New Medical school closer to happening on the ULM campus

By  | 

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A new medical school is closer to happening on the ULM campus and one potential student says he can't wait to see it.

Clay Winnon is a saving up to serve others.

"It's helping me pay for study materials," Winnon said.

He's a waiter at waterfront grill with dreams of becoming a doctor of Osteopathic medicine, also called a DO.

"My end goal would hopefully one day acquiring my DO and becoming a naval officer," Winnon said.

Dos find ways to treat patients naturally as opposed to using prescription medicine.

Winnon just graduated from Louisiana Tech. He's now preparing for four to seven more years of school.

"I've been studying,” said Winnon. “I took my MCATS the last two times. I took them in September. I'm looking at a few right now. Deadlines are coming up in February, so I'm looking at a few right now to apply to."

But there might be one right in the restaurant's backyard.

A new medical school is being built on ULM's campus along the bayou.

"I feel that it's wonderful that we're getting some recognition in this area, especially, I feel like it'll be a great accomplishment for not only ULM but Monroe in general.”

It's called the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, also known as VCOM.

"So the mission behind the medical school is actually to bring in physicians to an area that already has a decreased number of primary care physicians,” Morrison said.

Doctor Ray Morrison, the dean of VCOM, says since March of 2017 the Louisiana State Board of Supervisors approved the facility to be on ULM'S campus. The Louisiana Board of Regents has given them the okay to operate. He says they're now trying to get accredited.

The school would be partnering with local hospitals to help train students including St. Francis.

So Winnon can keep serving.

"Do the most that you can do to help somebody else, because what else are we put here on earth besides if it's not to help people," Winnon said.

Morrison says they hope to open in 2020, but the accreditation board will decide that date.