Osteopathy and Indiana Wesleyan

January 15, 2010
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The Indiana Osteopathic Association passed over a virtually certain $75 million in startup funding to choose Marian University for its new osteopathic college.

Indiana Wesleyan University’s board had settled on at least two routes to raise the entire budget in a near instant, says Dr. Burt Webb, the Indiana Wesleyan associate dean who drove the idea.

As IBJ reporter J.K. Wall wrote today, Marian, the small Catholic school in Indianapolis, has a commitment for $30 million of the desired $75 million, and plans to launch an initial class of 150 students.

Indiana Wesleyan also planned to offer the first year or two of instruction at its home base in Marion and then allow students to complete remaining years off-site. Shifting students to satellite locations, mostly in small towns, would have helped the place general practitioners in areas where they’re needed most.

Working against Indiana Wesleyan was the lack of a teaching hospital in Marion, which is between Muncie and Fort Wayne. It also didn’t have Westview Hospital, the 68-bed facility on the west side of Indianapolis that is the state’s only osteopathic hospital.

Osteopaths are trained in using their hands to move muscles and joints to diagnose, treat and prevent illnesses and injuries. Otherwise, their training is virtually identical to doctors of medicine.

Webb said he and the university wish Marian well in the venture, and that Indiana Wesleyan has no plans to launch its own program.

What are your thoughts? Marian President Dan Elsener has a track record of raising money. But the money isn’t in pocket, and this isn’t the easiest time to persuade wealthy people to open their checkbooks.

Did the Indiana Osteopathic Association choose the right institution?

  • Helping Marion
    This would have been a great opportunity to bring more students to Marion, a place that has been hammered by the economy. IWU now has the highest enrollment of any private university in th state, thanks to its satellite campuses, and does a great job of partnering. Too bad they didn't get a chance to offer this. Marian University seems like a strange fit.
    • Marian a better choice
      As an alum of IWU from one of the LEAP programs (satellite adult program), I can tell you that a medical curriculum would concern me a bit unless they changed current practices. I enjoyed my program, but there were a few instances when the professors did not know answers to seemingly basic questions. I would have serious concerns if students were correcting medical professors as we often did in our program. Congrats to Marian, they have Westview nearby, can partner with the experienced and top rated hospitals in Indy area and I wish them the best. They have a better chance at hosting a top notch medical school than does IWU.
    • IWU is much stronger
      IWU has grown by leaps and bounds year-after-year and has dedicated alumni who are willing to donate money to see the university expand. IWU was willing and able to commit the necessary resources and upfront cash to make this endeavour a success right out of the gate. Its too bad that in today's economy some just still don't get it. Always go where the resources are a given. Its something you learn in third grade.
    • Really
      What are your thoughts? Marian President Dan Elsener has a track record of raising money. But the money isnâ??t in pocket, and this isnâ??t the easiest time to persuade wealthy people to open their checkbooks.

    • Missed opportunity for everyone
      Marion college won the nod to develop an Osteopathic school, despite IWU's efforts to land this program. Sadly, this program would have been ideal for IWU for a variety of reasons, not to mention it's sheer size and reputation for innovation and quality. Seems a bit short-sighted for Marion in that a win was actually a loss for the State of Indiana. IWU could have utilized any number of facilities who'd have been excited at the prospect of an infusion of fresh money. IWU wouldn't need Westview Hospital, they'd only needed a partnership with any Osteopathic Hospital. Ask most people which type of curriculum they'd prefer and there's no question IWU would win hands down over Marion College and it's more traditional approach. But then, who cares what the people want?

    • Ask a D.O.
      The several osteopaths I know well are quite delighted with the plans at MariAn University (not "MariOn College).Not one has expressed disappointment that future med students will not be trained in Marion, IN or by Ind. Wesleyan instructors.
    • I'll Take Marian Anyday
      As a person who has worked with both bachelor and master nursing students from both Marian and IWU, I'll take Marian anyday. I did not go to either school. Marian students are better prepared because they have a more diverse clinical background. The IWU students had to find their own experiences, and some of them (specifically, Nurse Practitioners) had only ever been at 1 site semester after semester. The discipline and partnership between students and instructors was more apparent through the Marian program. Maybe it was just who I was given to precept, but impressions are everything for someone who needs to consider students for future employment. If Marian takes the same approach through a medical school program, Marian will shine above IWU every time.
    • Not sorry for IWU
      Marion wouldn't be in such a bad situation if IWU would stop blocking employers they don't like from coming into Marion. They get their people on the city/county boards and block any company they dont approve of from coming to town and employing Marion's citizens who aren't affiliated with the college.

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