Dec 07, 2021  
2020-2021 University Catalog & Student Handbook 
2020-2021 University Catalog & Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

COM Mission Statement

The College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) prepares students to become highly competent, caring and compassionate osteopathic physicians who demonstrate the highest level of professionalism, ethics and sensitivity to the diverse personal and cultural contexts in which care is delivered. We are committed to the service of humanity and the advancement of knowledge through a collaborative environment that provides distinctive osteopathic clinical training and fosters excellence in education, research and scholarly activity, and lifelong learning.


The College of Osteopathic Medicine is recognized as a leader in osteopathic medical education and health care by exceeding standards of academic and clinical achievement.

Osteopathic Principles

The osteopathic philosophy embraces the idea of the unity of structure (anatomy) and function (physiology). There are four main principles of osteopathic medicine:

  • The body is a unit, and the person represents a combination of body, mind and spirit.
  • The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing and health maintenance.
  • Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.
  • Rational treatment is based on an understanding of these principles: body unity, self-regulation and the interrelationship of structure and function.

KCU-COM curriculum prepares students for graduate medical education. Graduates are required to meet the following osteopathic core competencies:

Competency 1: Osteopathic Philosophy & Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
Graduates are expected to demonstrate and apply knowledge of accepted standards in Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT). The education goal is to train a skilled and competent osteopathic practitioner who remains dedicated to lifelong learning and to practice habits consistent with osteopathic principles and practices.

Competency 2: Medical Knowledge
Graduates are expected to demonstrate and apply knowledge of accepted standards of clinical medicine in their respective specialty area, remain current with new developments in medicine, and participate in lifelong learning activities, including research.

Competency 3: Patient Care
Graduates must demonstrate the ability to effectively treat patients, providing medical care that incorporates osteopathic principles and practices, empathy, awareness of behavioral issues, preventive medicine and health promotion.

Competency 4: Interpersonal & Communication Skills
Graduates are expected to demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that enable them to establish and maintain professional relationships with patients, families and other members of health-care teams.

Competency 5: Professionalism
Graduates are expected to uphold the Osteopathic Oath in the conduct of their professional activities that promote advocacy of patient welfare, adherence to ethical principles, collaboration with health professionals, lifelong learning, and sensitivity to diverse patient populations. Graduates should be cognizant of their own physical and mental health in order to effectively care for patients.

Competency 6: Practice-Based Learning & Improvement
Graduates must demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate their methods of clinical practice, integrate evidence-based medicine into patient care, show an understanding of research methods, and improve patient care practices.

Competency 7: Systems-Based Practice
Graduates are expected to demonstrate an understanding of health care delivery systems, provide effective and qualitative patient care with the system, and practice cost-effective medicine.

The Osteopathic Oath

I do hereby affirm my loyalty to the profession I am about to enter.

I will be mindful always of my great responsibility to preserve the health and the life of my patients, to retain their confidence and respect both as a physician and a friend who will guard their secrets with scrupulous honor and fidelity, to perform faithfully my professional duties, to employ only those recognized methods of treatment consistent with good judgment and with my skill and ability, keeping in mind always nature’s laws and the body’s inherent capacity for recovery.

I will be ever vigilant in aiding in the general welfare of the community, sustaining its laws and institutions, not engaging in those practices which will, in any way, bring shame or discredit upon myself or my profession. I will give no drugs for deadly purposes to any person, though it be asked of me.

I will endeavor to work in accord with my colleagues in a spirit of progressive cooperation, and never by word or by act cast imputations upon them or their rightful practices.

I will look with respect and esteem upon all those who have taught me my art. To my college I will be loyal and strive always for its best interests and for the interests of the students who will come after me. I will be ever alert to further the application of basic biologic truths to the healing arts and to develop the principles of osteopathy which were first enunciated by Andrew Taylor Still.

College of Osteopathic Medicine Honor Code

Upon matriculation at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, I have become a member of the osteopathic medical profession. I understand that I will be expected to maintain and promote the ethical standards that my profession embodies.

I will enter into a relationship of mutual respect with my teachers and my colleagues to enhance the learning environment and gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes of an exemplary member of the medical profession. I will adhere to the highest standards of integrity, honesty and personal conduct at all times off and on campus. I will recognize my strengths and my weaknesses and strive to develop those qualities that will earn the respect of my patients, my colleagues, my family and myself.

Dual-Degree Programs

Master of Arts in Bioethics

Some of today’s most critical challenges in health care revolve around ethical and humanistic issues. The Master of Arts in Bioethics trains future physicians, researchers and other health care providers to become leaders on hospital ethics committees and other professional venues. More importantly, a bioethics education encourages the process of becoming a better, more compassionate physician leader.

Completion of a Master of Arts in Bioethics may enhance medical students’ abilities to obtain scholarships, internships, and residencies. The program assists those working in health professions by improving their knowledge and skills, positioning them to become change agents and ethics leaders in the institutions they serve.

After completing the program in bioethics, a graduate will:

  • Demonstrate critical thinking, including ethical decision-making skills.
  • Apply various methodologies in evaluating bioethical situations.
  • Be proficient in and demonstrate ethical practices in clinical and other settings.
  • Integrate humanism, professionalism and cultural-competence when working with diverse populations.
  • Communicate effectively in written, oral, and interpersonal contexts.

Students in this program may complete both their Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Master of Arts in Bioethics in four years.

The dual-degree program is approximately 44 months in length and is designed for KCU medical students who decide to pursue a master’s degree in bioethics along with the DO. This degree is especially designed for students who want to provide leadership as physicians in helping to address the plethora of complex ethical issues confronting medicine today. With the joint degree (DO/MA), graduates will be especially well placed to provide bioethical leadership on hospital ethics committees, among their physician peers and in the local community.

This program attends to both philosophical and religious ethics as well as contributions from the social sciences and the medical humanities. Students must complete 30 credit hours of coursework

The final course in the dual-degree program is a set of comprehensive examinations, or the student may petition to do a capstone project. Unless a student successfully petitions, the student will take the set of comprehensive examinations. Each exam addresses an assigned topicfor which the student receives a reading list and set of learning objectives in order to prepare. Four of the exam topics are specified (introduction to bioethics, history and methodology, clinical dilemmas, and bioethics and diversity). The remaining two exam topics are selected by the individual student (example topics include pediatric ethics and history or medicine). The student may petition instead to do a project to pursue a bioethics question of special interest. If approved, the student works under the direction of a faculty member to complete a research project with relevance to bioethics. After completion of the written research project, the student will formally present the project to the KCU bioethics faculty and selected student peers.

While ensuring that students have a solid foundation in humanistic studies, this program also teaches critical thinking skills and collaboration on innovative approaches to resolving ethics dilemmas.

Admission to the DO/MA in Bioethics dual-degree program involves an application process during the first semester of the DO program. A minimum of 75 percent overall average in DO coursework is required. Students will be notified of acceptance before the end of the fall semester of the first year. Students must be in good standing in the DO program or they may be required to withdraw from the MA in Bioethics portion of the program.

Transfer Credit Policy - MA in Bioethics

Transfer credit is limited to six credit hours for the MA in Bioethics dual-degree program. Grades associated with transferred credit hours will not transfer.

The Chair of Bioethics is responsible for determining the applicability of transfer work to the student’s program. All transfer credits must be completed at an accredited graduate school with a grade of B or better. Pass/fail courses will not be accepted in transfer.

Transfer Credit Request forms are available in the Office of the Registrar. Coursework used to satisfy requirements for one graduate degree may not be used to meet the requirements for a second graduate degree. Student requesting transfer credit must provide the following documentation to their academic program:

  • Published catalog course description;
  • Course syllabus;
  • Official transcript noting earned credit for the course(s). Note: Transcripts received from other universities cannot be released to students or third parties. Transcripts submitted for this purpose must be sent directly from the awarding institution to KCU. Transcripts which have been released to the student and/or third parties are not accepted.

To receive transfer credit, students must submit their Transfer Credit Request form along with all corresponding documentation and receive approval prior to the end of their first semester enrolled in the dual-degree program.

Master of Business Administration

In partnership with Rockhurst University Helzberg School of Management, KCU-Kansas City medical students may pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Leadership. This program and course schedule have been tailored to allow medical students to complete the program in the same four-year time frame as the DO program.

An application process is made available at the end of the first semester of medical school. Applicants for the DO/MBA dual-degree program must be approved for the program by the campus dean of COM in order to pursue this area of study. Students must remain in good academic standing and pass all courses within COM or they may be required to withdraw from the MBA portion of the program. For additional details regarding the DO/MBA program, please contact the Rockhurst University Graduate College or refer to the Rockhurst website.

Fellowship Opportunities

Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Fellowship

The OMM fellowship is designed to facilitate the development of future osteopathic physicians skilled in osteopathic philosophy, principles and manipulative diagnostic and treatment skills. The fellowship also helps to encourage the development of future teachers and researchers in the field of OMM.

The OMM fellowship is a 12-month training program occurring ideally between the student’s third- and fourth-year clinical clerkship assignments. A fifth year must be added to the student’s enrollment to accommodate his/her clinical clerkship and OMM fellowship obligations. The student must be in good academic standing in order to participate in the fellowship program. Failure to remain in good academic standing shall result in removal from the fellowship program and revocation of all the benefits provided under the program.

The four main goals of the program are:

  • To develop physicians who excel in all aspects of primary care osteopathic medicine.
  • To develop physicians with advanced knowledge and skills in osteopathic philosophy, principles, diagnosis and treatment.
  • To develop physicians with the ability to contribute to the teaching and clinical aspects of osteopathy.
  • To involve fellows in the various aspects of OMM-related research.

Clinical Anatomy Fellowship

The fellowship provides training in teaching, advanced anatomical topics and research methodology. It also provides an advantage in clinical clerkships by equipping the student with high-level competency in clinical anatomy and the anatomical sciences as more broadly defined.

The objective of the fellowship program is to:

  • Provide advanced education in the disciplines of clinical anatomy, which include gross anatomy, histology, embryology and neuroanatomy.
  • Develop teaching and research skills.
  • Equip the participant with at least one peer-reviewed publication.
  • Prepare graduates for competitive residencies in surgery, radiology and other related specialties.

Tuition & Fees

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

The following fees and tuition apply to the 2020-2021 academic year for the DO program:

Application Fee (KCU Supplemental) $60
Fee is payable upon submission of application for admission. (Fee may be waived if applicant receives an AACOMAS fee waiver.) Fee is nonrefundable regardless of reason.
Acceptance Fee $1,000

Accepted applicants need to make sure payment is received according to the following schedule:

  • Those accepted prior to Nov. 15 will have until Dec. 14.
  • Those accepted between Nov. 15 and Jan. 14 will have 30 days.
  • Those accepted between Jan. 15 and May 14 will have 14 days.
  • Those accepted on or after May 15 will be asked for an immediate deposit.

Payment is credited toward tuition once payment of the balance of the tuition is received. Acceptance fees should be mailed to the Admissions office. Fee is nonrefundable regardless of reason.

Matriculation Fee $1,000
  • Those accepted prior to February 15 will have until March 1.
  • Those accepted between February 15 and May 31 will have 14 days to submit a combined acceptance and matriculation fee totaling $2,000.
  • Those accepted on or after June 1 may be asked for an immediate deposit of $2,000.

Payment is credited toward tuition once payment of the balance of the tuition is received. This fee is nonrefundable regardless of reason.

Students paying for tuition are strongly encouraged to pay via KCU’s online payment portal. However, if a student wishes to pay via paper check, the payment should be made payable to Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU) and sent to the address below:

KCU c/o Finance Office
1750 Independence Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64106

Note: Withdrawing prior to matriculation does not negate the no-refund policy.

Full-Year Tuition $48,910
Student Activity Fee $70
Technology Fee $150

Tuition and fees are due and payable in full before the first day of class each term, unless payment arrangements have been made with the Finance office or when students have loan applications for amounts sufficient to cover tuition on file in Financial Aid.

The tuition refund shall follow the Institutional Refund Policy ; please review policy for details.

Note: Tuition includes parking, library privileges, an iPad, and laboratory supplies, but not instruments, equipment, computers, texts, lab manuals or health insurance. Tuition and fees are subject to change annually.

Transcript Fees

Official Transcript (PDF) $10
Official Transcript (Paper) $20-75
  USPS (Standard) $20
  Certified Mail $26.50
  FedEx $40-75

Books & Instruments

The approximate costs for required textbooks are:

First-Year Textbooks $2,300
Second-Year Textbooks $1,742
Third-Year Textbooks $500

The approximate cost for instruments is:

First-Year Instruments $900

National Board Fees

KCU requires successful completion of COMLEX Levels 1, 2-CE, and 2-PE prior to graduation. Examinations by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) require fees, which are subject to change. Current information regarding COMLEX fees is available on the NBOME website. COMLEX fees are paid directly to NBOME.

Global Health Outreach

Students in the DO program may choose to enroll in global health outreach trips during the course of their tenure at KCU. Participation in these trips results in additional charges to the student on a per trip basis. Each trip will have different costs based on the specific itinerary. As such, the payment and refund schedule for global outreach trips will generally be as follows:

  • The full cost of the trip will be billed to the student. Billing typically occurs 60 days prior to departure.
  • Deposits are generally required to secure enrollment in the trip and a deposit due date will be firmly adhered to. Deposits cannot be refunded after the deposit due date.
  • The final balance is due prior to departure. The final balance due date is typically 14 days prior to departure. Refunds are not allowed after the final balance due date.
  • Costs incurred by the University due to disruptive or inappropriate behavior of students during the trip, including, but not limited to, purchase of return airfare for the student, will be billed to the student and are due within 15 days.

Master of Arts in Bioethics (Dual-Degree Program)

The Master of Arts in Bioethics is a 30-credit program that runs concurrently with the DO program, beginning with the second term of the OMS-I year. The following tuition charges apply to the 2019-2020 academic year.

Rate per credit hour $862

Note: Students enrolled in the dual-degree Bioethics program may be eligible for additional financial aid. Once accepted into the program, students will be contacted by the Office of Financial Aid regarding financial aid eligibility.

MBA in Healthcare Leadership (Dual-Degree Program)

For tuition information, visit the Rockhurst University website.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Consideration

Federal regulations require schools to monitor the academic progress of Title IV financial aid recipients. KCU must certify that students are making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward the completion of their KCU degree. KCU follows the regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of Education that students are meeting the three required measurements to determine SAP: qualitative (GPA), quantitative (progression) and time frame.

The policy applies to students who are receiving federal aid; however, these standards are cumulative so this includes all periods of the student’s enrollment, which may include times when the student did not receive federal aid. The academic standards set forth by COM may vary from the financial aid policy for academic progress.

Qualitative Measure

Students enrolled in COM are graded on an Honors/Pass/Fail system. Financial Aid considers a grade of Honors or Pass to be the equivalent of receiving a 70 percent or higher in measuring SAP.

Students must pass all classes to be considered making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid. Students who fail one to two courses will be placed on financial aid warning for the subsequent term. Students placed on financial aid warning are still allowed to receive federal aid.

Students who have earned three failures and/or are required to repeat all or a portion of an academic year are considered to not be meeting SAP standards.  These students will need to appeal for federal financial aid in a subsequent term.

Students who do not meet SAP standards are eligible to appeal for federal financial aid. Students who have approved appeals will be placed on probation with an academic plan.

Quantitative Measure: Attempted vs. Completed

In order for students to progress through the program to graduate within the maximum time frame, Financial Aid requires all COM students to complete 67 percent of credit hours attempted. In determining pace progression, KCU calculates a completion rate for each student. The completion rate is the total number of credit hours successfully completed divided by the total number of credit hours attempted. Pass/Fail courses are considered in the attempted credits. Credit hours cannot be rounded up to meet the minimum SAP standards.

Attempted hours not earned include any grade of Fail (F), Incomplete (I), In Progress (IP), Withdrawal (W), Administrative Withdrawal (AW), or Administrative Drop (AD).

Time Frame: Pace Progression

Program Typical Time Frame Maximum Time Frame
DO 4 years to graduate 6 years to graduate
Bioethics (Dual) 4 years to graduate 6 years to graduate

Students are expected to make satisfactory progress toward their degree each academic year. Students must complete the DO program within six academic years of the matriculation date in COM. Students participating in the bioethics dual-degree program must complete both programs within six academic years. 

The COM-SPC may grant an additional year in rare and extenuating circumstances. Students who do not complete their degree in six academic years will not be eligible for additional aid without a financial aid appeal. Students will need to contact the Financial Aid Office to determine aid eligibility. The Financial Aid Office will advise the student of the appeals process for additional aid eligibility to complete their degree if they have met the maximum time frame limit and are allowed to enroll beyond six years.

NOTE: All the SAP measures listed above are required for students in the dual-degree Bioethics program as well.

Transfer Credits

KCU Office of Admissions may grant credit for courses successfully completed at a student’s prior college or university. Credits accepted for degree at KCU will count as completed for the pace calculation. If a transfer student is accepted into the third year of the COM, the student’s prior years of medical school will count as attempted and completed towards the quantitative components regarding pace and maximum time frame measures.

Repeated Coursework

Courses in which a student has received a grade of “F” may be repeated and eligible for financial aid. However, a student may receive aid for repeating a previously passed course only once with prior approval from the SPC. Repeated courses are counted as credits attempted and either earned or unearned, but only the most recent grade earned is used to calculate the student’s overall percentage grade.

Repeat Academic Year

Repeating an academic year may have implications regarding SAP. Students who will be repeating a year should contact the Financial Aid Office for more information about their aid eligibility for the repeated year.

SAP Review

SAP is reviewed annually at the end of an academic year for COM. This will be done prior to disbursement of subsequent aid for the next academic year. The entire prior year will be reviewed to determine eligibility. The Financial Aid Office will review all students enrolled for the year to determine a student’s SAP status, regardless of financial aid received.

Dual-degree DO/MA students will be reviewed based on the same SAP standards set forth in the above policy. Dismissal from the DO program will result in dismissal from the MA program.

If the student is not meeting the above SAP eligibility requirements, the student will be ineligible for financial aid. Students will be notified by email if they fail to meet the minimum standards outlined above. This email communication will include an explanation of the standards evaluated and instructions on how to proceed with the appeal process.

COMLEX Failures

A student who fails any portion of the COMLEX and is permitted by the COM-SPC to remain enrolled in their program of study, and who also meets all SAP eligibility standards, is considered to be making SAP.

SAP Appeal Process

Financial Aid will notify the student via email if an appeal needs to be submitted to continue receiving federal aid at KCU. Students will be asked to submit an appeal form to the Financial Aid office. The form will require the student to complete the information listed below:

  • A written statement documenting the reasons for the failure to meet the standards of academic progress for financial aid eligibility. The statement should be concise but long enough to address the student’s mitigating circumstances (e.g., serious illness of student or family member, death of relative, disruptive personal issue). There is no school-defined length.
  • A written statement explaining what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to bring his/her academic progress up to the satisfactory standards.
  • If requested, supporting documentation may be required to process the appeal.
  • A written academic plan, after the appeal is submitted.

Appeals will be reviewed and completed within two to four weeks of receipt. Students who submit appeals will be notified via email regarding the decision of their appeal. Students with approved appeals will regain federal financial aid eligibility. Students with denied appeals will be ineligible for federal financial aid until they meet the minimum SAP requirements. Appeal decisions are final.

Academic Plan

All students who fail to make SAP and file an appeal with the Financial Aid office are required, as part of the appeal process, to complete an academic plan form. The form can be obtained from the Financial Aid office and must be submitted after the appeal process is complete. The academic plan must ensure that the student is able to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time. The student will need to work with Student Services to develop a written academic plan to help improve academic performance.

Financial Aid Probation

Students who have approved appeals will be placed on financial aid probation and have their federal financial aid reinstated.

Students who are able to meet the SAP standards by the end of the next payment period will be placed on probation without an academic plan. The student’s academic progress will be reviewed at the end of the next payment period. Students who meet the minimum standards at the end of the probationary period are no longer on probation. Students failing to meet the minimum eligibility requirements at the end of the probationary period are considered ineligible to receive additional funds.

Students who are not able to meet SAP standards by the end of the next payment period will be placed on probation with an academic plan. Students will need to successfully follow the academic plan while in this status. The student’s academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each payment period while on the academic plan. Students who meet the criteria outlined in their academic plan will remain in that plan until it expires or the student meets the minimum SAP eligibility requirements. Students must appeal to change their academic plan. Students who do not meet the academic plan criteria outlined in their plan will be placed back into suspension and will be ineligible for federal aid.

Without Approved Appeal

Students who are not making satisfactory academic progress and do not submit an appeal or have their appeal request denied may regain eligibility only by taking action that brings them into compliance with KCU’s satisfactory progress standards for financial aid.

AOA Code of Ethics

The American Osteopathic Association has formulated this Code to guide its member physicians in their professional lives. The standards presented are designed to address the osteopathic physician’s ethical and professional responsibilities to patients, to society, to the AOA, to others involved in healthcare and to self.

Further, the American Osteopathic Association has adopted the position that physicians should play a major role in the development and instruction of medical ethics.

Section 1. The physician shall keep in confidence whatever she/he may learn about a patient in the discharge of professional duties. The physician shall divulge information only when required by law or when authorized by the patient.

Section 2. The physician shall give a candid account of the patient’s condition to the patient or to those responsible for the patient’s care.

Section 3. A physician-patient relationship must be founded on mutual trust, cooperation and respect. The patient, therefore, must have complete freedom to choose her/his physician. The physician must have complete freedom to choose patients whom she/he will serve. However, the physician should not refuse to accept patients because of the patient’s race, creed, color, sex, national origin or handicap. In emergencies, a physician should make her/his services available.

Section 4. A physician is never justified in abandoning a patient. The physician shall give due notice to a patient or to those responsible for the patient’s care when she/he withdraws from the case so that another physician may be engaged.

Section 5. A physician shall practice in accordance with the body of systematized and scientific knowledge related to the healing arts. A physician shall maintain competence in such systematized and scientific knowledge through study and clinical applications.

Section 6. The osteopathic medical profession has an obligation to society to maintain its high standards and, therefore, to continuously regulate itself. A substantial part of such regulation is due to the efforts and influence of the recognized local, state and national associations representing the osteopathic medical profession. A physician should maintain membership in and actively support such associations and abide by their rules and regulations.

Section 7. Under the law a physician may advertise, but no physician shall advertise or solicit patients directly or indirectly through the use of matters or activities, which are false or misleading.

Section 8. A physician shall not hold forth or indicate possession of any degree recognized as the basis for licensure to practice the healing arts unless he is actually licensed on the basis of that degree in the state in which she/he practices. A physician shall designate her/his osteopathic school of practice in all professional uses of her/his name. Indications of specialty practice, membership in professional societies, and related matters shall be governed by rules promulgated by the American Osteopathic Association.

Section 9. A physician should not hesitate to seek consultation whenever she/he believes it advisable for the care of the patient.

Section 10. In any dispute between or among physicians involving ethical or organizational matters, the matter in controversy should first be referred to the appropriate arbitrating bodies of the profession.

Section 11. In any dispute between or among physicians regarding the diagnosis and treatment of a patient, the attending physician has the responsibility for final decisions, consistent with any applicable osteopathic hospital rules or regulations.

Section 12. Any fee charged by a physician shall compensate the physician for services actually rendered. There shall be no division of professional fees for referrals of patients.

Section 13. A physician shall respect the law. When necessary a physician shall attempt to help to formulate the law by all proper means in order to improve patient care and public health.

Section 14. In addition to adhering to the foregoing ethical standards, a physician shall recognize a responsibility to participate in community activities and services.

Section 15. It is considered sexual misconduct for a physician to have sexual contact with any current patient whom the physician has interviewed and/or upon whom a medical or surgical procedure has been performed.

Section 16. Sexual harassment by a physician is considered unethical. Sexual harassment is defined as physical or verbal intimation of a sexual nature involving a colleague or subordinate in the workplace or academic setting, when such conduct creates an unreasonable, intimidating, hostile or offensive workplace or academic setting.

Section 17. From time to time, industry may provide some AOA members with gifts as an inducement to use their products or services. Members who use these products and services as a result of these gifts, rather than simply for the betterment of their patients and the improvement of the care rendered in their practices, shall be considered to have acted in an unethical manner.

Section 18. A physician shall not intentionally misrepresent himself/herself or his/her research work in any way.

Section 19. When participating in research, a physician shall follow the current laws, regulations and standards of the U.S. or, if the research is conducted outside the U.S., the laws, regulations and standards applicable to research in the nation where the research is conducted. This standard shall apply for physician involvement in research at any level and degree of responsibility, including, but not limited to, research, design, funding, participation either as examining and/or treating provider, supervision of other staff in their research, analysis of data and publication of results in any form for any purpose.

Practicing Medicine

COM students shall not engage in any activity that may be construed as the practice of medicine or any phase thereof, without prior written approval of an exception.

Students are prohibited from accepting any form of payment or gratuity for their clinical activities. Clinical activities of students are not permitted without the appropriate supervision of a licensed faculty physician.

In no event shall a student represent, either directly or indirectly, that the student is licensed to practice medicine as a graduate of this University or otherwise, unless such student is, in fact, a licensed practitioner.

The determination of whether a student’s activity violates this policy shall be that of the University alone. Students with questions regarding this policy should submit them in writing to a member of Student Services. The Student Services team can counsel students on this policy. Violation of this policy may result in the immediate disciplinary action.

COM Health Requirements


It is the policy of KCU to comply with the federal Rehabilitation Act and all other state and federal statutes pertaining to communicable diseases. It is the intent of this policy to protect those students and employees who have contracted human immunodeficieny virus (HIV) or hepatitis B virus (HBV) and to protect students, employees and patients from avoidable exposure to HIV or HBV.

HIV/HBV Procedures

Students must advise their supervisor (vice dean of the medical school) if they are HIV and/or Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive;

The University will adhere to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These recommendations are:

  • All students should adhere to universal precautions, including the appropriate use of hand washing, protective barriers and care in the use and disposal of needles and other sharp instruments. Students who have exudative lesions or weeping dermatitis should refrain from all direct patient care and from handling patient care equipment and devices used in performing invasive procedures until the condition resolves. Students should also comply with current guidelines for disinfection and sterilization of reusable devices used in invasive procedures. To facilitate the use of universal precautions, the University will provide training in this area to its students.
  • Currently available data provide no basis for recommendation to restrict the practice of students infected with HIV or HBV who perform invasive procedures not identified as exposure-prone, provided the infected students practice recommended surgical or dental techniques and comply with universal precautions and current recommendations for sterilization and disinfection.
  • Students who perform exposure-prone procedures should know their HIV and HBV antibody status. Students who perform exposure-prone procedures and who do not have serologic evidence of immunity to HBV from vaccination or from previous infection should know their HBsAg status and, if positive, should also know their HBeAg status. To facilitate this, the University will provide names and locations of facilities in Kansas City where anonymous testing can be done at the student’s expense. KCU encourages all students to be tested periodically.
  • Students who are infected with HIV or HBV (and are HBeAg positive) should not perform exposure-prone procedures unless they have sought counsel from an expert review panel and have been advised under what circumstances, if any, they may continue to perform these procedures. Such circumstances would include notifying prospective contacts of the student’s seropositivity before they undergo or participate in exposure-prone invasive procedures.
  • The confidentiality of the infected student will be protected by KCU and the student’s supervisor to the extent that such confidentiality does not unnecessarily expose others to either HIV or HBV.
  • Contraction of HIV or HBV shall not constitute grounds for termination of employment, dismissal from school or other punitive actions.
  • Changes in work stations, reassignment of responsibilities and other measures may be taken in an effort to protect the infected employee or student, as well as uninfected coworkers and patients. The program of academic study may be modified for the infected student to permit those educational experiences that do not unnecessarily expose patients or other students to HIV or HBV. Decisions regarding such modifications will be made by a review panel in consultation with the student. The review panel may forward recommendations for significant modification of the academic program to the COM-SPC. The student’s name will not be disclosed to the members of COM-SPC. COM-SPC may consider whether the proposed significant modifications will permit the student to fulfill the academic requirements of the University;
  • After all reasonable accommodations have been made (including adjustments in work, location and reassignment of duties and responsibilities, or modification of academic program), any student who is incapable or ineligible to perform his/her responsibilities may be subject to termination of employment or dismissal. Similarly, after reasonable modifications of the academic program, infected students who are unable to fulfill the requirements for graduation may be subject to dismissal.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A vaccine is not routinely recommended for students at KCU because Missouri is considered a state that has a low average annual incidence of Hepatitis A. Students who belong to at-risk groups, however, should be vaccinated. This includes those who travel to an endemic area, have identified risk factors and have chronic liver disease.

Hepatitis B

University policy mandates that all osteopathic and biomedical sciences students must provide evidence that they have completed or have initiated the vaccination series for Hepatitis B vaccine before they begin school. They must also provide the University with results of their postvaccination test/titer following completion of the Hepatitis B series. According to recommendations, the post-vaccination test/titer should be completed one to two months following the third vaccine dose; students who received the vaccine series in the past must provide the quantitative results of a post-vaccination test/ titer to the University before they can begin any research laboratory or clinical experience.

If no antibody is detected, another series of three vaccinations should be given and the test repeated in one month. Once a positive antibody test is documented, no further testing or vaccinations are required. A person that does not respond after a second three-dose series should be considered a non-responder and susceptible to HBV infection.


The meningitis vaccine from within the last five years is required of all KCU students.

Additional Vaccination Information for Students

Medical students entering first-year classes who are not current on their immunizations and/or do not provide an official KCU immunization record form, completed and signed by an authorized health official, will not be allowed to matriculate. KCU students are responsible to maintain a current and thoroughly documented official record of immunizations at all times. Students who cannot provide official, up-to-date immunization records in accordance with University guidelines will not be allowed to continue their education.

Medical students enrolling at the University are required to complete an immunization form submitted to SentryMD for verification. Items to be completed include, but are not limited to, proof of immunization for poliomyelitis, rubella, rubeola, mumps, varicella and diphtheria/tetanus as well as serological tests showing an immunity to MMR, Varicella, and Hepatitis B.

TB Testing

Before matriculating, a student must also provide the results of a tuberculosis (TB) test demonstrating a negative PPD-TB test or proof of completion of INH therapy. If a positive TB skin test was documented, one or more of the following must be provided for verification and review:

  • A TB blood test that verifies a negative result.
  • Documentation of the completion of successful INH therapy.


KCU students are entering the health professions. As part of their education, from time to time they will come into contact with vulnerable populations who may be at risk for infectious disease. Because of this, all KCU students are required to be immunized annually for influenza.

Academic Policies & Procedures

Responsibility of the Student

Students are required to become familiar with the academic policies, curriculum requirements and associated deadlines as posted to this catalog and handbook. Student Services will aid students in understanding the academic program requirements, if necessary. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to know and comply with all University policies and procedures and to meet all stated requirements for the degree. It is also the student’s responsibility to monitor daily their campus email, Canvas account, the University website and KCU’s intranet.

Academic Advising

The academic advising program promotes student learning, development, and personal growth to encourage self-sufficiency.  COM students are assigned to an advising team comprised of basic science faculty and clinicians. Advising placements are made by the assistant vice provost for Student Services and the director of Advising & Learning Enhancement.

Academic Load

Full-time 6 or more semester credits
Half-time 3-5.5 semester credits
Part-time Less than 3 semester credits

Academic Standing

Students are considered to be in good academic standing when they meet the minimum criteria for continued enrollment. Refer to the Eligibility for Continued Enrollment section for additional details.

Academic Probation

Academic probation is an official status from the University, stating that the student is under the most sensitive academic monitoring and improvement plan, which becomes a part of the student’s academic record for the period of time they are on probation. This status is typically applied when one of more of the following occur:

  • One or more course failures
  • Failure of a national board examination
  • Overall percentage grade is less than 70 percent

Students placed on academic probation will have their status monitored by a University faculty or staff member. In addition students on academic probation must attend all classes. Students on academic probation are suspended from participating in a dual-degree program and will be administratively withdrawn. Academic probation may include the suspension of the student’s normal rights to participate in extracurricular, co-curricular, and other nonacademic activities, including but not limited to the student not being allowed to hold a leadership position in a student organization. Academic probation may also result in suspension or termination of the student’s employment with the University.

Typically, students who are placed on academic probation cannot fail any other course, section, clerkship, shelf exam and/or national examination. The typical length of the academic probation is one year, unless otherwise specified, from the time the student is formally notified of being placed on this status.

Academic probation status is not tied to a student’s SAP, as defined by Title IV. It is wholly separate and unrelated to SAP.

Academic Warning

Academic warning is a state of warning from KCU to the student indicating that the University is concerned about the student’s academic performance. This status is typically applied when one of more of the following occur:

  • Multiple course exam failures
  • Overall percentage grade is less than 77 percent
  • Behavioral cues by the student which may indicate academic or personal distress.

Students placed on academic warning may be required to take actions deemed necessary to help improve academic performance. These actions may include but are not limited to: regular meetings with Learning Enhancement staff, sessions with KCU psychologists, required course attendance, meetings with tutors and/or faculty members, temporary loss of student leadership privileges, and providing frequent status updates to key faculty/administrators.

Academic warning is not tied to a student’s SAP, as defined by Title IV. It is wholly separate and unrelated to SAP.

Medical Student Performance Evaluation

The Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), formerly the Dean’s Letter, is an important document designed to assist students in obtaining admission to postgraduate programs, specifically internships and residencies. Data utilized in the creation of the MSPE include academic progress, assessment of professionalism, COMLEX scores, faculty recommendations, clerkship evaluations and comments from preceptors. Information regarding volunteer service, leadership opportunities, research and/or membership in service organizations is noted. Clinical Education personnel solicit information from students during their third year of study by having them submit a composite resume, vita and/or portfolio for inclusion in the MSPE.

Professionalism & the MSPE

The national residency match process requires documentation within the MSPE of any adverse action(s) imposed on a student by KCU, as well as information about the student’s professional attributes. This includes documentation of demonstrations of a lack of professionalism. Clinical Education personnel, in consultation with the dean and vice provost, will determine what is written in the MSPE regarding a professionalism-related issue.


Unlike traditional undergraduate and graduate institutions where students individually register for courses, KCU engages in block registration for each student cohort. The student’s respective department sends enrollment information to the Office of the Registrar every term. Students are responsible for reviewing their enrollment on KCU 360 prior to each semester to ensure they are enrolled correctly.

The last day to add a class is seven business days after the published first day of classes in the Academic Calendar. The first day of classes varies by class year. This policy does not apply to clerkships or intersession courses.

COM students are required to report on the orientation or registration date as specified in the Academic Calendar . First-year COM students who fail to appear at the stated check-in time for orientation risk losing their seat unless other arrangements have been made.

Third- and fourth-year COM students must complete registration materials, including financial aid arrangements, by July 1, prior to participating in clerkships. Third- and fourth-year COM students are not required to be physically present on campus for registration.

All outstanding financial obligations to the University or University-affiliated clerkship sites must be cleared in order for a student to register. Students who are not in University compliance may not attend classes or participate in clerkships.

Course Drops & Withdrawals

Students who wish to drop/withdraw from a single or multiple courses, but not withdraw completely from the University, must adhere to the following procedures.

The deadline to drop a course is end of business the day of the first class meeting. For night classes, the deadline to drop is end of business the next day following the first class meeting. For intersession courses, the deadline to drop the courses is prior to the first class meeting. Students who wish to drop a course must officially communicate their request to their department and/or the Office of the Registrar within the prescribed time. A student who drops a course within the prescribed time will have no record of the course on their transcript.

Students may withdraw from certain courses with the permission of the campus dean of COM after the drop deadline and up to the withdrawal date. The withdrawal date for fall is the Friday before Thanksgiving. The withdrawal date for spring is the last Friday in April. Course withdrawals are recorded as a W on the student’s academic transcript. Students may not withdraw from a course with a W after the withdrawal date. Students who withdraw from courses after the withdrawal date will receive a failing grade. Students are not eligible to withdraw from a course after the course has ended.

Course withdrawal may have financial aid implications. Students are advised to talk with Financial Aid prior to withdrawing from a course.

Exceptions to this policy may be granted based on extenuating circumstances only. Appeals to the withdrawal deadline are only granted following submission of a written petition, with the approval of both the course director and the campus dean of COM.

Extracurricular Clinical Experiences & Physician Shadowing Policy

KCU receives multiple requests each year from first- and second-year students requesting to be approved to shadow a physician outside of the curriculum. Once a student has matriculated into KCU-COM, the University assumes the legal liability of all clinical experiences. These risks include OSHA and HIPAA law requirements and medical malpractice coverage.

Therefore, KCU students are only allowed to shadow a KCU clinical faculty member at a pre-approved clinical site. Additionally, students are only allowed to wear their KCU white coats at a pre-approved KCU sponsored clinical event (e.g., Score 1 screening, KCU classroom presentation), at an event which requires white coats, or while on clinical clerkship rotations.

Attendance Policy


Attendance for COM curricular events may be required and will be communicated through the appropriate venue (e.g., Canvas, student calendar, syllabi, etc.). The method of taking attendance may vary and include sign-in sheets or electronic identification. In certain circumstances, a student may be required to attend a curricular event at the direction of the associate dean of Curriculum & Integrated Learning, phase directors, course directors, COM-SPC, or the campus deans of COM.

An excused absence request form and supporting documentation must be submitted via Canvas in a minimum of half-day increments. These requests are reviewed by the appropriate phase director and decisions rendered through this process are final. There are no exceptions to this policy and failure to follow the request process will result in an unexcused absence. The academic coordinator will notify the student via email within two business days when a decision has been reached. Requested absences are not and should not be considered approved until confirmation has been received from the academic coordinator.

  • Discretionary days: Students will be allowed five discretionary days per academic year.
    • Discretionary days must be submitted at least 14 calendar days prior to the first day of absence.
    • Students may combine no more than two consecutive days at a time.
    • Students are expected to complete all curricular activities (including scheduled make-ups or remediations) prior to using discretionary days before the start of any academic break. Additionally, students may not use discretionary days on the first day following an academic break.
    • Under no circumstances will discretionary days be approved for the day prior or day of a secure assessment.
  • Sick days: Students will be allowed four sick days per academic year.
    • Students must submit an excused absence request form on their first day of absence and provide supporting medical documentation upon their return.
    • Documentation from a telemedicine appointment will not be accepted and the absence will be unexcused.
    • Sick days may also be used to accommodate for occurrences of family member and pet ailments with appropriate supporting medical documentation.
  • Unforeseen events: Students may be allowed additional days off on a case-by-case basis.
    • In cases of emergency, students must submit an excused absence request form as soon as possible.
    • Due to the variability of circumstances (e.g., time off needed for family emergencies, death of a family member, etc.), these requests will be reviewed by Curriculum & Integrated Learning and documentation may be required.
  • Research and scholarly activity/professional development: Students will be allowed four days per academic year.
    • Students must submit an excused absence request form at least 30 calendar days prior to the first day of absence.
    • Attendance at conferences or events for professional development and/or presentation of research will require supporting documentation.
  • Other Curricular Activities: Time off for events related to programs outside of the COM core curriculum (e.g., track activities, dual degrees)
    • Students must submit an excused absence request form at least 30 calendar days prior to the first day of absence.
  • Civic Responsibilities:
    • Students who are required to be physically present at citizenship hearings, court hearings or jury duty will be granted an excused absence.
    • Students are required to submit an excused absence request form in advance and provide supporting documentation.

Failure to adhere to the attendance policy will result in an unexcused absence and/or referral to Curriculum & Integrated Learning. For questions related to this policy, please contact Curriculum & Integrated Learning.


Attendance at all clerkship related activities is mandatory; therefore, any absence requires an excuse and documentation. Failure to notify Clinical Education and/or the clerkship site/preceptor of any absence from a clerkship, regardless of the reason or number of hours absent, may result in a meeting with the Associate Dean of Clinical Education regarding lack of professionalism and could result in a failing grade of the clerkship. More information is available under Absence from Clerkships.

Electronic Recording Policy

Electronic recording of learning activities is the responsibility of KCU IT Department staff who adhere to University guidelines for obtaining appropriate permissions from those involved. “Learning activities” at KCU involve all scheduled curricular activities including lectures, labs, small groups, presentations, reviews, demonstrations, and any activity in which faculty members, patients, or off-campus visitors are participating.

Due to technical issues, privacy, intellectual property rights, and/or the decision of the faculty member, the recording of any class, lecture, etc. is not guaranteed. Recordings are intended to supplement the education of the student, not to replace attendance at the presentation.

Recording any of these events using video recorders, cameras, camera devices, digital recorders in any form including cell phones or any type of mobile device, is not allowed without the express written consent of all persons involved and KCU’s administration. Posting of any material for “personal use” to any website also requires written consent in advance. A request form is available from the Office of Testing Services and should be completed with signatures prior to any activity. The signed form should be returned to Testing Services.

Students who initiate electronic recording of faculty, staff, visitors, or a curriculum activity without permission will be asked to discontinue the activity immediately. Additional action may involve referral to the University administration for unprofessional conduct.

Grades & Assessment Policies


The academic grade system for COM students at KCU is as follows:

Grade Definition
P Pass (70% or higher)
F Fail (<70%)
H Honors (Top 10%)
F/P Pass upon remediation
IP In-Progress
I Incomplete
W Withdrawal
AW Administrative Withdrawal
AD Administrative Drop

The record of each student will be reviewed each year to evaluate the student’s potential for continuance. At the end of the academic year, the COM-SPC may recommend promotion to the following year, makeup examinations, summer remediation or dismissal.

KCU graduates students who meet and surpass the minimum expectations of the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA). At a minimum, a graduate must be able to:

  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of osteopathic philosophy and practice and osteopathic manipulative treatment.
  • Demonstrate medical knowledge through one or more of the following: passing course tests, standardized tests of NBOME and end-of-clerkship tests; research activities, presentations, and participation in directed reading programs and/or journal clubs; and/or other evidence-based medical activities.
  • Demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills with patients and other health care professionals.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of profession, ethical, legal, practice management and public health issues applicable to medical practice.
  • Demonstrate basic support skills as assessed by nationally standardized evaluations.

To demonstrate these expectations have been met in an objective manner, each student must demonstrate minimum knowledge in each discipline prior to graduation. This includes the basic science disciplines (anatomy, biochemistry, behavioral science, bioethics, embryology, genetics, histology, immunology, microbiology, neuroscience, pathology, pharmacology and physiology) and clinical sciences (osteopathic clinical skills, family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, and emergency medicine).

Overall Percentage Score

The grading for the DO program is pass/fail. However, students retain the percentage score earned within courses required for the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Curriculum . The final percent score used to determine course P/F is used to calculate the student’s cumulative overall percentage score (weighted by course credits).  Any course that awards P/F based on the completion of required activities within the course will not be included in the student’s cumulative overall percentage score

The overall percentage score is used to determine class rank.  Additionally, this score is used to determine eligibility for dual-degree programs, honors tracks, student government, and club leadership.  Elective, fellowship, and honors track courses are not included in a student’s overall percentage score calculation.

Testing Policy

Students who are authorized for special accommodations will report to the Office of Testing Services on exam day. Accommodation conditions, as appropriate, may include alteration of length of exam time, testing location (room number) or other accommodations. Students in need of special accommodations for testing are to contact the vice provost for Enrollment and Student Services at 816.654.7182 for an application and instructions.

All quizzes and exams will start and end on time. Students are not permitted to begin writing on any materials until the start of the exam. No students are allowed to leave the room until 15 minutes have elapsed from the scheduled start of a written exam. If a student arrives after the start of testing, he/she will not be allowed in the exam room. The student must report to the Office of Curriculum & Integrated Learning for an excused absence to take the exam at a date and time to be determined by the appropriate, campus-specific phase director and associate dean of Curriculm & Integrated Learning or the associate dean of Clinical Education. A student with an unexcused absence will not be permitted to make-up the quiz/exam and will receive a zero unless authorized by the appropriate campus phase director or the associate dean of Curriculum & Integrated Learning.

While taking exams students should have in their possession only items that are necessary for the exam. No food is allowed during testing. All purses, backpacks, iPods, hats, sunglasses, unnecessary clothing items, pagers, headphones, CD players, calculators, cell phones, wristwear of any kind, etc., must be left outside the testing area. Recording or communication devices of any type are not allowed at any time in the testing environment. Any exceptions to these items (e.g., medical bracelet, equipment) may be requested as an accommodation as outlined in the Academic & Physical Accommodations . Academic integrity, honesty, and personal conduct guidelines will be strictly enforced.

Any student found in possession of any type of electronic device capable of accessing the internet in any testing environment (iPad, PC, or Laptop used for testing are the sole exceptions) will be awarded an automatic failure of the exam in question.  KCU is unable to ascertain intent behind possession of any electronic device in a testing situation and, any student found in possession will be considered academically dishonest. Students will be referred to the Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Services for breach of professional conduct.

Any student flagged or otherwise found to be engaged in any suspicious or unusual behavior in any testing environment, including but not limited to leaving the view of the camera and/or the testing area, making efforts to avoid the camera, engaging in side conversations, accessing textbooks or previously prepared notes, will be referred to the appropriate phase director for review.  KCU is unable to ascertain intent behind a student’s suspicious behavior in a testing situation and may be considered to be academically dishonest. Students will be referred to the vice provost for Enrollment & Student Services for breach of professional conduct.

Review of Examinations

Students who wish to review past exams must request permission from Testing Services. Exams will be reviewed under the supervision of a learning enhancement specialist, curriculum coordinator, or course director. Exams cannot be viewed until final grades for that exam have been posted. Students are not permitted to have any electronic devices, book bags, purses, etc., in the same room while the exam is being reviewed. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in a zero (0) score for that exam.

Grades & Assessment Policy for the DO/MA in Bioethics Dual-Degree Program

Courses are typically three credit hours (37.5 to 45 contact hours) and offered during the fall and spring. In each course, faculty may employ a variety of assessment methods, including:

  • Quizzes and examinations, including a final exam
  • Class participation
  • Small-group discussions
  • Group projects
  • Research papers
  • Class presentations
  • Online assignments
  • Experiential learning projects.

A percentage of the total point score possible for the course will be calculated based on the points earned.

Following the completion of each semester, the student can review his/her grades on KCU 360.

Incomplete Grades

A phase director or course director may assign a grade of Incomplete (I) if he/she believes that a student has been unable to complete the course/section on time because of extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control. In the case an incomplete grade is assigned, the phase director, in collaboration with the course director, will complete an Incomplete Grade Contract that details the requirements for completion of the course/section.

The student’s signature is required for the incomplete grade contract to be valid. In the event an I grade is being assigned, the associate dean of Curriculum & Integrated Learning must be approve the change before the contract is presented to the student. The student will have three business days to decline the incomplete grade and receive the current earned grade with all missing assignments calculated as a zero.

Any student receiving a grade of I must coordinate with the course director/assistant dean to satisfy all outstanding coursework for the course/section. Once outstanding requirements for the course are satisfied, the course director will process a change of grade form converting the I to a letter grade. The grade change must be submitted prior to the first day of classes of the next academic year. Once this deadline has passed, the I becomes an F.

Should a student decide to withdraw or if he/she is otherwise separated from the University prior to completing coursework for an incomplete grade, the grade will be updated to reflect a failure (F).

A degree cannot be awarded to a student with an incomplete grade on his/her record.

Note: In-Progress (IP) grades are reserved only for those instances when students are unable to complete a course by the established deadline due to an instructor or administrative challenge (e.g., instructor is hospitalized and several class meetings must be rescheduled, University closes during finals week due to inclement weather).

Grade Changes/Corrections

If an error occurred in computing or recording a grade, or a section/course has been successfully remediated, the course director must complete a Grade Change form. The course director must then obtain a signature of authorization from the associate dean of Curriculum & Integrated Learning and submit to the Office of the Registrar for processing.

Section/Course Grade Appeal Process

Within 10 business days of grade determination, a student may request that their course grade be reviewed. Students should make this request to the appropriate assistant or associate dean, in consultation with the course director, to review their points and final grade. If the student feels an error remains, a final request to review the section grade may be made directly to the campus dean of COM.

Academic Assessment, Status & Promotion

Eligibility for Continued Enrollment

At the end of the academic year and as needed, the COM-SPC evaluates student performance. Students are considered for promotion one academic year at a time. At any time, the University, by recommendation of the COM-SPC and/or the action of the administrative officers, reserves the right to place on conditional or stipulated status, suspend or dismiss a student who has failed to:

  • Maintain acceptable standards of academic performance based on the totality of their academic record.
  • Maintain acceptable ethical, moral, personal and professional conduct.
  • Abide by the University’s policies, rules and regulations.
  • Fulfill legal or financial obligations to the University.
  • Show professional promise including mental and emotional fitness commensurate with the expected degree.

Promotion to OMS-II & OMS-III

  1. Satisfactory completion (passing grades) of:
    1. All courses.
    2. Clinical Skills Assessment Examination.
    3. Osteopathic Skills (OS) Competency Performance Assessments.
  2. Completion of all early clinical experience activities.
  3. Successful completion of all pre-clinical training requirements such as immunizations, orientations, proof of insurance, and others as specified.
  4. Successful completion of COMLEX Level 1 (prior to participation in clerkship experiences).
  5. Recommendation for promotion by the COM-SPC to the Faculty Senate. All records are reviewed to determine whether the student has fulfilled all academic requirements; has maintained the standards of ethical, moral, personal and professional conduct required for the continued study of osteopathic medicine; and is mentally and emotionally fit to become a physician.

Promotion to OMS-IV

  1. Satisfactory completion (passing grades) of all required third-year clerkships.
  2. Satisfactory completion of all required shelf exams.
  3. Completion of course and instructor evaluations for each third-year clerkship.
  4. Satisfactory completion of Standardized Patient encounters/OSCE’s scheduled during the third year.
  5. Completion of COMLEX Level 2-CE.

Clerkship Assessment

To pass each clerkship, students must demonstrate progress on evaluation by their preceptor and pass the applicable End of Clerkship Exam. All components listed below are required before a final grade is assigned by KCU:

  • End of Clerkship Exam (when applicable),
  • End of Clerkship Reflection,
  • Preceptor Evaluation of Student Performance.

The complete Clerkship Assessment policy is located under Assessment.

Assessment of Professionalism

Professionalism is one of the pillars of students’ training as future physicians and its presence is critically important as student doctors develop their knowledge and skills. KCU expects all COM graduates to demonstrate professionalism in all aspects of their training, as well as when they are outside of the classroom/lab.

Students within the COM will be assessed upon their level of professionalism at the end of each term. Students who demonstrate unprofessionalism will be expected to remediate and improve those behaviors. This professionalism assessment is designed to provide students with a clear understanding of their progress towards meeting professionalism standards, acknowledged nationally as those that student physicians need to meet in order to transition successfully on to residency. Students’ professionalism assessment will also be considered as part of the MSPE process, when students have their dean’s letter produced for residency applications. All KCU students must exceed all minimum professionalism expectations in order to graduate from the COM. Details about the assessment of student professionalism will be discussed with each COM class annually

NBOME Academic Requirements

Successful completion of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) examinations is required for osteopathic medical students to graduate and become licensed. The NBOME examinations are composed of four sequential segments: COMLEX Level 1, COMLEX Level 2-CE, COMLEX Level 2-PE and COMLEX Level 3. All KCU students must pass COMLEX Level 1 in order to progress to the third year of studies. COMLEX Level 2-CE and COMLEX Level 2-PE are required to qualify for graduation from the University.

The NBOME examination sequence follows exacting timelines and has restrictions on numbers of retakes in cases of initial failures. The medical school policy for a failed COMLEX examination is that a student is required to appear before the COM-SPC. The COM-SPC may recommend remediation of a failed COMLEX exam. This is true for each individual failure. Should a student be allowed to take the failed COMLEX exam more than two times, a failure of the third attempt will result in dismissal from the medical school.

KCU Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS)/Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

COM students are required to complete both the American Heart Association’s Healthcare Provider Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS/CPR) and the Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) courses offered on campus.

BCLS is completed during the second year of medical school. It is provided free of charge and must be taken at KCU. This course includes lecture and hands-on techniques in adult, child, and infant basic life support and obstructive airway techniques. Successful completion is required for advancement to second-year studies.

ACLS is completed during the second year of medical school following BCLS certification and prior to clinical clerkships. It is also provided without cost to KCU students and must be taken on campus.

BCLS and ACLS are taught according to the guidelines and standards set by the American Heart Association. Students are awarded BCLS and ACLS cards/certificates after the successful completion of each course. The cards are neither indicative of, nor do they confer, the right to practice medicine.

Students are required to be BCLS and ACLS certified prior to beginning the third year. The certifications are valid for two years and must be recertified after that period. Students should consult with residency programs regarding recertification after graduation.

Class Rank

Class rank is calculated based on the student’s cumulative overall percentage grade at the end of each semester during the first two years of coursework. Class rank for graduation is based on the student’s cumulative overall percentage grade at the conclusion of the second year.

Clinical Class Rank

Clinical Class Rank (CCR) is based on individual student scores for first-time attempts on each of the six core shelf exams. No other exams are used in the CCR calculation. Although a student may have repeated a shelf exam, the first-time score is used in the CCR calculation.

The CCR is only displayed on the student’s MSPE letter if the student is ranked in the top 100 students. It is never displayed on the academic transcript. Students may choose to exclude the CCR from the MSPE if they prefer.

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List is comprised of the top 10 percent of each first- and second-year class each semester and the top 10 percent of the third-year class for the totality of the third year. The calculations are based on the average of percentages earned in each course, and is weighted by credit hour. The Dean’s List distinction is recognized on the official transcripts:

  • OMS-I: Fall and spring.
  • OMS-II: Fall and spring.
  • OMS-III: End of third year.

Individual Course/Clerkship Failure & Remediation Policy

There is no automatic or guaranteed remediation for students who fail a section, course, clerkship, or NBOME COMLEX-USA examination. Failure of any course(s) at KCU may be grounds for dismissal from the program. Students who fail a section, course or clerkship will engage with the COM-SPC as defined in the KCU Catalog & Student Handbook.

Students who are provided with the opportunity to remediate a first- or second-year course may do so at the end of winter break, spring break, or during the summer.  Specific remediation dates and times are determined on an annual basis and provided to students who are remediating.  Students are only permitted to remediate two courses per academic year, while in the first or second year of the program.  Failure of any remediation exam is the equivalent of an additional course failure.  Students who are provided with the opportunity to remediate a failed clerkship or NBOME COMLEX-USA examination will do so at the discretion of Clinical Education and/or the COM-SPC.

It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of his/her academic status at all times and to be in attendance at all scheduled remediations, when applicable. Failure to attend a scheduled remediation exam will result in a failing grade for that remediation and potential dismissal from the University. All remediations must be completed prior to the first day of classes of the next academic year.

In the case of a remediated course in the COM program, the student’s most recent grade earned is used in the calculation of the student’s overall percentage grade. If a pass/fail course or clerkship is successfully remediated, the student will receive a grade of F/P. If a student fails the remediation of a course or clerkship, the student will receive a final grade of F.

Program Remediation Policy

Should a student fail to academically progress while enrolled in the medical school, and based on the totality of the student’s academic performance while enrolled, the COM-SPC may recommend that a student repeat an academic year in order to establish a firm foundation to assist the student in his/her studies of the previously attempted subjects. Students approved for readmission after a period of suspension or an approved leave of absence may also be required to repeat previously attempted courses. A COM student may remediate by repeating an academic year in full upon recommendation of the COM-SPC and approval of the campus dean. The student must retake and pass all courses regardless of previous performance. Students who fail any course are subject to review by the COM-SPC.

All course enrollments and earned grades will remain on the student’s academic transcript. For repeated coursework in the COM program, the student’s most recent grade earned is used in the calculation of the student’s overall percentage grade. Grades for repeated courses are recorded in brackets on the academic transcript. Students may only repeat a course once. The opportunity to repeat is not available if the course is subsequently inactivated.

Students who repeat an academic year must still complete their degree within six years of matriculation.

Grade Assessments for Reinstated Students

Reinstated students are held accountable to all previously earned grades and they remain part of the permanent student record. If, upon returning, a student is required to retake a previously failed section, the retake will replace the entire remediation process for that section and will supersede the remediation process described for academic failures of continuously matriculated students. If the returning student fails the section a second time, the consequences will be identical to those described for failing the remediation process for a continuously matriculated student.

Dismissal from the Master of Arts in Bioethics Program

A student may be dismissed from the bioethics program for any of the following reasons:

  • Failing a course.
  • Being placed on Academic Probation in the DO program.
  • Not maintaining the standards of ethical, moral, personal, and professional conduct required of KCU students.
  • Not completing all required course work within six years of matriculation date.

Graduation Requirements

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

A student who has fulfilled all the academic requirements may be granted the doctor of osteopathic medicine degree provided the student:

  • Has been in residence at an AOA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine, the last two years of which must have been at KCU;
  • Has complied with all the curricular, legal and financial requirements of KCU;
  • Attends, in person, the ceremony at which time the degree is conferred (unless excused by the campus dean of COM);
  • Has passed Levels 1, 2-CE and 2-PE of the COMLEX examination administered by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners;
  • Has demonstrated the ethical, personal and professional qualities deemed necessary for the successful and continued study and practice of osteopathic medicine;
  • Has demonstrated suitability for the practice of osteopathic medicine as evidenced by the assumption of responsibility for patient care and integrity in the clinical activities;
  • Has received formal approval for graduation from the Faculty Senate and the Board of Trustees.

COM students must graduate within six years of the date of matriculation. Exceptions to the six-year policy will be considered by the campus dean of COM on an individual basis, taking into account only extenuating circumstances. Entrance and completion of medical school does not guarantee further career opportunities up to and including matching and/or placement in a residency training program.

Master of Arts in Bioethics

A student who has fulfilled all the academic requirements may be granted the Master of Arts in Bioethics:

  • Satisfactory completion (passing grades) of all required and elective courses, totaling 30 hours.
  • Completion of bioethics coursework within six years of matriculation.

After completion of 27 credit hours of the MA in Bioethics, three credit hours of Bioethics earned for the DO degree will be transferred to the MA degree and the three required credit hours for the DO degree will be waived. This will complete the requirement of 30 credit hours for the MA in Bioethics.

All records are reviewed to determine whether the student has fulfilled all academic requirements, has maintained the standards of ethical, moral, personal and professional conduct required of a recipient of masters of arts degree in bioethics.

Latin Honors

The criteria for graduating from COM with Latin honors are as follows:

  • Summa cum laude: Top 2 percent of class.
  • Magna cum laude: Next 5 percent of class (3 -7 percent).
  • Cum laude: Next 5 percent of class (8-12 percent).

Commencement Ceremony

Participation in the commencement ceremony is mandatory for all students who have fulfilled their degree requirements.


OMS-III & OMS-IV Curriculum & Policies

Clinical Education

Throughout the University’s history, strong and valued partnerships have been established with highly regarded physicians, clinics, and hospital systems across the nation. Annually, the Office of Clinical Education conducts a clerkship match process whereby each student is assigned to an affiliated core training site for third and fourth year.

All clerkships are supported by a presentation-based curriculum, which continues the students’ foundation built during the modified systems applications-based curriculum offered during the first two years of training at KCU.

Clinical Clerkships

Clinical clerkships are sometimes referred to as rotations, clinical experiences or externships, with a teaching physician who is referred to as a preceptor, attending or faculty. A clerkship may be two weeks, four weeks or one month of clinical responsibilities. Clerkships may involve inpatient, outpatient or a combination of these settings. At the conclusion of these experiences an evaluation of the student by the preceptor and an evaluation of the clerkship by the student is required. Students should familiarize themselves with the individual syllabi for each required clerkship.

Clinical Clerkship Coordinators

Clinical clerkship coordinators are the initial point of contact for all matters pertaining to clinical education. The coordinators are primarily available to assist students in navigating clerkship logistics. They are available to students preferably by email or by telephone during regular University business hours. Students may schedule an in-person meeting by appointment.

To protect students’ privacy, Clinical Education communicates information directly with the medical student, and therefore not to spouses, parents, etc.

Third-Year Curriculum

Students must be enrolled in clinical activities throughout the entire academic year.

Students are expected to adhere to each site’s unique scheduling protocols and procedures. Some sites require more than 40 hours per week and may include working holidays, overnights and/or weekends.

Third year clerkship schedules are set by the core site coordinator. Once set, no changes will be accepted.

Core Sites

A core site is a geographic location at which students are assigned for their third-year curriculum. The core site is the base from which all clerkships are assigned, approved and evaluated. Core site staff and faculty include a core site coordinator and a physician leader such as a Director of Medical Education (DME) or Regional Assistant Dean (RAD). The core site coordinator and the RAD will periodically meet with students to help interface between the student and the KCU clerkship coordinator. The core site personnel are responsible for assuring resources are available to deliver the curriculum at that site.

Selective Clerkships

Selective clerkships are clinical experiences completed in addition to the third-year core clerkships. The student may have some ability to choose from a list of available selective clerkships. The core site determines the selective clerkships available based on the resources at the core site. The core site personnel are responsible for the final decision for all third-year clerkships. Once a selective is confirmed, cancellations or changes are not permitted.

Selective clerkship opportunities are not allowed away from the core site during the third year. Exceptions to this policy may occur for students officially enrolled in military, global medicine or specialty honors tracks.

Emergency medicine selectives completed during the third year cannot fulfill the fourth-year EMED 401  Emergency Medicine requirement.

Fourth-Year Curriculum

Individual start and end dates for fourth-year vary by location. Students must be enrolled in clinical activities during the entire academic year through the last business day in April.

  • Emergency Medicine (EMED 401 ).
  • Osteopathic Principles & Practices (OPP 420 ).
  • Sub-Internships: Three full clerkships, no split blocks.
  • Electives.


Sub-internships (Sub-I) are clinical experiences designed to provide students with an opportunity to function at a level closer to that of an intern. Audition clerkships are designed to provide students with the opportunity to gain exposure to potential residency programs. At least three four-week or one-month sub-internship or audition clerkships must be scheduled and completed at a recognized residency training program. Splitting of these clerkships is not allowed. Additional sub-internships or audition clerkships may be completed as elective credits. Sub-internships or audition clerkships and up to three electives may be completed in the same sub-specialty without an appeal. Retroactive course changes are not allowed.


Elective clerkships are part of the fourth year. The student typically determines the schedule, time and/or location at which elective(s) may be completed. Up to three electives may be completed in the same area of sub-specialty and may be split into two-week increments. Retroactive course changes are not allowed.

Enrollment Verification

The Office of Clinical Education uses E*Value to manage evaluations, procedures, and schedules. E*Value is available to authorized users 24 hours a day from any device with internet access.

For every clerkship, students must verify and submit registration information through E*Value within five business days following the designated start date. If the enrollment verification is not completed on time, Clinical Education cannot confirm the student is actively enrolled. This may cause a disruption in your enrollment status with the University, which may put your financial aid or graduation status in jeopardy; while not enrolled as a student, you would not be covered under the KCU malpractice liability insurance coverage. It is imperative to submit accurate contact information for the attending physician filling out the assessment (e.g. address, phone, fax, email, etc.). If the preceptor is listed incorrectly, or is unknown, please provide accurate information in the space provided and complete an Unknown Preceptor Form located on the E*Value homepage.

Once submitted, changes must be made by Clinical Education and should be emailed to the assigned KCU clinical clerkship coordinator. When working with more than one physician on a clerkship, the student should email their assigned KCU clinical clerkship coordinator with all necessary information. Retroactive changes to a course code or requirement are not allowed.

Clerkship Credit

In order to receive credit for a clerkship and coverage under KCU’s medical professional liability insurance clinical experiences must be completed at a KCU affiliated site or with a KCU-credentialed preceptor.

For sites that are not already a KCU-affiliated site, an affiliation agreement or accepted letter of good standing must be in place prior to proposed clerkship start date. For sites that are not already a KCU-affiliated site, this process can take up to six-months and KCU cannot guarantee consensus will be reached with every facility or preceptor.

Application & Other Fees

KCU pays sites for all third- and fourth-year required clerkships and associated administrative fees. Students are responsible for all out-of-pocket expenses associated with clinical education, such as transportation, housing, meals, professional attire, laboratory fees, additional drug screens, additional background checks and additional immunizations or titers.

Some clerkships require students to pay additional fees in order to rotate at their facility.

Letters of Recommendation

Preceptors are required by the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) to upload letters directly to the ERAS Letter of Recommendation Portal (LoRP).

Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) may require a letter of recommendation for some clinical experiences. Letters must be sent to the KCU clinical clerkship coordinator. The coordinator will upload these letters to VSLO.


Travel arrangements are the sole responsibility of the student. Students are not considered agents or employees of the University and therefore are not insured for any accidents or mishaps that may occur during travel as a part of the student’s academic program. Some core clinical sites may require that assigned students have personal vehicles available.

Travel for Clinical Experiences

Students participating in the osteopathic medical curriculum are required to receive instruction in a clinical setting. As a result, it is necessary for students to make arrangements for transportation to and lodging near clinical facilities. The University does not provide for the cost of transportation or lodging.

Students are responsible for all out-of-pocket expenses associated with clinical education, such as transportation, housing, meals, professional attire, laboratory fees, etc.

Absence from Clerkships

Attendance at all clerkship related activities is mandatory; therefore, any absence requires an excuse and documentation. Students must attend the first day of any clerkship. Failure to notify Clinical Education and/or the clerkship site/preceptor of any clerkship absence, regardless of the reason or number of hours absent, may result in a meeting with the Associate Dean of Clinical Education regarding lack of professionalism and could result in a failing grade of the clerkship and/or referral to SPC.

An Absence Request Form and supporting documentation must be submitted directly to the KCU clinical clerkship coordinator. All submitted absence forms must include a detailed make-up plan in order for the absence to be considered. Only completed, signed forms are processed. Decisions rendered through this process are final. There are no exceptions to this policy and failure to follow the process will be considered an unexcused absence. The KCU clinical clerkship coordinator notifies the student via email when a decision has been reached. The Absence Request Forms can be found on myKCU.

Scheduled absences are not and should not be considered approved until the official Absence Request Form is signed by the Associate Dean of Clinical Education.

Absence Request Forms must be completed and submitted to the KCU clinical clerkship coordinator for all of the following:

  • COMLEX 2-PE Exam: Students are allowed one day for travel to the exam, one day for the test day, and one day for return travel. Students will be required to enter their COMLEX Level 2-PE exam date in E*Value.
  • Discretionary Days: Students are allowed five discretionary days during the third year. Discretionary days must be approved by both the preceptor and Clinical Education in writing prior to the requested time off. Students may combine no more than two conseutive days at a time.
  • Sick Days: Students will be allowed two sick days annually. If more than two sick days total are taken by a student, this may result in referral to the Associate Dean of Clinical Education.
    • Students must contact their clinical site/preceptor as well as the site coordinator and the KCU clinical clerkship coordinator immediately if they are missing any clinical time due to illness (leaving early, arriving late, or missing a full day).
    • If 2-4 hours of clinic time is missed, a half-day will be documented. More than four hours of missed clinic time is equivalent to a full day of sick leave.
    • If an absence of greater than one working day is necessary due to illness, that time must be made up. Arrangements for missed time will be coordinated with the clinical site/preceptor as well as the site coordinator, and/or the KCU clinical clerkship coordinator.
    • If the student is absent from a single clerkship for two or more days due to illness, the student is required to submit to Clinical Education a note from a licensed health care provider defining the number of days absent and the expected date of return.
  • Family Emergencies/Death in Family: Due to the variability of circumstances, time off needed for family emergencies or death of a family member will be reviewed by Clinical Education on a case-by-case basis.
  • Flex-Time: Flex-Time is defined as the time during the fourth year when a student is not on clerkship (clinical rotation). Often, flextime is used to fill in the gap between the end date of one clerkship and the start date of the next clerkship. Flex-time can also be used for a variety of other purposes such as non-credit academic study, attending educational seminars or conferences, educational presentations such as posters or research, etc. Flex-time may not be used to take additional clinical clerkships.
    • Each student is allotted 25 weekdays of flex-time during their fourth year clerkships. Students may combine no more than two consecutive weeks of flex-time. Weekend days (Saturday and Sunday) do not count towards flex-time.
    • Students wishing to schedule flex-time must submit a request in E*Value. The KCU clinical clerkship coordinator will approve or deny all flex-time. If flex-time is approved, it will reflect on the student’s schedule. Flex-time cannot be used during a clerkship or to shorten a clerkship.
    • Flex-time expires after March 31st. Students must be continuously enrolled through the last business day in April.
    • The following may result in loss of flex-time privileges. Failure to:
      • Communicate with KCU Clinical Clerkship Coordinator
      • Enter clerkships into E*Value 90 days in advance, followed by complete preceptor information within two weeks of the start of clerkship.
      • Comply with requests for information from the KCU clinical clerkship coordinator.
      • Submit required flex-time request in E*Value in a timely manner.
  • Time off for Residency Interviews: Students requiring time away from clerkships for interviewing will be granted four interview days during any four-week clerkship. Interview season typically extends from August to the end of January of the fourth year. Students are required to adhere to the following guidelines.
    • Students must attend the first day of a clerkship.
    • Students may request no more than four interview days during any four-week clerkship, and no more than two interview days over any two-week clerkship. This includes partial day absences of greater than four hours.
    • Students are required to formulate a makeup plan with their preceptor and submit with an Absence Request form.
    • All requests for time off must include a completed, signed Absence Request form, a copy of the residency interview invitation, make-up plan and supporting documentation. Requests are to be submitted directly to the KCU clinical clerkship coordinator.
    • Requests for more than four days require a formal appeal witha detailed make-up plan submitted directly to the KCU clinical clerkship coordinator.
    • Permission for an absence must be cleared, in advance, with the following:
      • KCU Office of Clinical Education
      • Clinical site/preceptor to whom the student is assigned
    • Flex-time days may also be used to help accomplish residency interviews if necessary.
    • Failure to adhere to the time off policy or to notify both Clinical Education and the clerkship site/preceptor of any absence from a clerkship, regardless of the reason or number of hours absent, may result in a meeting with the Associate Dean of Clinical Education regarding lack of professionalism. This could result in a failing grade for a clerkship, referral to the SPC, or loss of flex-time privileges.

Canceling/Changing a Fourth-Year Clerkship

It may be necessary to cancel or change a fourth-year clerkship; however, retroactive changes to a course code or requirement are not allowed.  (Cancelling or changing a third-year clerkship is not allowed.) Cancellation/change requests must be received, at a minimum, 60 days prior to the confirmed start date. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and approval is not guaranteed. Students are required to attend the scheduled clerkship if requests to change or cancel are received after the deadline, or denied. For consideration, requests should include the following:

  • A cancellation/change request must be submitted in writing to the KCU clinical clerkship coordinator.
  • A Scheduling Request for an alternative clerkship must be submitted for review via E*Value.


Research being conducted on or off campus requires written approval from the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs (ORSP) as well as CE prior to starting the project. Questions regarding whether or not a project is considered research should be directed to ORSP. Students should contact their KCU clinical clerkship coordinator for information.

Graduation Requirements

Each student must successfully complete and receive credit for all clerkships to qualify for graduation. This is in addition to meeting other graduation requirements as set forth under Graduation Requirements.


To pass each clerkship, students must pass the Preceptor Evaluation of Student Performance and any applicable End of Clerkship Exam. Students must also complete an End of Clerkship Reflection. Grades will not be assigned until the End of Clerkship Reflection is completed.

Clinical Competency Assessment

Preceptors complete a Clinical Competency Assessment at the end of clerkship. The purpose is to provide feedback to guide both clinical and professional development. The preceptor documents performance of expected competencies as compared to other students at the same educational level. Assessments submitted by interns or residents must be cosigned by an attending physician or the DME.

If a student works with more than one attending, more than one assessment will be accepted. Paper copies may be returned by the student directly to Clinical Education or their KCU clinical clerkship coordinator.

The University recommends that students request an informal mid-clerkship assessment to allow the student to determine whether there is consistency between the preceptor’s and student’s performance perceptions. In addition, should a student be experiencing difficulty on a clerkship, a mid-clerkship assessment allows time for improvement prior to the end of the experience. This may help avoid surprises at the end of a clerkship and allows the student to proactively address any problems.

Preceptor approaches vary widely in providing students with feedback on performance. Preceptors may or may not review their assessment with the student; it is appropriate for the student to request such a review prior to completion of the clerkship. If the preceptor is not available to review the assessment with the student and the student has questions or concerns, the student should contact their KCU clinical clerkship coordinator to discuss the most constructive way to obtain the desired feedback.

At no time is it appropriate for a student to request a preceptor to change a rating, revise comments or challenge a preceptor regarding an assessment. If significant performance issues arise, an appropriate University official will notify the student. Students failing to maintain the utmost level of professionalism in dealing with any part of the assessment process may be referred to the appropriate University official.

Mid-Rotation Feedback

The Mid-Rotation Feedback form is designed to alert the student and preceptor to issues which can be addressed during the remainder of the clerkship. While this is not a graded or required form, students are encouraged to use this tool and seek informative feedback from the preceptor.

End of Clerkship Exam

Students are required to pass the NBOME Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Achievement Test (COMAT) exam (End of Clerkship Exam) upon completion of each core discipline:

  • Emergency medicine
  • Family medicine
  • Internal medicine
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry/behavioral health
  • Surgery
  • Osteopathic Principles & Practice (OPP).

Students are expected to study for these exams with similar rigor as all other high-stakes examinations and are required to utilize the course syllabi located in Canvas as a guide. A student is only allowed to retake a COMAT exam to achieve a passing score.

Students may be awarded Honors (H) for excellent performance on a End of Clerkship Exam. Passing (P) and Honors (H) are benchmarked against the NBOME academic-year norms for all students in that discipline.

Exams will be given at University designated locations. For examinations taken at a Prometric testing center, a voucher will be issued and students will be responsible for scheduling a testing date and time within a designated testing window. All exams must be taken once scheduled.

End of Clerkship Exam scores and Examinee Performance Profiles (EPP) will be available to students on KCU 360.

Example of how grades will show on transcript:

Clinical Clerkship Grade
Pediatrics P
Family Medicine F/P
Internal Medicine H

Grading for IMED 301/302 and SURG 301/302

The final grades in the sequential 301/302 courses are dependent on the score earned on the End of Clerkship Exam. A grade for the 301 course will be assigned based on evaluations alone and is subject to change based on the outcome of the End of Clerkship exam. A student may sit for this exam only after the 302 course has been completed. If the student subsequently earns Honors on the exam, the 301 grade will be updated to reflect H for both 301 and 302. If the student subsequently fails the 302 course, the 301 grade will be updated to reflect F for both 301 and 302.

End of Clerkship Reflection (ECR)

Students are responsible for completing End of Clerkship Reflections through E*Value at the end of every clinical experience to include:

  • Evaluation of self and the clerkship
  • Evaluation of the preceptor

End of Clerkship Exam Failure

Students may be allowed to remediate one End of Clerkship Exam without it being considered a failed clerkship. The highest End of Clerkship Exam score and clerkship grade that can be achieved after remediation is Pass.

First failure:

  • Student receives failure notification from Director of Clinical Education Operations
  • Student meets with the associate dean for CE
  • Student contacts KCU clinical clerkship coordinator to reschedule exam
  • Honors track students may be removed from the assigned track

All subsequent failures:

  • Student may be referred to Student Progress Committee (COM-SPC) where the student will be required to present their case.
  • COM-SPC evaluates and makes a decision which could include, but is not limited to remediation, repeating the academic year, or possible dismissal.


The Osteopathic Principles and Practices (OPP) COMAT is a prerequisite before taking COMLEX Level 2 examinations and will be administered during OPP 321   Osteopathic Principles & Practice II. Third-year students must pass the OPP COMAT during the the second semester of the third year. Exact exam dates will be set by the individual core clerkship sites. If a grade of Honors (H) is achieved, this will be noted in the student’s Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), but not on the transcript.

Clinical Skills Assessment

The Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) is a curricular experience designed to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate the clinical skills they have accumulated through the OMS-III year. Online asynchronous learning, as well as a standardized patient encounter-based Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) session for assessment will provide a broad range of patient care presentations. This course is pass/fail. Students may not take the COMLEX Level 2-PE until the CSA is successfully completed.

Students will be required to travel to KCU-Kansas City, KCU-Joplin, or a partnering osteopathic institution across the country in order to complete the assessment.

Osteopathic Principles & Practice

Osteopathic Principles & Practice (OPP) is a required longitudinal three-semester online and hands-on course that runs during the third and fourth years of osteopathic medical school. The course focuses on the integration of OPP, including osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), into problem solving and patient care. The clinical conditions covered each semester will be based on the top diagnoses coded nationally for each covered organ system or specialty.

Optional Subject Exams

An optional, non-required NBME subject exam may be taken in either Emergency Medicine or Neurology at a cost to the student. These exams must be scheduled at a Prometric testing center and cost approximately $100. Students should contact their KCU clinical clerkship coordinator a minimum of 60 days in advance to make arrangements and remit payment. The exam is not scheduled until payment is received by the Office of Finace at KCU. Scores for these exams are not reflected on the transcript, but may be included in the student’s MSPE.


The student will be notified of a poor assessment by their KCU clinical clerkship coordinator. All deficiencies or concerning comments are reviewed and the student will be asked to provide feedback. Deficiencies relating to poor preceptor evaluations, professionalism or other concerns deemed necessary can be referred to the appropriate University official. Additional assessments submitted following official review will be accepted but may not impact the outcome.

Subsequent to the review process, any student identified as having failed a clerkship may be required to meet with the COM-SPC. Final disposition of the assessment in question is pending completion of this process.

*At any time and for any reason, KCU reserves the right to require additional methods for assessing students. Students may be required to return to the KCU campus for a formal review.

COMLEX Level 2-CE & 2-PE

COMLEX examination applications are available online at Students are eligible to sit for the following exams after successful completion of all third-year core clerkships and Clinical Management Review:

  • Students must register for COMLEX Level 2-CE and Level 2-PE by Feb. 15.
  • COMLEX Level 2-CE must be taken during the assigned Clinical Management Review or within 30 days of its completion.
  • COMLEX Level 2-PE must be taken after April 1 and before August 31 of the fourth year.
    • Students must successfully complete the Clinical Skills Assessment prior to taking COMLEX Level 2-PE.

In the case of an initial failure, students must retake the COMLEX Level 2-PE or Level 2-CE no later than December 31st of the fourth year in order to be eligible to graduate.

Students requesting permission to take these exams outside the required dates must be directed by or have authorization from the associate dean.

Students who do not adhere to the above are referred to an appropriate University official.


Physical Examinations

During clinical clerkships, students are routinely required to see and examine patients. It is necessary that all examinations of patients be appropriately structured, supervised and consented in the interests of all parties, including the patient, student and attending physician.

Students must wear their KCU picture identification badge and introduce themselves to patients as a medical student. Patient consent for a student to perform an intimate examination must always be voluntary. Consent for an intimate examination must be either verbal and/or written.

Regardless of the gender of the student performing the exam and the patient being examined, a chaperone (defined as another medical professional, preferably the preceptor) is required during all intimate examinations. A chaperone is not an accompanying person (e.g., friend, relative of the patient, another medical student). Students are highly encouraged to record the date, time and the results of the examination as well as the name of the chaperone in the medical record.

Performing Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine & Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment

Students may perform their learned manual skills for diagnosis and therapy on patients while on any clerkship, provided the preceptor (or other supervising physician) has given their permission and provides direct supervision at all times.

Professional Conduct

Students are expected to present and conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. KCU’s expectations include, but are not limited to:

  • Adherence to all policies, procedures, professional behavior, and attitude.
  • Exemplary interpersonal relationships with peers, faculty, staff, and the general public.
  • The ability to work effectively as part of the academic community and/or health care team.

Reporting Clerkship Issues

At times, concerns or issues may arise during a clerkship. General concerns should be addressed directly to the preceptor, core site coordinator, director of medical education or KCU regional assistant dean, when appropriate. The utmost degree of professionalism is encouraged when discussing these concerns. If an effective resolution cannot be reached, or if the student is not comfortable addressing the issue themselves, the student should contact his/her KCU clinical clerkship coordinator.

Immediate concerns (harassment, patient safety, etc.) should be reported directly to CE.

Student Identification

While performing duties related to patient care, all students must clearly identify themselves as a medical student both verbally and by wearing their KCU picture identification badge in addition to any hospital issued identification. Misrepresentation of oneself as a licensed physician is illegal, unethical and subject to disciplinary action. Should the KCU identification badge become lost or broken, the student should contact KCU Safety & Emergency Management (SEM) immediately to order a free replacement.

The AOA recommends all KCU medical students refer to themselves as “Osteopathic Medical Students” (OMS) followed by the academic level in Roman numeral form. Students should use this title when completing written communication such as email, letters, and/or official social media communication. Students should make every effort to follow the recommendation of the AOA. Communication should look like the following: OMS-I, OMS-II, OMS-III, OMS-IV.

Dress Code for Clinical Activities

On clinical rotations, students must wear professional attire. White coats are required. Male students should wear collared shirts with ties. Female students should wear dresses, slacks or skirts with dress shirts. Closed-toed shoes are required. Training sites may designate other prescribed clothing such as scrubs and/or comfortable shoes. Students may be asked to change their appearance to conform to the dress code of preceptors as well as clerkship sites. A professional appearance mandates the conservative use of jewelry, hair color and clothing selection. Any clothing, hair color, tattoos, jewelry or body piercing that may cause a concern with affiliated faculty, hospitals, or patients must be covered or avoided.

Student identification badges should be worn above the waist and  made clearly viewable at all times. ID badges must be presented when requested by any member of KCU administration, staff or faculty. Badges are not transferable and must be returned to the SEM upon termination of student status. Badges are issued to first-year students free of charge during orientation week. Students are expected to keep their ID badges during their entire educational career at KCU. For all lost, stolen or misplaced ID badges/access cards, students can receive a free replacement at the SEM dispatch desk.

Didactic Conferences & Reading Assignments

While the focus of the clinical years is hands-on experience, didactic conferences and reading assignments are often provided as an aide to this learning process. Completion of reading assignments and attendance at didactic conferences scheduled by KCU, the regional assistant deans, directors of medical education, the core site hospital, clerkship service or preceptor is required without exception.

Duty Hours

Scheduling is determined solely at the discretion of the core site hospital, service, or preceptor, and must be followed without exception. Responsibilities may be required on overnights, weekends or holidays. Laws mandating restrictions on intern and resident work hours do not apply to medical students.

Students generally follow the same schedule as their preceptor; however, if the preceptor is on vacation or scheduled away from the office or hospital, additional arrangements must be made for completion of the clerkship. If this occurs, the student must contact the KCU clinical clerkship coordinator immediately. Students must be enrolled in clinical activities throughout the entire academic year up to graduation. Unreported absences or chronic absenteeism may lead to referral to an appropriate University official.


Students are strongly discouraged from seeking employment during the academic year. Curriculum requirements preclude employment. The University reserves the right to preclude employment should it be deemed to adversely affect the student’s academic progress.

Medical Ethics

All medical students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner demonstrating an awareness and compliance with the ethical, moral and legal values of the osteopathic medical profession. In observing the principles and practices of medical ethics, students will:

  • Place primary concern on the patient’s best interests.
  • Be available to patients at all reasonable times as expected by the preceptor/core site.
  • Perform medical activities only within the limitations of a medical student’s capabilities and within the guidelines determined by the site and/or preceptor.
  • Strictly maintain patient and institutional confidentiality.

Safety & Compliance

Hospital Rules & Regulations/Financial Responsibilities

Each hospital/health care system has individual rules and regulations. Medical students must familiarize themselves with and adhere to these protocols during training. Students must respect and follow all policies regarding the use of hospital facilities, housing and equipment.

Students are financially responsible for any damage to or loss of hospital or training site-related property, including but not limited to library materials, pagers and keys. Final grades may be withheld pending return of all hospital or training site property.

Emergency Plan Procedures

Students who are on rotations should follow the emergency procedures and protocols at their specific clinical site at all time. In the event that a rotation schedule is interrupted due to hazardous weather conditions or another emergency situation, students should notify CE as soon as possible.

In the case of inclement weather, students on clerkships are expected to follow the schedule of the site where they are rotating. If the site is closing due to inclement weather, the student is excused until the site reopens. If the student is at a site that remains open during inclement weather, the student is to report and remain on-service until the end of his/her shift. Students should use caution and allow plenty of time for travel to their destination.

In the case of an emergent situation outside normal business hours that requires you to evacuate the location, relocate for a period of time, or any other emergency, please contact the KCU Safety & Emergency Management office at 816.654.7911.

KCU Exposure Policy

If a KCU medical student is exposed to bloodborne pathogens either by direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids via the eyes, mucous membranes, human bite, or sharps (e.g., needle stick, lancet stick, scalpel cut) while on a clerkship, it is to be handled as an emergency situation.

In the event of an exposure, students are to follow site procedures.


Immediately wash exposed region with soap and water for five minutes. If the exposure occurred in the eyes, nose or mouth, use copious amounts of water to irrigate the mucus membranes. Students should know where stations to irrigate eyes are located.


Let the preceptor, DME, core site coordinator and Clinical Education know about the exposure as soon as possible. Students should ask for the following information:

  • Patient information (name, date of birth, medical record number, address, phone number) and any prior testing for HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, RPR, or other risk factors.
  • If patient is known to be HIV positive, obtain information on CD4 count, history and current opportunistic infections, prior and current regimen and resistance.
  • Baseline labs for student and patient (e.g., HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C).
    • If he/she is not able to do lab work, present to the closest emergency room.


If the patient is HIV positive, or if his/her HIV status is unknown, begin post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) with a multidrug regimen within a few hours of the exposure. Students should not delay in seeking care. If unable to obtain a prescription for medication from the preceptor, students should go to the nearest emergency room for a prescription.

Students can visit the Clinician Consultation Center for additional PEP guidelines.

Post-Exposure Protocol:

  • Immediately wash exposed areas with soap and water.
  • If splashed in eyes or mouth, flush with large amounts of water.
  • It is critical that students be treated within the first two hours after injury.
  • Notify supervisor and follow clerkship site exposure protocols.
  • If facility is not equipped to handle exposure, contact an occupational health clinic, appropriate site location, or go to the nearest emergency department with your current health insurance information.
  • Notify Clinical Education of any care received.


Students who were exposed to a blood borne pathogen, bodily fluids, or needle sticks will receive counseling and instructions for follow-up from Clinical Education. Student should contact CE within 24 hours of the incident vis email,, or phone 816.654.7330. The student should send a copy of the incident report to CE.

Health Insurance

All students are required to maintain personal health insurance. Students must submit proof of current coverage to CE before beginning clinical training. Students are required to immediately report any break in coverage or change in health insurance to CE, emailing an electronic copy of the front and back of the new insurance card to

A student who cannot provide documentation of current personal health insurance coverage, in accordance with University requirements, will not be allowed to begin or continue with clinical training.

Also see Student Supplemental Medical Insurance Policy .

Vaccinations & Immunizations

A student who cannot provide an official up-to-date immunization record, in accordance with University requirements, will not be allowed to begin or continue with clinical training and will be referred to the appropriate University official for disciplinary action.

Background Checks & Drug Screens

Prior to beginning third- and fourth-year clinical clerkships, all KCU students are required to complete a criminal background check and a 15-panel drug screen performed at their own expense.

The background check is to be performed by a certifying organization retained by KCU. The background check is to satisfy federal, state and individual hospital requirements for students participating in clinical activities involving patient care. Any criminal activity occurring prior to or after matriculation must be immediately reported to the vice provost for Enrollment and Student Services. Unreported information may result in disciplinary action to potentially include dismissal.

Some clerkship sites (core or otherwise) require additional checks and/or drug screens. The student is responsible to initiate those requests and remunerate any related fees.

Note: Discovery following admission or matriculation of intentional misrepresentation or omission of any information used in the application process or omission of information relative to scholastic records or test records will subject the student to disciplinary action, including rescinded admission, probation, suspension, or dismissal. Matriculation will be denied to applicants who have failed to maintain a good record of scholastic performance and/or personal conduct between the time of their acceptance and matriculation at the University. The University reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant for any reason the University deems sufficient.

HIPAA Regulations & Patient Encounters

All students are required to become familiar with and adhere to all aspects of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, Public Law 104-191 including The Privacy Rule published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Privacy Rule establishes, for the first time, a foundation of federal protections for the privacy of Protected Health Information (PHI). This rule sets national standards for the protection of health information, as applied to the three types of covered entities: health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers who conduct certain health care transactions electronically. By the compliance date of April 14, 2003 (April 14, 2004, for small health plans), covered entities must implement standards to protect and guard against the misuse of individually identifiable health information. More specific information may be obtained at

As a medical student, these standards pertain to all individually identifiable health information PHI encountered during medical training with the University including, but not limited to, medical records and any patient information obtained.

HIPAA regulations prohibit the use or disclosure of PHI unless permitted or required by law; therefore, each student must utilize reasonable safeguards to protect any information he/she receives. Each student is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of any written or electronic information he or she receives, creates or maintains. The misplacement, abandonment or loss of any information in the student’s possession will result in disciplinary action. At no time should a medical student alter, remove or otherwise tamper with medical records. Specific rules and regulations with respect to student entries in medical records must be clarified during orientation or on the first day of the clerkship.

Furthermore, each student is responsible for ensuring that PHI is used or disclosed only to those persons or entities that are authorized to have such information. Students are expected to maintain strict confidentiality in their patient encounters; to protect the physician-patient privilege; and to ensure that there are no unauthorized uses or disclosures of PHI.

Any unauthorized use or disclosure of PHI including but not limited to digital images, video recordings, or any other patient related materials, committed by a student, or any observation of the same by a student or employee, should immediately be reported to CE.

Medical Professional Liability Insurance

KCU provides medical professional liability insurance commensurate with industry standards. Coverage extends only to clinical activities specifically determined by the University as requirements for successful clerkship completion. Nonclinical claims, (e.g. property or equipment loss or damage) does not fall underneath this policy. Changes made to clerkship dates, type and/or location without prior CE approval can jeopardize coverage.

Students may wish to participate in volunteer activities such as health fairs during the course of their medical training. Student professional liability coverage does not extend to non-KCU approved activities (volunteer or otherwise). It is the student’s responsibility to personally determine that any activity in which he/she participates outside of clerkship assignments is covered by alternative coverage. The student is personally responsible should an issue of medical liability arise during activities not covered by KCU professional liability insurance.

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

Medical students are not employees of the University; therefore, KCU does not provide worker’s compensation insurance. The purchase of required coverage may be offered at the facility. Any expense incurred is the student’s responsibility.


Students are expected to:

  • Use KCU email account for all KCU-related correspondence. Use of personal email accounts on behalf of KCU email is not permitted.
  • Check email daily, routinely read and respond.
    • Respond to Clinical Education correspondence within 48 hours of receipt.
    • Recurrent issues may lead to referral to an appropriate University official.
  • Be aware of all information disseminated by the University.
  • Comply with all University policies.
  • Keep contact information, including mailing address and telephone numbers updated in KCU 360.
  • Contact the IT Helpdesk when experiencing problems with email.
  • Contact their KCU clinical education coordinator or when experiencing problems with E*Value.
  • Comply with privacy policies such as FERPA, HIPAA, etc.

Additional Information

Please refer to other sections of the catalog and handbook for more information:

Fellowship Opportunities

OMM Fellowship

The OMM Fellowship program is designed to facilitate the development of future osteopathic physicians skilled in osteopathic philosophy, principles, and manipulative diagnostic and treatment skills. The fellowship also helps to encourage the development of future teachers and researchers in the field of OMM.

Clinical Anatomy Fellowship

The KCU Clinical Anatomy Fellowship provides training in teaching, advanced anatomical topics and research methodology. It also provides an advantage in clinical clerkships by equipping the student with high-level competency in clinical anatomy and the anatomical sciences as more broadly defined.