West Liberty University establishes bridge program with WVSOM

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West Liberty University (WLU) and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate a bridge program designed for students seeking to become physicians.

The program, which is the only guaranteed bridge program to medical school in the Mountain State, assures admission to WVSOM upon successful completion.

“This is a huge benefit to any student seeking to become a physician and we are pleased to offer it to the entire region,” said Dr. Stephen Greiner, WLU president.

“WVSOM is excited to work with West Liberty to offer this unique opportunity to students,” stated Michael Adelman, D.O., J.D., WVSOM president. “We want to see students succeed and train them to become great osteopathic physicians.”

“The College of Sciences has been working on this new bridge program for a while. It is perfect for graduates who interview at WVSOM and don’t get accepted immediately. Also, college students can come directly to us as they work toward medical school and we can get them into the program,” said Dr. Joseph Horzempa, associate professor of biology and director of the bridge program.

WVSOM, which is currently completing interviews for next year’s class, welcomes this new bridge program as a tool to assist potential candidates for admissions that may still need some academic work.

Students who choose, or are referred to, the new bridge program will then enroll in a two-semester, accelerated graduate degree program at WLU, the Master of Arts in Biology (MAB) with a major in biomedical sciences.

“By succeeding in our new bridge program, these students will then demonstrate they are capable of overcoming the educational rigors of WVSOM,” Horzempa explained.

MAB students will take graduate level courses with a biomedical focus to improve their overall academic credentials consisting of a minimum of 30 credit hours in any of the following disciplines: anatomy, histology, neuroanatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, pathology, cell biology and/or genetics.

“Many of our graduates have completed their undergraduate course work at West Liberty University and we feel this degree program will be an excellent preparation for admission to medical school,” stated Craig Boisvert, D.O., WVSOM vice president for academic affairs and dean. “We look forward to working with West Liberty University on the Masters of Arts in Biology program with a medical school emphasis.”

Students who successfully complete the MAB with the specified GPA and MCAT score will be guaranteed admission to WVSOM. WVSOM’s typical class size is around 200 students. Located in Lewisburg, W.Va., WVSOM is one of three medical schools in the state of West Virginia. Known nationwide for its efforts in rural, family, and primary care medicine, it is No. 1 in providing primary care physicians for West Virginia. WLU’s College of Sciences offers a student-focused teaching, learning and research environment dedicated to excellence in undergraduate and graduate education.