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Frequently Asked Questions


  • Will classes be recorded and accessible to students later?

    No. A guiding principle of the UIWSOM DO curriculum is to develop critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and reflective practice. Having access to recorded materials would undermine this principle.

  • What is the size of a small group vs large group?

    There are a variety of small groups in the UIWSOM DO curriculum. Small Interactive Group Session (SIGS) groups consist of eight to nine learners. The size of groups in Structures Lab vary depending on the activity, and typically range from four to eight learners. Groups of learners also engage directly with our community, with the size of each group varying based on the needs and capabilities of our partner organizations. Large groups typically consist of the entire cohort of learners.

  • What will a typical day look like?

    A typical day during the first two years (i.e., Phases I and II) of the UIWSOM DO curriculum includes facilitated sessions in the morning, with self-directed learning in the afternoons. During morning sessions, learners attend Small Group Interactive Sessions (SIGS), where learners create and report out to each other biomedical science information extracted from patient-centered cases. Learners also attend large group sessions in the mornings to engage in higher-order discussions with applied biomedical scientists and experienced clinicians. Each week, learners attend Structures Lab, where small groups of learners interact with faculty facilitators through a series of integrated, practical experiences. Learners also work directly with physicians to develop relevant clinical skills in the Developing Clinical Skills (DOCS) Lab. Finally, learners engage with the community through various opportunities while at the SOM. During the second two years (i.e., Phases III and IV), learners are placed in core and elective clinical rotations to actively participate in a wide-variety of clinical experiences, where they continue to develop relevant clinical skills in preparation for residency.

  • How will simulations be used?

    Simulation-based medical education at UIWSOM is used to practice and evaluate clinical knowledge and skills in an environment that mimics a real-life clinical experience.

  • How many total hours of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) training do you receive in the program and at what time in the curriculum does the training occur?

    The OMM curriculum at UIWSOM is robust and guided by the AACOM Teaching Guide for OMM. During the first two years (i.e., Phase I and II) OMM training is integrated into large- and small-group (SIGS) sessions, Structures Lab, community engagement and clinical experiences, and Developing Clinical Skills (DOCS) Lab. In DOCS Lab, osteopathic examinations and approximately 90 core osteopathic techniques are integrated with physical examinations, medical interviewing, procedures and differential diagnosis skills. Learners have the opportunity to practice clinical skills during community and clinical experiences.. During core and elective rotations, learners can perform osteopathic examinations.

  • Will gross dissection be done throughout first two years, or start with prosection?

    Gross anatomy at UIWSOM is integrated into Structures Lab primarily as prosection. However, each unit presents an opportunity to complete some focused dissection of particular structures and body regions.

  • What will be the ratio of learners to cadaver?

    In Structures Lab, UIWSOM learners rotate through prosection stations in small groups of around eight. These stations integrate gross anatomy, histology, pathology and radiology/imaging. For dissection activities, groups are typically smaller.

Rotations and Residency

  • How will UIWSOM students be viewed for rotations and residency programs compared to other DO and MD programs that are more established and with full accreditation?

    There is no official or legal distinction between clerkships/rotations in San Antonio, Laredo, and Abilene. Provisional status has no effect on clinical rotations. Full accreditation is expected immediately before our inaugural class graduates. Students are judged not only reputation of school but on COMLEX scores and academic record.

  • How will the proposed DO/MD merger affect students?

    The merger simplifies the application process and increases access to fellowship training.

  • Where are the rotation sites? Is priority given to people with families?

    The majority of the rotations will be in San Antonio, there will be a small number of students placed in rotations in Laredo and in Abilene. In their third year, most of the rotations will be done in the same geographic area. Students will be assigned to a geographic location after ranking their preferences. SOM will make every effort to accommodate special requests (families, home owners) but there will be no guarantees made.

  • Will UIWSOM have any ties to out-of-state clinical rotations? If a student decided to do an elective clinical rotation say on the east coast - for example, if the student has ties to a particular University or hospital system they previously served under - would UIWSOM assist or support the student in pursuing that rotation? 

    Students are required to take two rotations (four-weeks each) in a medical specialty and one rotation (four-weeks) in a surgical specialty for a total of three selective rotations. These can include sub-internships and residency audition rotations. Selective rotations must be scheduled at an affiliated clinical site, and students must notify the Department of Clinical Affairs of all arrangements. 
    Five electives (four-weeks each) are also required. These can include sub-internships and residency auditions, as well as one or more of the following rotations: research/scholarly activity, healthcare administration, health policy, public health, global health, anatomy, and OPP/OMT.  As noted above, electives may be done (with prior approval by the Department of Clinical Affairs) at:

    a)     Any hospital site which has an accredited residency program in the elective specialty
    b)    An Adjunct Clinical Faculty member of UIWSOM (preceptor ship, research, etc.)
    c)     Other outpatient site (public health, research, etc.) as approved by the Dept. of Clinical Affairs

    Students will be required to participate in each core rotation (six weeks/rotation) in hospitals, private offices, and clinics within Texas where UIWSOM has established formal affiliation agreements.  The majority of students’ rotations will occur at regional sites, providing a longitudinal experience of all core educational experiences at a single site.  (These assignments will be determined through a lottery system.) Assignments will be made approximately six months prior to the start of the first rotation to provide students rotating outside of San Antonio the opportunity to move and establish residence. Students may not attend nor receive credit for a rotation that has not been approved by the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs. The Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Associate Dean for Student Affairs will communicate with each clinical site identifying the students who will rotate through each service and the dates that each student will be at the site. This communication includes student and rotation specific information for the preceptor and his/her staff.



  Student Clinic


  • What extracurricular activities will UIWSOM supply its’ students in terms of organizations, SGA, etc.?

    As with all activities, the Office of Students Affairs is dedicated to providing all osteopathic medical students with the resources and environment to promote academic, professional and personal growth and success. Student organizations and governments will be encouraged for osteopathic medical students interested in developing their leadership skills, sharing their expertise and creating opportunities for engagement. The UIWSOM Student Organization Handbook will outline the registration process and criteria for developing a new organization. UIWSOM Student Government Association, class officers that include president, vice president, etc., and a Student Ambassador Program, will provide activities for students interested in complementing and extending the educational opportunities of the UIWSOM. Interest groups and organizations such as the Catholic Medical Association Student Chapter will also be encouraged to strengthen the community of medical students. And finally, the incoming UIWSOM Class of 2017 will be divided into five teams called learning communities. These teams will remain together throughout the four years in the SOM. Each learning community will be led by two faculty mentors who will advise students regarding academic issues in addition to encouraging students to participate in extracurricular and UIWSOM organized social activities.

  • Will UIWSOM provide any nationally recognized organizations for its students to participate (i.e. honor systems, ACOEP, ACOFP, ACOP, ACOI, ACOS, Student Osteopathic Medical Association, or Texas Osteopathic Medical association branch)?

    Student dues for all osteopathic medical students to the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) will be paid and therefore all students will be members of this nationally recognized student chapter. Participation of other nationally recognized associations or societies will be based on student interest.

  Student Affairs

  • What support systems will be in place?  (Faculty mentors, learning communities etc.)

    The Director of Student Success is dedicated to providing the academic support required by osteopathic medical students. In group and one-on-one sessions, learners will be encouraged to seek help from faculty during office hours and the Director of Student Success to provide a holistic support to balance academic, personal and professional development.

    Resources include guidance on time management, study skills, learning  and personality styles, communication, counseling and student disabilities to assist in developing the skills to become successful in the UIWSOM integrated student-centered curriculum.    

    Learners will initially meet in mission groups to support their arrival and transition into UIWSOM. Additional resources and services are available to assist learners develop holistic supports to balance their academic, personal, and professional development. Resources may include counseling, academic advisement, student disability services, tutoring, assessing and managing time, study skills, communication, learning and personality styles, and other areas. 


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