Dear Class of 2020 Student Doctors:

Welcome to Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine (TUCOM). We are excited to have admitted you and look forward to working with and for you. Academic excellence, scientific rigor, and 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 July 29th university orientation, with check-in beginning at 7:00 am at Lander Hall.

TUCOM Orientation begins with early check-in and continental breakfast at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 1, 2016; you should plan on being here until 5:00 pm.  The Orientation program for the second day, Tuesday, August 2nd , begins at 8:30 am and will finish by 5:00 pm.  Expect more details on Orientation in the days to come.

Here are the Professionalism Contract, Student Handbook Compliance and Photo Release forms. Please sign and return them electronically to YvetteElizabeth.Carrillo@tu.edu by Wednesday, August 3rd 2016. Prior to Orientation, please review the 2016-2017 Student Handbook.


Matriculation Readiness Checklist:

Please see below for a simple checklist that can be utilized to prepare yourself for the new school year:


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

This year we are excited to be launching COM’s WARM Program. 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. More on this to come during Orientation.


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. The preclinical course schedules are available online.

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:

For those of you who may need a basic overview of immunology you may review this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFNxXfwlP3A

An excellent overview of medical biochemistry can be found at: http://themedicalbiochemistrypage.org/

A great resource on genes, enzymes and diseases can be found at www.genetests.org


Academic Calendar: 

The Academic Calendar for 2016-2017 is available on our website.

In the next few weeks you will also receive e-mail messages regarding time-sensitive information from different TUCOM departments.



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


Medical Instruments:

Please check your TU-COM email for detailed information about requirements. Faculty and a medical equipment representative will be available on campus during Orientation to demonstrate products and take your equipment orders – if you haven’t turned them in already. Standardized, uniform equipment improves your learning experience.  Orders accepted through this program will not be billed to you until your financial aid is disbursed.


Technological Requirements:

You are required to have a laptop computer with these requirements. You may also contact Jeff Reedy at jeff.reedy@tu.edu or servicedesk@tu.edu for further information.

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 3, 2016.


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 taking the free online course “Learning how to Learn” that can be done at your own pace. A paid certificate is not needed.


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.


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 form 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 toDr. Eduardo Velasco, Associate Dean for Preclinical Education at 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.