Buies Creek, N.C. — The Campbell University Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to begin studying whether to create a College of Osteopathic Medicine at the university within three years.
The board is expected to decide by next May whether to proceed with an osteopathic school, and trustees have already approved funding to hire a dean, architects and consultants for the potential move.
The practice of osteopathic medicine emphasizes on the interrelationship of the body's nerves, muscles, bones and organs, and physicians apply the philosophy of treating the whole person to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness, disease and injury.
Osteopathic physicians are licensed to practice medicine in all 50 states, and more than 800 osteopaths already practice in North Carolina, Campbell officials said. Eighty North Carolina residents are currently enrolled in various osteopathic medical schools throughout the United States.
Campbell officials said they are responding to the increasing shortage of primary care physicians in North Carolina, the state's population growth, an aging population and the nationwide health care reform effort.
The university will begin a physician assistant program in the fall of 2011.