By Kayla Ross, Back Page Editor
Xavier is officially opening the first Jesuit Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine school in the United States. In order to stand out, this school needs to establish a way to have other competitive factors against the existing top medical schools in Ohio — most famously, The Ohio State University, the University of Cincinnati and Case Western.
The answer is obvious and precedented: Xavier’s medical school needs a direct admission honors class. Brown University is the only Ivy League — and arguably the most well-known liberal arts school — to have a direct admission program to their own medical school. There are many liberal arts schools that do offer direct admission to a medical school program, but many do not offer admission to a school that is their own.
A proposal such as this could be beneficial to Xavier in two ways: This has the potential to increase undergrad enrollment and applicants to the biomedical sciences program, as well as getting more positive press coverage for the future osteopathic school.
If potential biomedical science students tour Xavier’s beautiful campus and fall in love with the community in hopes of being accepted into the honors direct admission program, they may fall in love so hard that they are willing to accept a non-honors spot in a healthcare sciences program here. This may be possible through specific tours catered to pre-medical students, with emphasis on the research opportunities here and Xavier’s exceptional medical school placement rate.
Reporting from the class of 2019, Xavier has a 92% acceptance rate into medical school programs compared to the 40% national average.
Although the University of Cincinnati also has a direct admission program to their college of medicine, they do not have a College of Osteopathic Medicine. This would make Xavier the only program like this in Cincinnati, and possibly the only program in the tri-state area. This would be an excellent way to market Xavier to students of all levels. Xavier could be a destination institution in osteopathic medicine, and this will be noticed by students considering pre-medical or medical programs. Currently, the average national acceptance rate for medical schools hovers around 6%. If the security of admission can be advertised, even if not guaranteed, many students will be drawn in by the possibility.
This kind of program is very attractive and competitive for students for many reasons. Direct admission offers students security that they will be able to go to medical school based on their high school credentials, barring any trouble or academic blunders the student may face at the university level.
This also gives students the ability to plan for where they will be living. Many future medical school students are subjected to going to whichever medical school accepts them, no matter where in the world this school may be.
I think the College of Osteopathic Medicine is a good idea, but I want it to be an excellent idea. Xavier has a reputation for excellence in its majors in the healthcare field: health services administration, nursing, biomedical sciences and biological sciences for business all offer students with opportunities that will set them up with success for their entire career.
Our nursing program is already a direct admission program, and this proves very serviceable to Xavier as it is one of our most populated majors. We have been excellent in this field for years now. We need to prove we are not slowing down, and we can do it on a bigger and better scale again.
Potential students cannot understand how excellent these programs are unless they see it and experience it with their own eyes. An honors direct admission class is only the beginning to attracting more students in the health sciences field. The College of Osteopathic Medicine will be successful, but it has the potential to impact enrollment, retention and acceptance rates in a powerfully positive way if it can be incorporated into one of the many experiences undergraduate students can take advantage of through the university.