Biomedical Essentials of Comprehensive Osteopathic Medicine (BECOM)

Biomedical Essentials of Comprehensive Osteopathic Medicine (BECOM)

There are four phases of the BECOM core element of learning that run longitudinally through the preclinical curriculum. There are four turns (or “passes”) in the preclinical curricular helix, with each turn representing a pass through an expanding breadth and depth of information and clinical application. The first turn of the helix occurs in Phase One and focuses on foundational information and understanding. The second turn occurs in Phase Two, which emphasizes the normal structure and function that defines states of health and wellness and approaches to health promotion in individuals and populations. The third turn occurs in Phase Three, where the emphasis is on recognition of disease and the application of clinical understanding that leads to rational patient-centered approaches to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease.  The fourth and final turn takes place in Phase Four, where students are provided an opportunity for summation and synthesis of the understanding and application of information that has grown throughout the preceding phases.

Year One

Phase One (BECOM-1)

This phase comprises the first twenty weeks of the curriculum in the first year of osteopathic medical education. BECOM-1 consists of a single course in which students are introduced to fundamental principles, concepts, and mechanisms important to the biological consideration of health and disease. Delivery of the material incorporates traditional lecture combined with case based and team-based learning strategies.  Biomedical science disciplines of molecular and cellular biology, genetics and developmental biology, histology and anatomy, neuroscience, physiology, microbiology and immunology, pathology, and pharmacology are learned in an integrated, interdisciplinary fashion. Student cadaveric dissection comprises the first 12 weeks of the BECOM-1 curriculum, in which students will study human gross anatomy that correlates with the integrative biomedical concept courses.  Human cadavers are a precious gift in medical education, and we endeavor to value them by deriving the greatest learning benefit possible.   Human cadavers, along with prosected human cadavers, preserved specimens, models and digital images will be used in combination to acquire a working understanding of human anatomy and the importance of three-dimensional structure-function relationship.

The BECOM-1 course focuses on general principles and mechanisms that are fundamental and common to the biomedical considerations of health and disease processes. This course provides the foundation upon which the remainder of the curriculum and learning is built throughout the preclinical years of education.

Phase Two (BECOM-2)

This phase extends through the remainder of the OMS-I year and consists of a series of courses organized predominantly by body regions/system, and a final course that introduces and develops concepts and principles of public health, epidemiology, and clinical research. A study of traditional medical science disciplines (molecular and cellular biology, genetics, biochemistry, developmental biology and embryology, histology, anatomy, physiology, microbiology and immunology, pathology, and pharmacology) are integrated into the system-based courses. Delivery of this material continues with weekly didactic lectures combined with expanded team-case-based and team-based learning. This phase emphasizes normal structure-function relationships and the principles, mechanisms, and processes of the human body that are important for the maintenance and promotion of health in individuals as well as populations. In the context of abnormal structure-function relationships, basic principles and mechanisms of disease processes and the rationale for approaches to intervention are introduced as well. The final course, Population Based Medicine, offers an overview and understanding of principles and practice of public health, classical and clinical epidemiology, general types of clinical research studies, and the biostatistical considerations that are relevant to being able to read, interpret, and apply clinical research information in the context of evidence-based medical practice.

Year Two

Phase Three (BECOM-3)

This phase begins at the start of the second year of medical school and includes a “second pass” through the same body regions/systems that were examined during OMS-I. With this second pass, there is intentional review, with emphasis on recall, application, expansion, and synthesis of understanding and skills. In these OMS-II system-based courses, a greater focus is placed on understanding the epidemiology, risks, pathogenesis and pathophysiology of disease, as well as rational approaches to diagnostic evaluations and interventions aimed at advancing patient health and wellness. An emphasis is placed on developing sound clinical reasoning in generating appropriate differential diagnoses, working diagnoses, and the rationale for patient management plans.

Phase Four (BECOM-4)

This phase occurs near the end of the OMS-II year and includes a more in- depth study of conditions commonly found associated with women’s health, pediatrics, and geriatrics.  These three courses provide an opportunity to compare and contrast important processes, clinical syndromes and considerations across a life-stage continuum of the human experience of health and disease.

The final two weeks of Phase Four are devoted to the Patient Centered Medicine Capstone course directed by the Fundamentals of Osteopathic Patient Care faculty and provides summation experiences for the application of professional, ethical, biomedical and clinical knowledge and skills with preparation for the clinical phase of the students’ education. Students will be required to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, competency, and outcomes that were expected to have been acquired throughout the pre-clinical curriculum at a level that demonstrates they are prepared to enter the clinical education phase of their training. Students will also will take their first board exam, the COMLEX-USA level one.  Passing of this exam is mandatory for advancement to OMS-III.