Centenary signs guaranteed admission interview agreement with Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Monroe
SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary has added an agreement with the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) to its growing list of post-graduate opportunities for students pursuing careers in medicine and allied health. VCOM established its first college of osteopathic medicine in Virginia in 2003 and has subsequently expanded to South Carolina, Alabama, and now Louisiana. The new agreement provides a guaranteed on-campus interview at one of four VCOM campuses for Centenary students who meet both the general admission requirements for the medical college and a set of additional benchmarks, including GPA, competitive MCAT scores, and community service hours.
Centenary president Dr. Christopher L. Holoman; Dr. Karen Soul, provost and dean of the College; Dr. Scott Chirhart, professor of biology; and Dr. Becki Murphy, associate professor of biology, represented the College at a signing ceremony in Monroe on June 11. John G. Rocovich Jr., JD, LLM, co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors for VCOM, Ray L. Morrison, DO, FACOS, Dean of the VCOM-Louisiana campus, William P. King, MBA, Vice President for Recruitment and Application Services, Nathan Kinnard, MEd, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Development, and Tara Etheridge, MHA, Director for Admissions, represented VCOM.
Natalie Regian, Torhiana Haydel, Faith Sharp, and Sarah Sober, members of the VCOM-Louisiana campus class of 2024, also attended the signing ceremony as representatives of the institution’s Student Government Association.
Osteopathic medicine emphasizes the interrelated unity of bodily systems and leverages the human body’s natural ability to heal in an effort to prioritize body, mind, and spirit as equally important elements in an individual’s health. The VCOM – Louisiana campus in Monroe opened in 2020 as a partnership between VCOM and the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM). VCOM’s mission is training osteopathic physicians who are both “globally-minded” and “community-focused,” with particular attention to meeting the needs of rural and medically underserved populations. The VCOM-ULM partnership seeks to address the critical physician shortage in Louisiana and the guaranteed interview program with Centenary provides a pathway to recruit high achieving students to the new program.
“In representing our mission to the State of Louisiana, it is important to offer this increased awareness to our institutions of higher learning within this state,” said Ray L. Morrison, DO, FACOS, Dean of the VCOM-Louisiana campus. “This signing is a tangible demonstration of VCOM’s commitment to collaborate with Louisiana’s colleges and universities who also have a vested interest in the health care of this state.”
Centenary students will be eligible for a guaranteed interview at VCOM if they meet all technical and general admission requirements, complete a required set of prerequisite courses, maintain an overall and a science GPA of 3.5, earn a competitive score on the MCAT exam, and complete a minimum of 40 hours of health care and 40 community volunteer hours by the time of their application.
“Centenary is very excited about this new partnership and the opportunities it provides our students,” said Holoman. “VCOM and Centenary share a commitment to outstanding medical education and the role that these new doctors can play in serving our region, Louisiana, and the world. I look forward to expanding this partnership and working to build a dynamic health care education network along the I-20 corridor.”
The VCOM agreement adds to existing partnerships providing Centenary students with preferred pathways to respected nursing degrees at both Northwestern State University’s College of Nursing and Allied Health and Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing as well as guaranteed interview agreements with ULM’s Pharm D. program and the master of physician assistant program at LSU Health Shreveport’s School of Allied Health Professions. Over the past five years, more than 90% of Centenary students applying to medical school have been accepted. These medical and allied health partnerships build on the strengths of the College’s existing science degree programs while offering students new avenues in the medical field.