The primary mission of BCOM’s medical curriculum is to produce osteopathic physicians who will reflect excellence in their practice and provide quality, patient-centered care. The curriculum integrates foundational biomedical and clinical knowledge, instills the principles and philosophy of osteopathic medicine, and teaches and nurtures the necessary skills graduates require to enter and succeed in any field of graduate medical education. BCOM’s clinical training curriculum is community-based in core hospitals and clinics, and provides for student education under the preceptorship of credentialed medical educator faculty.

BCOM’s curriculum employs an integrated, systems-based, application-oriented approach, and is designed to ensure graduates possess the knowledge, skills and competencies necessary to be successful osteopathic physicians. This is accomplished using several educational approaches, including:

  • Traditional lectures
  • Interactive integrative sessions (using electronic response systems)
  • Laboratory and skills instruction
  • Active learning utilizing adult and interactive techniques
  • Team-based learning
  • Large & small group sessions
  • Directed study assignments
  • Clinical case presentations

This variety of pedagogical approaches emphasizes individual student responsibility, and promotes an intellectual curiosity in students. The specific learning formats foster comprehension and application of knowledge, competency in osteopathic philosophy, development of clinical skills, and the stimulation of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The systems-based courses offered in the first curricular year emphasize basic biomedical science, with clinical correlates emphasizing the relevance of this information. Basic courses in osteopathic manipulative technique and clinical medicine and skills, including medical informatics, ethics, and medical Spanish are presented concomitantly. CURRICULUM – YEAR I
Biomedically oriented courses are comprised of the traditional disciplines of biochemistry, cell & molecular biology, gross anatomy, histology, embryology, physiology, immunology, pharmacology and genetics, and are presented in an integrated structure organized by physiologic systems. Clinically oriented courses include basic clinical skills, osteopathic philosophy & manipulative skills, high fidelity medical simulations, standardized patient encounters, and early clinical experiences (shadowing). The first curricular year culminates with a course in the pathologic basis of disease, which prepares and helps transition students to the more clinically-oriented second-year curriculum.
The systems-based courses offered in the second curricular year emphasize the pathophysiologic and pharmacologic aspects of the basic biomedical sciences, and provide a foundational education in clinical medicine and disease. CURRICULUM – YEAR II
The biomedically-oriented themes of Year One are replaced with clinically-oriented topics encompassing the clinical disciplines of nephrology, cardiology, pulmonology, immunology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, neuromusculoskeletal medicine, neurology, and psychiatry. The basic clinical courses commenced in year 1 (clinical practice skills, osteopathic principles and practice) are continued at a level consistent with, and topically correlated to, the clinical topics presented in the systems courses. A course in Pediatrics provides instruction in areas where medical practice in children contrasts importantly from adults. The second curricular year culminates with a review/overview course (Pathophysiologic Overview of Medicine) in preparation for the COMLEX I national board exam.
At the commencement of the third curricular year students enter clinical clerkships (also known as preceptorships or rotations). Clerkships are broken into “course” blocks of one month, with Block One consisting of a required two-week preparatory course; Introduction to Clerkship Experiences. A total of 18 clerkship blocks (19 months) must be completed over the 22 calendar blocks of curricular years three and four. All required core rotations should be completed prior to sitting for the national Osteopathic Board examinations (COMLEX II CE and COMLEX II PE), and before beginning the fourth curricular year). Students should schedule the Board examination no earlier than June 15th (of the 3rd academic year), nor later than August 15th (of the 4th academic year) CURRICULUM – YEAR III


Students will complete six required core clerkships, delivered in nine blocks, as follows: Family Medicine (two blocks required) Internal Medicine (two block required) General Surgery (two block required) Pediatrics (one block required) Obstetrics/Gynecology (one block required) Psychiatry (one block required) Students are required to take one block (one month) as a vacation month, and one block as an elective month. The elective month may be used as a study month to prepare for the COMLEX II Exam.

During the fourth curricular year, students will complete their required selective and elective clerkships, including a minimum of three “audition” or sub-internship rotations (clerkships at sites where the student is interested in applying for residency), and up to four non-clinical rotations*. All independent course/clerkship experiences must be verified and approved by the Division of Clinical Affairs before credit will be given. During the fourth year, one block (one month) is designated as a required vacation month. *Non-clinical rotations include all independent study courses/clerkships, research rotations, and directed study courses (e.g. faculty-directed anatomical study with cadaver dissection, faculty-directed histology coursework). CURRICULUM – YEAR IV  Year Four culminates in graduation and conferring of the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. Overall students must complete 18 course blocks, including the nine required core rotations, three audition/sub-internship elective rotations, and seven other elective rotations, of which at least three must be clinical in nature. Students not completing the required third and fourth curricular year coursework may be allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies (at the discretion of the Dean), but must complete all requirements before bestowal of the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.
At BCOM, osteopathic distinctiveness and commitment to the tenets of osteopathic medicine are evidenced throughout the curriculum. Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) and Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) are at the core of all four years of pre-doctoral education. In the first two curricular years, OPP/OMT is integrated with coursework in the basic and clinical sciences. Students spend time in the classroom and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) skills lab learning somatic dysfunction and treatment modalities. During the first curricular year, students concentrate on the correlation of the anatomy and physiology presented in the basic science curriculum to the first three tenets of osteopathic medicine; body unity, interrelationship of structure and function, and the body’s inherent ability to heal itself. The correct application of OMT in clinical conditions becomes the emphasis of the second year curriculum. Focus turns to the fourth tenet of osteopathic medicine; rational treatment being a function of the first three tenets. In curricular years three and four students engage in an ongoing OMM curriculum comprised of review of clinical cases and application of OMT concurrent to clerkship coursework. This curriculum is delivered via on-line didactic activities and group sessions scheduled at BCOM’s regional clinical hub sites. The fourth tenet of osteopathic medicine, that rational treatment is based on, and a function of, the first three tenets is emphasized through on-going instruction in proper application of OMT in the clinical setting. A clerkship rotation in Neuromuscular Medicine (NMM) will be available through the NMM Residency program (currently under development in conjunction with Mountain View Regional Medical Center in Las Cruces) to those students wishing to continue studies in this field.