WCU to double enrollment in College of Osteopathic MediciineBy BETH BUNCH,
The William Cary University College of Osteopathic Medicine will expand its enrollment by 100 percent over the next four years. The announcement was made by Dr. Italo Subbarao, dean of the WCU College of Osteopathic Medicine, on Monday morning.
The medical school currently accepts 100 students each year. The size of the incoming class will grow to 150 during the 2020-21 academic year, 175 in 2021-22 and 200 in 2022-23. According to Subbarao, the effect of this change will be to increase total enrollment from 400 students to 800 students.
WCU received formal authorization for the change from the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation on Sept. 4. The COCA is the agency that governs accreditation of all osteopathic medical schools in the United States.
“When the WCU School of Osteopathic Medicine was founded, we made a promise,” Subbarao said. “It was a promise to graduate primary care physicians and have them practice in Mississippi, which ranks in the bottom of the country for access to care.
The state has 59 physicians for every 100,000 residents, while the national average is 82. For the last three years, WCU has placed 78 percent of its graduates into primary care residency programs. In doing so, we have become a strategic repository and resource for the state – working with the Office of Mississippi Physician Workforce, Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program and Mississippi Osteopathic Medical Association.
“With the growth of new WCU programs in the Delta, where the need is greatest, we’re receiving calls from hospitals asking for more William Carey students,” Subbarao said. “The increase in our class size will help us become the robust pipeline these heath care providers require.”