Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine has been approved to enroll medical student applicants

Provo— Prospective students among the nearly 2,000 applicants to the new Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine (Noorda-COM) will soon be accepted for enrollment after the college was granted Pre-Accreditation status Friday.

The Noorda-COM Board of Trustees announced it was granted Pre-Accreditation status from the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), paving the way for the college to begin enrolling students for its fall 2021 inaugural class.
Noorda-COM also announced it has established affiliation partner agreements with most of the healthcare systems, many hospitals, and physician practice groups in Utah. The affiliation partnerships will allow Noorda-COM’s future third-year students to complete core clinical education at facilities within an easy 30- 40-minute drive from the Noorda-COM campus in Provo. This will make it easier for students to stay in Utah to meet their clinical education (rotation) requirements.
Noorda-COM Pre-Accreditation Status
Since receiving the status to recruit students in July, Noorda-COM has received nearly 2,000 applications from a diverse group of prospective students. Noorda-COM’s application pool to date is in the top-five most diverse osteopathic colleges in the country. This level of interest also reinforces a trend across the country that the COVID-19 pandemic may be encouraging many people to go into medicine. The fall 2021 inaugural class will include 90 medical students. When all four years are at maximum enrollment, Noorda-COM will have 194 medical students in each class, becoming the Intermountain West’s largest medical school.

“Reaching this important milestone in Noorda-COM’s accreditation process is the result of several years of hard work on the part of many individuals within the Noorda-COM campus community,” said Dr. John Dougherty, founding dean and chief academic officer. “Now that we have received Pre-Accreditation, we are excited to move forward in welcoming our inaugural class of students in 2021.”

The Pre-Accreditation designation comes after an application process which included two comprehensive self-studies, a virtual site visit, and stringent reviews by the COCA Commissioners. It has been a challenging process, but successful due to the ongoing collaborations of Noorda-COM’s faculty, staff, trustees, and clinical partners.

“We couldn’t be more excited to reach this most important step in the accreditation process for Noorda-COM,” said Dr. Richard P. Nielsen, Noorda-COM founding president and CEO. “Pre-Accreditation allows Noorda-COM to fully move onward in opening its doors for medical students in the fall of 2021. Pursuant to COCA regulations, Noorda-COM can qualify for full accreditation status once the inaugural class graduates.”

Noorda-COM Affiliation Partners

“Not only will students be able to stay locally for their core third-year rotations, they will experience a variety of healthcare systems and facilities from an operational standpoint, as well as gaining valuable inpatient and outpatient experience,” said Dr. Michael Rhodes, associate dean of clinical affairs at Noorda-COM. “It goes beyond our students affiliating with multiple medical systems, it exposes them to a diversity of patients, various approaches to medicine and healthcare, and different ways of thinking.”

Affiliation partners include Intermountain Healthcare and its system of hospitals:  Utah Valley Hospital, Orem Community Hospital, American Fork Hospital, Riverton Hospital, the future Primary Children’s Hospital in Lehi, Utah, and the future Spanish Fork Hospital. Additional partners include Steward Health’s Mountain Point Hospital and Jordan Valley Medical Center, Revere Health’s subspecialty clinics, Utah State Hospital, Provo Canyon Behavioral Hospital, Utah Valley Specialty Hospital, Premiere Family Medicine, Canyon View Medical Group, Southwest Spine and Pain, Utah Valley Pediatrics, Utah Surgical Associates, and a partnership with Central Valley Medical Center in Nephi, Utah and Castleview Hospital in Price, Utah who can provide students with experience in rural settings.

It is anticipated additional partnerships could be added over time.

Noorda-COM is using a six-week clinical curricular model. The extended on-campus preparation and testing will better prepare Noorda-COM students for their patient care. 

These affiliation partnerships provide a resource for Noorda-COM medical students who, with the curriculum model, will stay on campus the first week of their six-week clinical education running through scenarios and simulations before beginning their rotations during weeks two through five. Following each rotation, students will be tested on what they learned. The rotation programs are being developed based on the curriculum with the assistance of the affiliation partners.

“It is very important for the students to be in close proximity to the medical school for their rotations,” said Rhodes. “A number of our students will be married, and some will have families. It can become disruptive for them to pick up and move to do one month in one specialty, and then move again for a specialty in a different area. Also, by having these rotation sites here in Utah, Juab, and Salt Lake counties, students from Noorda-COM can have a positive impact on healthcare in our local communities. It is much better for the students and for the community when they can receive their experiences all in one area due to the great affiliation partnerships we’ve been able to start here.”

The inaugural class of Noorda-COM students will begin in the fall of 2021. They will become third year students in the fall of 2023 when they begin their clinical education with these affiliation partners.

About the Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine
Located in Provo, Utah, Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine (Noorda-COM) is a medical school offering an innovative and unique medical education approach. Noorda-COM provides 21st-century medical students a curricular model blending active, small group learning with advanced laboratory experiences and research opportunities while also emphasizing school and life balance with a commitment to health and wellness. Noorda-COM focuses on preparing future residency-ready physicians committed to providing patient-centered healthcare. Noorda-COM is a private, proprietary institution. A governing Board of Trustees oversees Noorda-COM, which received Pre-Accreditation Status by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation.