Once unknown Blacksburg medical school celebrates its 10th anniversary, success


The Osteopathic Medical School in Blacksburg now has two campuses and a record number of graduates, and some of them are about to head to a small town near you.

Your future doctor could be in a Blacksburg classroom, but it won’t be without some blood, sweat, and tears.

“At first I came in really excited. I’m still very excited but it has been overwhelming. They told me it was like drinking out of a fire hose and it really is,” student Jazma Phelps said.

The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, or VCOM for short, was the 20th. It’s located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center and it was founded a decade ago.

“Ten years ago, some people in the state of Virginia said what is osteopathic medicine? And now they realize it’s the full practice of medicine,” said Dixie Tooke-Rawlins, the school’s executive vice president.

Osteopathic physicians can choose any specialty, prescribe drugs, perform surgeries, and practice medicine anywhere in the United States.

The school in Blacksburg is about to graduate its 933rd physician, and VCOM has had one main mission since day one.

“Our mission is to recruit from and train in and hopefully come back to southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina,” said Jan Wilcox, the school’s vice dean.

The school’s first graduating class is just completing their residencies.

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Once unknown Blacksburg medical school celebrates its 10th anniversary, success

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