Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Signs Affiliation Agreement with Jefferson
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Members of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) faculty and staff recently met with representatives from Thomas Jefferson University’s School of Population Health to sign an agreement that will allow DO students the opportunity to receive a Masters of Public Health degree from Jefferson while completing their coursework at PCOM. Those embarking on the dual-degree path can attain both degrees in as little as five years.
Through the partnership, DO students can attend Jefferson full-time for the year between what traditionally would be the third and fourth years of PCOM’s osteopathic medical program. In addition to MPH students, PCOM students will study alongside other dual degree students, including Jefferson medical students, who are also pursuing a graduate public health degree. The master’s portion of the program is completed by combining public health capstone work with a rotation designed by Michael Becker, associate professor, family medicine, at one of PCOM’s Philadelphia health care centers. The rotation applies public health and clinical competencies to the chronic care management of special needs patients.
“Through this agreement with Jefferson, we can offer our students an even wider range of learning opportunities,” says Robert Cuzzolino, EdD, vice president, graduate programs and planning. “By providing our students with a medical and public health background, we are training them to address some of today’s most crucial health issues.” Ken Veit, DO, provost, senior vice president and dean, adds: "PCOM offers a unique osteopathic tradition and culture, which strategically positions students to take advantage of this opportunity with Jefferson. This formal added education will be critical for the healthcare leaders of the future.”
“There is a natural synergy between public health and osteopathic medicine, so we see this partnership as the teaming up of two very similar professions,” says Caroline Golab, PhD, associate dean, academic and student affairs at Jefferson’s School of Population Health. “Today’s health care environment puts more of an emphasis on primary care, and through this agreement, we can prepare future doctors to become effective practitioners.”
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine offers graduate degree programs in osteopathic medicine, clinical and school psychology, physician assistant studies, forensic medicine, biomedical sciences and organizational development and leadership.
Thomas Jefferson University (TJU), the largest freestanding academic medical center in Philadelphia, is nationally renowned for medical and health sciences education and innovative research. Founded in 1824, TJU includes the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC), one of the largest private medical schools in the country and ranked among the nation’s best medical schools by U.S. News & World Report, and the Jefferson Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions, Population Health and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Jefferson University Physicians is TJU’s multi-specialty physician practice consisting of the full-time faculty of SKMC. Thomas Jefferson University partners with its clinical affiliate, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals.