Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) is ready to accept the first osteopathic medical students for the expansion of the Erie, Pennsylvania medical college to LECOM at SETON HILL in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

The American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) has granted LECOM permission to begin accepting an additional 104 students each year at facilities on the campus of Seton Hill University. COCA took action on the college expansion after an on-site inspection and careful review of plans for facilities, faculty, staff, student support services, learning resources, and finances.

Students interested in pursuing an osteopathic medical degree at the college’s newest location should begin by applying to the Erie campus ( Applicants invited for interviews will be able to select from the main campus or the LECOM at SETON HILL extension in Greensburg. All interviews are conducted in Erie. Students must apply separately to LECOM Bradenton. Classes at LECOM at SETON HILL will begin in August 2009.

LECOM at SETON HILL students will use the highly successful Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Pathway. PBL involves small groups of students working together on patient cases. Students develop learning objectives in basic science or clinical care needed to solve the patient case. Faculty facilitators guide the students as they gain medical knowledge. LECOM will hire 13 full time faculty members and four part time instructors to serve as PBL facilitators and instructors for Seton Hill. All faculty members will have doctoral degrees in medicine or basic science, D.O., M.D. or Ph.D.

“The college has become a leader in innovative, student-centered learning,” said Irving Freeman, Ph.D., J.D., Vice President for LECOM at SETON HILL. “In a very short time, it has demonstrated the success of four, unique learning pathways through graduate’s results on osteopathic licensing exams and in their acceptance residency programs throughout the country.”

LECOM has an agreement with Seton Hill University to use two campus buildings. The College will invest more than $4 million to renovate and equip these facilities to accommodate the new medical school program. Because PBL requires a minimum amount of classroom space, the medical college is remodeling only portions of Lynch Hall and Reeves Memorial Library building. Lynch Hall will provide classroom and office space. Medical students will use areas in Reeves Memorial Library for study and osteopathic principles and practice classes and laboratories.

LECOM is extending medical education to the Seton Hill campus to attract students who will fill the need for physicians in southwestern Pennsylvania. The region surrounding Greensburg has a large, rural underserved population with a critical shortage of physicians. Medical school graduates often continue their post-graduate training and establish residency in the same area in which they attend medical school. The college is developing affiliations with Excela Health System in Greensburg and Conemaugh Health System in Johnstown for clinical education rotations. Both health systems see a need to attract new physicians to the area.

LECOM is the nation’s largest medical college and will accept 354 students per class in Erie and Greensburg, with LECOM Bradenton accepting 150 students per class.