Dear Class of 2021 Student Doctors,

Welcome to Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine (TUCOM). We are excited to have you here and look forward to working with and for you! Academic excellence, scientific rigor, personal and professional growth are the goals for each of us this year.

While you will spend most of your time at TUCOM focused on completing your very rigorous program, you are also a member of the broader university community and all new students are required to attend the August 2nd, 2017 University Wide Orientation, with check-in beginning at 7:00 am at Lander Hall.

COM Orientation begins with early check-in and a continental breakfast at 8:30am on Thursday, August 3rd, 2017; you should plan on being here until 5:00pm.  The second day of Orientation, Friday, August 4th, begins at 8:30am with a continental breakfast and will finish by 3:00pm. The third day of Orientation, Monday August 7th, 2017 will begin at 8:00am and will finish at 5:00pm.


Matriculation Readiness Checklist:

Please see below for a simple checklist (pdf version here) that can be utilized to prepare yourself for the new school year:


Wellness, Academic Accomplishment, Resilience and Mindfulness (WARM):

WARM is a multi-faceted program which aims to create the wholesome physician of tomorrow; one whose self-care is the source of compassion and quality care for patients and develops resilience to become a lifelong learner. The program was created last academic year by TUCOM Students and Faculty in hopes to lower the risk of burnout among medical students. WARM has six scheduled events for this upcoming semester, has created an on-campus meditation garden, and is currently working on creating an outdoor gym. Check out the WARM Mentoring Form that you will use later.



https://www.facebook.com/groups/TUCCOM2021/ is a Facebook page that the 2020's have created especially for you! There you can ask them for advice and organize with your classmates. Even if you don't use Facebook this page is helpful as it has announcements and information from your classmates.


Getting Ready for Classes:

Please be aware that your school day is typically very full. Your time in classes will generally last from 8:00 am-5:00pm Monday-Thursday and from 8:00 am -3:00 pm on Fridays with a 12:00 pm-1:00 pm lunch break every day.

Classes and/or labs meet every day. You will usually have at least one and often two or three labs each week.  Please note that your schedule may vary significantly due to campus events, federal or Jewish holidays, or any number of other variables. It is critical to remember to check your online schedule daily. Shortly, you will be able to access the preclinical course schedules.

Prior to arriving, it is recommended that students review basic biological concepts.  We recommend using Campbell Biology (10TH International Edition. by Jane B. Reece, Lisa A. Urry, Michael L. Cain, Steven A. Wasserman. Published by Benjamin Cummings, 2013).  Core information, such as cell structure and function, membranes, Mendelian and basic molecular genetics, basic metabolic pathways, enzymatic function, receptors, cell respiration, eukaryotic vs. prokaryotic organisms, viruses, molecular biology (DNA, RNA transcription, translation, and protein synthesis, etc.) are topics we will not be reviewing.  Depending on your level of familiarity with the above topics, it may be to your benefit to review some of them following the links below:

  • For those of you who may need a basic overview of immunology you may review this video.
  • An excellent overview of medical biochemistry can be found here.
  • A two-part video on genes, enzymes and diseases can be found here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.
  • A two-part video on pharmacology can be found here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

Preliminary Assignments:

Below are preliminary assignments that are not required to be completed before the start of the school year, but you are encouraged to get a head start.

You will receive additional instructions, under separate cover, by the respective Course Instructors via email concerning these assignments in early July.

  1. Jurisprudence Online Course - due in September
  2. Dry Bone to Living Man Assignment Due Oct. 18th
  3. Soon you will be sent a link to an Exam Master Readiness Assessment, not for stakes.


More Academic Information:

See the below links for more academic information that may be of interest to you:



The Academic Calendar for 2017-2018 is available on our website.

The Fall 2017 COM Preclinical Course Schedule will be available here shortly.


Accommodations and Excused Absences:

If you have any medical/physical problems that will affect your participation in lab, you are required to bring this to the attention of the Associate Dean of Student Services, Dr. Binkerd, james.binkerd@tu.edu, so that we can make appropriate accommodations.

Absences from required sessions may be allowed only if excused by the Associate Dean of Preclinical Education, Dr. Velasco. Only absences complying with the excused absence policy may be excused. Please review the policy in the Student Handbook. Excused absences are requested online by filling out the Excused Absence Request Form here.


You should plan to have your fall books by the start of classes and expect that faculty will assign readings and will test from the required materials early in the semester. 

The book list includes books for fall and spring courses.  

For some of the books, on-line sources are available and are noted.  However, please consider whether you are a student who finds reading online difficult and make your choice accordingly.  Also, while you may receive suggestions about other books that students find useful (e.g., board review books), these do not substitute for the primary texts that faculty require. 

Information regarding the books you will need is available on our website: http://www.tu.textbookx.com/institutional/index.php# , or other sources of your choice.


Medical Instruments:

Please see here for a list of medical instrument requirements. Faculty and a medical equipment representative will be available on campus during orientation to demonstrate products and accept your equipment orders – if you haven’t turned them in already, by then. Standardized, uniform equipment improves your learning experience.  Orders accepted through this program will not be billed to you until your financial aid is disbursed. You will get updated information in the next few weeks.


Technological Requirements:

You are required to have a laptop computer with these requirements. You will be taking most written exams on your own laptop computer, using ExamSoft

Expect instructions on installing ExamSoft by July 18-20.  All students will be required to have the software installed prior to arriving on campus in order to take the practice exam on August 7th, 2017.

You may also contact Jeff Reedy at jeff.reedy@tu.edu, Michele Jenkins at michele.jenkins@tu.edu or servicedesk@tu.edu for further information.

Blackboard Platform:

Please make sure to become familiar with Blackboard, our online instructional platform, by taking the self-administered course.


Study Method and Strategies:

From the first day of class, expect to be fully immersed in medical content and materials. Refine your study method and strategies, plan for time management and deal with logistical issues. One or two weeks of distraction from your program may derail your academic performance. Each of you has something positive to teach and also learn from others. Be ready to share your strengths with others and serve as a role model and as a resource for your classmates.

Touro University California has its own website dedicated to learning strategies: https://efficientlearning.org/

We highly recommend completing “Learning how to Learn” before you start classes. It's free and can be done at your own pace.

Lab Clothing and Supplies:

You will be expected to have appropriate Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM), Doctoring and Anatomy laboratory clothes for your first labs. Please see additional information here.


Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time for questions and support, particularly regarding readiness to start the program or personal issues; below you will find our contact information. Please direct questions about contents of this message to eduardo.velasco@tu.edu or to yvetteelizabeth.carrillo@tu.edu or 707-638-5256.

TUCOM faculty, staff and administrators look forward to working with you. We do hope you are having a great summer and eagerly await your arrival on campus.



H. Eduardo Velasco, Associate Dean for Preclinical Education on behalf of the Deans, Faculty and Staff