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How to Apply

  • ERAS: 2755100002

How to Apply

Welcome from our Program Director

Welcome to the VCOM-Virginia’s Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine Residency!

We offer a one-year, “fellowship-like” concentration in osteopathic principles and practice that will allow any ACGME graduating resident from any specialty to focus and develop their osteopathic skills based on the roots of our professional teachings.

Mission Statement

The LewisGale Hospital Montgomery Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine Residency Program’s mission is to develop the next generation of physicians and physician leaders. As a part of HCA Healthcare, we are driven by a single mission: Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life.

This program is designed to offer residents a rewarding, educational environment where residents are provided individualized learning opportunities by faculty and staff who support and sustain one another throughout quality care delivery. Our faculty are committed to ensuring the residents' clinical experience and educational needs are fulfilled while expanding residents’ perspectives to be inclusive of cultures, values, and ideals.

Program Overview

The goal of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)/LewisGale Hospital Montgomery (LGHM) GME Consortium’s Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (ONMM) Residency Program is to provide residents with training in the development of osteopathic clinical competencies for practice in both the inpatient and outpatient settings as competent, proficient and professional ONMM specialist physicians.

We are a fully accredited, ACGME ONMM3 Residency program. We were previously an NMM-OMM “plus one” program under the American Osteopathic Association.

Our program is a one-year program that can be completed after finishing any other ACGME-approved residency program. The NMM-OMM specialist (current terminology for board certification once completing an ONMM residency) or ONMM specialist is a subspecialty in the medical profession.

In addition, the residency program will foster academic teaching and research growth towards the development of future physicians who can competently serve as program directors and/or researchers. Residents are strongly encouraged to do original research, either as the lead or in combination with current OMM faculty projects.

Get to Know the Team

Albert J Kozar, DO
Program Director

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Program Details

Other highlights of the program include:

  • Emphasis on teaching traditional osteopathy and history
  • Emphasis on palpatory skill development & osteopathic principles first, then core skills in all OMT techniques
  • Emphasis on developing teaching and research skills, with robust support financially and logistically
  • Diverse ONMM faculty with active outpatient clinical practices
  • Strong emphasis and robust patient numbers in sports medicine, pediatrics including infants, geriatrics, and all-around patient care.
  • AOBNMM approved, 40-hour Basic Cranial Course provided annually on by Anthony Chila, DO, with a unique emphasis on connective tissue continuity as originally presented by A.T. Still and William G. Sutherland
  • Supplemental residency-sponsored OMM courses, usually two to three per year. Recent examples include:
    • Steven Blood, DO – Cranial Technique
    • Ed Stiles, DO – AGR of body and cranium
    • Richard Schuster, DO – Teachings of Carl McConnell, DO
    • Hollis King, DO, PhD – OMT for Systemic Disorders and Physiological Functions
  • 120-plus hours of hands-on MSK Ultrasound curriculum (diagnostic and therapeutic injection guidance) to prepare for R-MSK certification
  • Hands-on regenerative medicine exposure
  • Hands-on medical acupuncture exposure
  • Functional rehabilitation of chronic neuromuscular imbalance

Residents are also required to present nationally at the American Academy of Osteopathy Convention in March, as well as VCOM research day. In addition, they attend the annual VCOM research retreat.

VCOM provides mentoring and financial support at all levels for the resident to help them become effective physician leaders and teachers in osteopathic principles and practice who understand how to formulate and implement research projects in the field of ONMM.

Curriculum and Rotation Schedule

Our program’s goal is for the resident to have a complete, broad-based musculoskeletal training experience. As such, our program tries to ensure that each resident has had a chance to spend at least one month in all musculoskeletal-related rotations at some point in their post-graduate training.

Therefore, we consider each rotation to be a core rotation.

However, for the ONMM3 candidates, the program director will meet with each candidate at the beginning of their training and consider their prior musculoskeletal-related rotations before completing their final schedule of core electives to be sure that all requirements are satisfied.

That is, incoming residents that have completed these rotations in the past will have the option to repeat these rotations or spend more time in OMM continuity clinic or with core OMM faculty.

Conference Schedule

The OMM Department is committed to providing the complete spectrum of medical education for the resident doctor in training.

Four hours of each week are protected for didactic and clinical education to round out the residents’ training experience.

Our in-house rotations, combined with up-to-date continuing medical education programs are designed to provide the physician in training maximum exposure to real-world challenges in musculoskeletal medicine.

Activities include:

  • Weekly anatomy review
  • Weekly OMM book club
  • Regularly recurring journal club
  • Monthly MSK Radiology rounds
  • Optional sports medicine didactic and journal club series
  • Weekly palpation exploration and palpation skill enhancement
  • Historical osteopathic philosophy document review
  • Historical hands-on osteopathic technique review
  • Hands-on osteopathic technique review to cover the basics of approach and technique of all osteopathic treatment techniques
  • Hands-on diagnostic and cadaver lab ultrasound-guided injection practice (120-plus hours per year)

Frequently Asked Questions about our Gastroenterology Residency Program

There are no specific required rotations prior to entry. However, the ONMM3 resident benefits from the ability to count musculoskeletal (MSK) rotations performed during your primary residency towards the required rotations during the ONMM3 year. The more of these completed during your primary residency, will generally allow for significantly more flexibility to customize the rotations during the ONMM3 year to your interests.

Additionally, to be a competitive applicant to our program, we highly recommend that you have completed several MSK rotations during training. Specifically seeking out providers that perform OMT on these rotations, rotating with NMM-OMM certified physicians, and attending AAO convocation along with other local, regional or national OMM workshops will improve your skills, knowledgebase and success at being chosen and completing the ONMM3 program.

ACGME dictates all required rotations and your previous experience contributes to this. So required Selective Rotations are chosen after reviewing with the incoming resident the rotations they completed in their PGY2 & PGY3 years of their primary residency. VCOM’s emphasis is to encourage all ONMM3 residents to do at least 1 rotation in all musculoskeletal disciplines at some in time in their training.

By the end of the ONMM3 year, at a minimum, you must have completed:

  1. Selective A (need 2): Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Podiatry, Sports Medicine, Occupational medicine
  2. Selective B (need 2): Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R), Neurology, Rheumatology
  3. Selective C (need 1): Pain Management, Radiology, MSK Radiology
  4. Hospital OMM consult service (need 2): we do these longitudinally

Outpatient Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (NMM), Primary Care Sports Medicine, Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Podiatry, PM&R, Neurology, Pain Management, MSK Radiology, Oncology/Hospice, Regenerative Medicine, Medical Acupuncture (with cert physician), Rehabilitation, and Academic. We do not currently have a Rheumatology rotation. Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Outpatient OBGYN are also available upon request, but do not count towards the required MSK rotations.

The schedule for next year would include the following:

  • 5-6 half days per week are on the monthly rotation (required under ACGME; if you have done enough MSK rotations during your primary residency, then 6 of your 12 rotations are MSK rotations, and up to 6 can be NMM rotations
  • 4 half days on OMM resident continuity clinic (1 in the evening at VSOM, 1 at local VA)
  • 1 evening every 2nd or 3rd week – longitudinal sports med / procedural rotation with Dr Kozar
  • 1 half-day of OMM didactic
  • 120 hours MSK US training (with 60% front-loaded in first few months)

Is the program and the work in the clinics for the ONMM3 specifically dedicated to working with them solely from an OMT specialty focus or is there any expectation to deliver primary care / family medicine for these patients?

ONMM is a MSK specialty. VSOM is a primary care based, osteopathic musculoskeletal specialty clinic. We do not provide primary care FM/IM/Pediatric services. However, we expect the resident to approach musculoskeletal pain from all MSK and medical discipline perspectives. You should know all your orthopedic exams, be able to workup/screen for rheumatologic issues, know your FM/IM workups for hormonal issues, understand the growth & development of infants, the issues associated with obstetrics and develop integrated treatment plans for more complex chronic pain patients. We do not view patients as only here solely for OMT. Patients should be worked up for their pain complaint from a primary care based, ONMM specialty perspective. It is most similar to PM&R or primary care sports medicine, but with obvious osteopathic, & OPP focus. We want you to be compete physicians.

We spend a lot of time on research training & development. VCOM fosters and invests a large amount of money on research development within their multi-school system. VCOM has a yearly research day and a yearly research retreat at each campus that ONMM residents participate in. VCOM provides 100s of thousands of dollars yearly in starter grants for beginning researchers.

There are several half days given for research during the first half of the year, ONMM residents will complete their CITI training either prior to matriculation or upon arrival. The program front loads research training, development and planning, so that posters can be presented by the 7th or 8th month of the program for VCOM Research DAY and to present at AAO convocation in March each year.

In our program we require the following:

  • Completion of CITI training modules, to make the resident eligible for IRB retrospective & prospective study submission
  • Completion of at least 1 retrospective or prospective clinical study. Many of the OMM and SM faculty have ongoing projects that the residents can participate in. Many residents have also chosen to do their own projects. There is the potential to continue and expand prior ONMM resident projects.
  • Submission of at least one OPP/OMM related poster to VCOM research day & a national convention (usually AAO).
  • Submission of a formal written paper (article review, case study, or paper on your research) for possible publication to a journal. Residents work with Dr Kozar to complete this in the second half of the year.

All ONMM residents take home call for 1 week periods, usually every 5-8 weeks total for the year (shared by ONMM residents and Sports Medicine fellows). You might get 5-6 actual calls all year. Just need to be available by phone. There is always an OMM or SM attending available for backup.

All ONMM residents for the first half-year will be on OMM hospital consult service daily, Monday thru Friday. No weekend and no major holiday. We average 0-4 inpatients per day. These are shared by the residents. Once numbers are good, we may rotate which week you do hospital. We see patients most time over the lunch hour or after the afternoon clinics.

Base rotations are all very local:

  • VCOM Sports and Osteopathic Medicine (VSOM) – OMM Resident Clinic, OMM rotations, Longitudinal SM rotation, PM&R, SM
  • LewisGale Montgomery Hospital is in Blacksburg, VA and only two miles from VSOM Clinic
  • The majority of the rotation sites are within the local area with a 10-20 min drive. The furthest normally being Roanoke, VA or Bluefield, WV, (40 min) for Pain Management (usually necessary), and elective rotations neurosurgery and podiatry.

Credentialing is completed through the VSOM Clinic. Residents are credentialed as residents in training for insurers. For your OMM resident clinic, you are the primary doctor in the EHR, that is, patients become part of your panel, but billing is thru the attending preceptor.

The school covers the malpractice insurance for the residents during the residency and tail coverage afterwards up to the required maximum levels by law for Virginia physicians. Providing tail coverage is required under ACGME. Carriers can vary from year to year depending on the cost to the school.