FORT PIERCE — A new guaranteed admissions interview agreement between Indian River State College (IRSC) and Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) makes it easier for IRSC Bachelor’s Degree in Biology students to train to be a physician. Under the terms of the partnership, qualified IRSC students who demonstrate high achievement are guaranteed an admissions interview to VCOM after successfully following a distinct academic protocol.
The cooperative program was created in response to diminished opportunities for medical training in the United States; the chronic shortage of physicians in the Southern United States and for medically underserved rural and minority populations throughout the country; and the shortage of primary care physicians.
The guaranteed admissions interview partnership acknowledges that IRSC offers particularly challenging pre-medical programs that are a good fit for study at VCOM. Each year, VCOM receives more than 14,000 applications for about 625 seats across it four campuses in Blacksburg, Virginia; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Auburn, Alabama; and Monroe, Louisiana. The agreement gives IRSC graduates a leg up in the application process.
“I’m excited about the opportunity for both institutions to do something together to make a difference,” said VCOM President and Provost, Dr. Dixie Tooke-Rawlins. “Most of all, I’m excited about what this partnership means for the students. Students from here can return here and meet the needs of the population, which is a growing population.”
The agreement was memorialized at a signing ceremony held at the IRSC Pruitt Campus in Port St. Lucie. Administrators from VCOM and IRSC were joined by leaders from Cleveland Clinic Martin Health and Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, former Florida Senate President Ken Pruitt, St. Lucie County EDC President Pete Tesch and IRSC students, faculty and staff.
“We are just thrilled to be working with a first-class organization like VCOM,” shares IRSC President, Dr. Timothy Moore. “This partnership provides an opportunity for our students to achieve their dreams and change the world through healthcare and the allied health sciences. We are grateful to VCOM and to all of our partners here today for their commitment to our college and what we can do here to improve the conditions for all of the citizens in our district.”
VCOM anticipates that candidates from IRSC who perform well at the undergraduate level will be well-prepared to succeed in the rigorous medical curriculum at VCOM. Bill King, VCOM’s Vice President for Recruiting and Application Services, will be at the IRSC Massey Campus on the afternoon of Feb. 25 to meet with students who wish to learn more about VCOM and osteopathic medicine, and help them understand admissions requirements and the application process.
About Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
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, Auburn, AL, and Monroe, LA, VCOM has graduated over 3,600 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.
About Indian River State College
A leader in education and innovation, Indian River State College transforms lives by offering high-quality, affordable and accessible education to the residents of Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties through traditional and online delivery. IRSC is recipient of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. The college serves nearly 30,000 students annually and offers more than 100 programs leading to bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, technical certificates and applied technology diplomas. Learn more at https://www.irsc.edu/.