Representatives of Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine and Eastern Mennonite University at a December 2019 signing ceremony of articulation agreements that created new opportunities for EMU pre-med students in recognition of their academic preparation, commitment to community service, and aptitude to succeed and serve in the medical field. Back row, from left: William King, vice president for recruitment and application services, Jeffrey Copeland, associate professor of biology and director of EMU's pre-professional health sciences program, Tara Kishbaugh, dean of EMU's School of Science, Engineering, Arts and Nursing. From row, from left: Fred Kniss, EMU provost, and John Rocovich Jr., founder and board chair of VCOM. (Photo by Macson McGuigan)

Pre-med students benefit from new pathways to Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) has created new opportunities for Eastern Mennonite University pre-med students in recognition of their academic preparation, commitment to community service, and aptitude to succeed and serve in the medical field.

The Rocovich Scholar Early Admissions Program grants selected EMU scholars with early acceptance to VCOM in their third year of undergraduate studies and guaranteed admission upon satisfactory completion of the undergraduate degree. 

Additionally, qualified graduates of EMU’s undergraduate programs and of the MS in Biomedicine program are also eligible for the Guaranteed Admissions Interview Program.

“VCOM values candidates from Eastern Mennonite University who perform well and anticipates they will be well-prepared to succeed in the rigorous medical curriculum at VCOM,” said John Rocovich Jr., VCOM founder and board chair.

Established in 2002 to alleviate the critical shortage of physicians in the Appalachian region, VCOM’s mission is to prepare globally-minded, community-focused physicians to meet the needs of rural and medically underserved populations and promote research to improve human health. The institution has campuses in Blacksburg,Virginia; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Auburn, Alabama; and a new campus currently under construction in Monroe, Louisiana. 

“EMU students preparing for medical careers are exposed to a rigorous curriculum and equipped with the skills to serve diverse populations,” said Dean Tara Kishbaugh, of EMU’s School for Science, Education, Arts and Nursing. “VCOM has collaborated on similar agreements with EMU for many years and we’re honored that these new partnerships will continue to open pathways for our graduates to serve in the medical field.”

The new admissions agreements expand an 11-year partnership between the two institutions. Several EMU graduates have graduated from VCOM. Two graduates of the MS in Biomedicine program are current students.

Anca Chirvasuta Dauer, who graduated from EMU in 2012 with a degree in biology, said of her education at VCOM: “Studying at VCOM has been everything I expected and more. I expected an academically rigorous program, which VCOM definitely provided, but I did not necessarily expect the atmosphere of support and camaraderie that I have experienced from fellow students and staff like the kind I enjoyed as an undergraduate at EMU. From daily classroom interactions, to anatomy labs and outreach projects, I have become close to many of my classmates and will feel honored to one day work as colleagues with such well-rounded, smart, and genuine people.”

More on VCOM

The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) is a four-year private osteopathic medical school offering the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. VCOM provides state-of-the-art medical education and research that prepares globally minded, community-focused physicians who improve the health of those most in need. 

With campuses in Blacksburg, VA, Spartanburg, SC, and Auburn, AL, VCOM has graduated over 3,100 new physicians since its founding in 2001, with over 65% going into primary care specialties such as family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology. The fourth campus in Monroe, LA, will open in the summer of 2020.

VCOM has become one of the largest medical schools in the country, yet each campus maintains the nurturing small private college atmosphere for the student. VCOM partners with many community-based hospitals throughout Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama for clinical rotations. The College is known for its national award-winning programs in primary care and global medical outreach, as well as a sports medicine department that cares for athletes at Virginia Tech, Auburn University, and Radford University. The College sustains an environment for innovative, impactful research that is well-positioned for long-term success. VCOM and its partners collaborate on research that will improve the quality of healthcare in its communities and throughout the world.