Editorial  |   March 2019
Building on WVSOM's Mission of Education and Scholarly Activity
Author Notes
  • From the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg. 
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Jandy B. Hanna, PhD, MSB, Associate Dean, Research and Sponsored Programs, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, 400 Lee St N, Lewisburg, WV 24901-1275. Email:
Article Information
Evidence-Based Medicine / Imaging / Medical Education / Neuromusculoskeletal Disorders / Obstetrics and Gynecology / Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment / Pain Management/Palliative Care / Preventive Medicine / Professional Issues / Graduate Medical Education / Curriculum / OMT in the Laboratory
Editorial   |   March 2019
Building on WVSOM's Mission of Education and Scholarly Activity
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, March 2019, Vol. 119, 145-146. doi:
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, March 2019, Vol. 119, 145-146. doi:
The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) is a stand-alone osteopathic medical school in a rural area. As stated on the school's website, 

The mission of [WVSOM] is to educate students from diverse backgrounds as lifelong learners in osteopathic medicine and complementary health related programs; to support and develop graduate medical education training; to advance scientific knowledge through academic, clinical and basic science research; and to promote patient-centered, evidence based medicine. WVSOM is dedicated to serve, first and foremost, the state of West Virginia and the health care needs of its residents, emphasizing primary care in rural areas.1

Students are encouraged to be involved in research and scholarly activity projects, preparing them to think critically, work with and educate future patients, and practice self-directed learning. Our contributions to the Engage Initiative2 in the March issue of The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association highlight WVSOM's mission of education and scholarly activity. 
Two clinical research studies illustrate lifelong learning through clinical inquiry. The study by Komar et al3 was undertaken to examine alternative osteoporosis screening options for health care providers. The findings demonstrate good correlation between bone mineral density determination using heel ultrasonography and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry but no correlation with vitamin D concentrations. The affordability and mobility of an ultrasonography machine could potentially improve identification of those at risk for osteoporosis. 
The second clinical study, by Basha et al,4 reveals that self-reported ratings of genital pain were higher in patients with provoked localized vulvodynia. Cold pain thresholds were 2 times lower in these women when compared with women without this condition. In addition, peripheral pain thresholds were reduced. These findings suggest that central sensitization contributes to chronic vulvar pain and highlight the significant impact of provoked localized vulvodynia on patients’ quality of life. 
Three articles highlight the educational initiatives at WVSOM. Linsenmeyer and Ridpath5 highlight the importance of engaging students in the educational process. This study provides data on real-time student feedback on curricular improvements that provide a greater sense of student involvement and ownership. In addition to student involvement in curricular assessment, this article5 includes 5 student authors, providing a venue for education on the scholarly activity and quality improvement processes. 
Patient education is a critical skill for physicians. Hamrick et al6 describe a pharmacology enrichment program for high school students taught by medical students. The program is intended to increase awareness of pharmacology, osteopathic medicine, and scientific research among rural high school students and to provide first-year osteopathic medical students with teaching and presentation skills that may prepare them to educate future patients. Four of the authors were students at the time of submission. 
To be able to educate patients, physicians must possess excellent self-directed learning skills. Students who wanted further training in ultrasonography outside the regular curriculum designed 4 peer-instructed extracurricular ultrasonography sessions. This quality improvement study by Goodcoff et al,7 which includes 3 student authors, highlights how WVSOM's students are engaged in the learning process and interested in persistent improvement in educational activities. 
The scholarly activity program at WVSOM is strong, and the school's success in encouraging students to participate in research projects alongside faculty is demonstrated in the authorship of several of the studies in this issue of The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. The importance of learning how to conduct research is more important than ever as osteopathic medical students prepare their applications to residency programs. We appreciate the opportunity to show readers how WVSOM integrates scholarly activity in the educational process. 
More than a mission statement. West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine website. Accessed February 4, 2019.
Orenstein R. Engage initiative: showcasing osteopathic scholarly activity. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2016;116(5):276-277. doi: 0.7556/jaoa.2016.054 [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Komar C, Ahmed M, Chen A, et al.   Advancing methods of assessing bone quality to expand screening for osteoporosis. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2019;119(3):147-154. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2019.025
Basha ME, Kellogg-Spadt S, Burrows LJ, et al.   Thermal and mechanical pain thresholds of women with provoked localized vulvodynia: a pilot study. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2019;119(3):164-172. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2019.027
Linsenmeyer M, Ridpath L. Nelson-Denny Reading Test scores as a predictor of student success in osteopathic medical education. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2019;119(3):189-197. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2019.030
Hamrick L, Harter S, Fox C, Dhir M, Carrier RL. “Just Say Know to Drugs!” A high school pharmacology enrichment program for a rural population. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2019;119(3):199-207. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2019.031
Goodcoff A, Keane D, Bialczak A, Ziner E, Hanna JB. Point of care ultrasound integration in undergraduate medical education: a student-driven approach. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2019;119(3):e11-e16. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2019.033