Student Success at PCOM | Medical Education Center of Excellence
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Student Success at PCOM 
Medical Education Center of Excellence

The Medical Education Center of Excellence (MECOE) was created to support the education and development of osteopathic physician leaders in patient-centered health care at all PCOM locations. We use an outcomes-based approach to ensure our teaching methods and curriculum are effective in producing well-trained physicians capable of delivering exceptional patient care.

Our innovative approach to medical education proactively addresses issues of health equity, cultural humility, and social determinants of health through the curriculum, active learning, training and community experiences. By acknowledging and understanding that caring for the whole patient requires an understanding and appreciation of the multiple factors impacting that person’s health, we can contribute to better patient outcomes.

What is a center of excellence?

A center of excellence is a unit within an organization that is focused on delivering quality in a specific area through a process of refinement, leadership, adherence to best practices and assessment of outcomes. PCOM’s MECOE assigns responsibility for each of the major components of medical education to a single individual or team in order to develop expertise and drive improvement in those areas.

How does MECOE impact instruction?

Prior to the implementation of MECOE, PCOM instruction was 90% didactic and 10% active learning. Now, course delivery is 60% didactic and 40% active learning. The ultimate goal is the implementation of an instructional model that is 90% active learning. MECOE also incorporates other instructional changes including:

  • Pairing all didactic instruction with practical experiences in the simulation laboratories to provide students with the opportunity to practice skills in order to master concepts.
  • Course delivery and learning objectives which align with topics covered in board exams.
  • Small group meetings to review and discuss assignments.
  • Assessment evaluations which ensure questions for all students are identical, equitable and consistent with boards.
  • Grading which combines a number of low-stakes quizzes with a final exam which constitutes the majority of the grade.
  • Exam debriefing to review questions and why the answers were or were not correct.

MECOE also includes an evaluation of rotations, including the evaluation exams taken at the completion of the rotations.

How does MECOE contribute to student success?

Formed in 2022, PCOM’s MECOE is the first of its kind in medical education. From day one, medical students have access to resources designed to improve educational outcomes. With a focus on early intervention, MECOE ensures academic issues such as time management, comprehension and communication are addressed promptly through tutoring, counseling, test preparation, mentoring and other approaches tailored for the student’s particular needs.

MECOE also includes new standards of progression. Through careful evaluation at progression checkpoints, faculty can identify struggling students and adjust class scheduling to a pace that maximizes the student’s chance of success. With this flexible scheduling, a student may spend up to a year longer in school but will be better prepared to pass their board exams and complete their degree.

Will MECOE help me get the residency I want?

MECOE was developed, in part, to better position students to obtain desirable residencies. With board scores serving as a screening criteria for many residency programs, PCOM recognized the need to help students achieve the best board scores possible. By aligning our curriculum with the material being covered in the board exams, we allow students to focus their efforts in a way that will not only ensure they successfully progress through their medical school coursework but will also help them efficiently prepare for the boards. MECOE’s emphasis on developing practical skills means students will do more than memorize questions for board exams—they will learn how to effectively diagnose and treat patients.

By constantly examining and improving our approach to training future physicians, PCOM will remain on the forefront of medical education.

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