January Letter from Our President
by Robert T. Hasty, DO, FACOI, FACP
January 30, 2024
As many members may know, I am the Dean & Chief Academic Officer of the Orlando College of Osteopathic Medicine (OCOM), Central Florida’s first osteopathic medical school. Since I frequently get asked about OCOM by ACOI members, I thought it may be of interest to readers.
We started developing OCOM in 2020 to be Central Florida’s first osteopathic medical school. This $200 million project is being privately funded by Kiran C. Patel, MD, a successful physician entrepreneur who is no stranger to the osteopathic profession by giving the largest gift ever to a college of osteopathic medicine, my alma mater, Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, which now bears his name.
OCOM will open its doors to our inaugural class of 97 medical students in the summer of 2024. OCOM is composed of over 1,000 credentialed preceptors and faculty. We currently have 22 clinical affiliates with great hospital and healthcare systems. We are fortunate to have six articulation agreements with universities in the Southeast U.S. We have been granted Pre-Accreditation by the accreditation body for osteopathic medical schools, the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. The support from our community and friends have been incredible.
I think if you asked anyone from the OCOM team why we do what we do, they would probably tell you that we do this because it is our purpose in life. Creating and advancing OCOM is bigger than any of us. The quality of the excellent and caring physicians that we will train at OCOM will make an impact on so many and is something that all of us can be proud of for as long as we live. I remember the fall of 2022 when the walls of OCOM had just been erected and the Superintendent Lee Underwood came up to me and told me how he constructed the 8'' concrete walls and steel frame to ensure that the OCOM building will be around for 100 years. It made me pause to think about how this building and OCOM will be around long after any of us have gone from this earth and will be making a difference for so many for generations to come.
There is a special presentation that nearly every medical school dean gives to each entering medical school class and their advice to the class and I am so excited to deliver that to the OCOM inaugural class on their first day of orientation on July 31, 2024. I won’t go into all of the specifics from that presentation, but I will tell you, out of my top 10 pieces of advice for them, my number one. That advice is that they focus their primary motivation over the next four years on learning the skills and knowledge to be the best and caring physicians that they can be. When we focus our motivation on a bigger purpose, we will achieve outcomes that we could never have dreamt of. This focus on the bigger purpose is why I am convinced that the OCOM team continues to produce outstanding results.
To all future medical students, faculty, staff, and visitors who come to this incredible medical school: OCOM is your medical school where caring and expert faculty and staff will train the osteopathic physicians who will deeply care for patients using their expert skills and knowledge. OCOM is dedicated to these great ideals with the hope that it will be a medical school that will be a leading medical school in support of its mission for generations to come.
If any ACOI members are ever in Central Florida, please let me know as I would love to give you a tour of OCOM. For more information about OCOM, please visit our website.