a key role in professional success

Our postcard-perfect location in historic Lewisburg, WV, provides big-city amenities amid spectacular natural beauty. Designated as one of America’s most desirable vacation destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Lewisburg is a cosmopolitan community wrapped in small town charm. Cultural activities abound, with antique shops, art galleries, specialty shops, fine dining, and year-round musical and theater performances. The world-famous Greenbrier resort is just minutes away in White Sulphur Springs and live music and arts are offered at Carnegie Hall, one of only four such facilities in the nation.

These unique features have earned Lewisburg distinction as one of America’s best small art towns, as well as recognition by National Geographic magazine as one of its picks for “Best Small Town Escapes” and most recently recognized as "America's Coolest Small Town."

Conveniently located in close proximity to major metropolitan centers, including Washington, DC, Richmond, VA, Charlotte, NC, Pittsburgh, PA, and Columbus, OH, Lewisburg’s picturesque location is served by the Greenbrier Valley Airport and Amtrak rail service nearby.

Reason #20: Wild, Wonderful West Virginia - exhilarating outdoor recreation

Recreational activities abound right in our backyard. Wild, Wonderful West Virginia is home to some of the most majestic scenery and exhilarating outdoor recreational opportunities in the country. There truly is something for everyone, right in our backyard. Whether it’s hiking or biking along the many well-developed trails in the region, camping amid the pristine surroundings of lush mountain forests, golfing on magnificent area courses, or exploring your adventurous side with canoeing, kayaking, or whitewater rafting—West Virginia is full of wonder at whatever level of “wild” you enjoy.

Useful Links

Greenbrier Valley, WV

Greater Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce

Lewisburg, WV

West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine Website


WVSOM Facebook Page

WVSOM Twitter Page

Commitment to Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action:

The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) is committed to fostering an educational environment that values the development of human potential, cultural and ethnic diversity, and understanding.  WVSOM strives to promote equitable and fair treatment in every aspect of campus life for all persons, regardless of race, ethnic background, gender, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.

The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine is an Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and will take action to ensure that employment practices are free of discrimination. WVSOM is committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce. WVSOM does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran.

WVSOM ensures that personnel programs, such as compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, return to work, training, education, tuition assistance, and other employment programs are administered without regard to race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, veteran or family status, or on any other status or condition protected by applicable federal or state laws, except where a bona fide occupational qualification applies.   This non-discrimination statement also applies to all educational programs, to admission, employment, and other related activities covered under Title IX which prohibits sex discrimination in higher education.

WVSOM also neither knowingly affiliates with nor grants recognition to any individual, group, or organization having policies that discriminate on the basis of race, gender, color, religion, age, veteran’s status, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.

WVSOM is also committed to prohibiting discrimination against individuals on the basis of physical or mental impairment or disability, the college will provide reasonable accommodation in the work place for disabled employees. All inquiries regarding the rights of disabled employees, including the right to employment accommodations, should be directed to the Affirmative Action Officer.  All requests for employment accommodations must be in writing to the Affirmative Action Officer.

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