PIKEVILLE – The University of Pikeville has announced the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine’s newest Osteopathic Medical Scholars Program (OMSP) participants.
The class of seven students includes S. Bial Ahmed, of Elizabethtown; Andrea Akers, of Harold; Wesley Barnett, of Cynthiana; Kaitlyn Halsey, of Pine Ridge; Cody Napier, of Hazard; Tyler Mollette, of Meally; and MiKayla Hughes, of Williamson, W.Va.
“Our commitment to academic excellence and the career focus in our programs of study are an important part of our mission,” said President Paul Patton. “We are pleased to offer this opportunity to prospective students.”
The University of Pikeville, in conjunction with the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM), began offering students a cooperative eight-year program (4+4) leading to a bachelor’s degree and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree. The medical school accepts 135 students each year. This year, KYCOM has received more than 3,000 applicants, a record number.
OMSP candidates must apply as an incoming college freshman, have a minimum 1200 SAT or 26 ACT, be in the top 10 percent of their graduating class or have earned a 3.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale and be a resident of Kentucky, Virginia or West Virginia. Up to 10 scholars are selected each year. After completion of the bachelor’s degree program at the undergraduate college, scholars will be automatically admitted to the medical school if they have maintained a required cumulative and science GPA in undergraduate work, met a required score on the MCAT and participated in program activities. Scholars will also participate in extracurricular health-related community service activities, community physician “shadowing,” and pre-med club and KYCOM student activities. The OMSP does not carry a monetary award; however, applicants are eligible to pursue other scholarship opportunities.
“We are excited to provide this program for outstanding high school seniors who want to pursue a career in medicine and desire the opportunity to serve their communities in a significant way,” said Boyd R. Buser, D.O., FACOFP, vice president for health affairs and dean of the medical school. “The Osteopathic Medical Scholars Program is an important step in helping us to continue to fulfill our mission of easing the physician shortage in rural and underserved areas of Kentucky and Appalachia.”
In September 2012, the university celebrated the opening of the Coal Building, KYCOM’s new $40 million educational facility. The Coal Building accommodates a larger class size and includes research and teaching laboratories, an osteopathic manipulative medicine lab, classrooms, offices, student study spaces and a new cafeteria overlooking the Pikeville skyline that serves the entire campus. KYCOM has earned high marks in rural medicine ranking 12th among all medical schools in the nation, both D.O. and M.D., in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 edition of Best Graduate Schools. Rising in the rankings, KYCOM also moved from its fifth-place standing to second in the percentage of graduates who enter primary care. Just last year, a U.S. News & World Report publication ranked KYCOM fifth in affordability among the 10 least expensive private medical schools in the nation.