Dean's Welcome

Thank you for visiting our website! Whether you are here to learn about us for the first time; reading about us as a new student, staff or faculty member of our college / university; or back for an update on our activities, we’re glad you’re here!

Our alumni pool (Classes of 2017 and 2018) doubled in May 2018 and our alumni are well into their residency programs. MU-COM osteopathic physicians have a national footprint, training in 18 different specialties distributed among 118 cities in 33 states.

On June 1, 2018, Regina Asaro, DO, joined MU-COM as the Chair, Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. Dr. Asaro is a graduate of the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed a residency in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine / Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Asaro holds a Certificate Special Proficiency in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (C-SPOMM); recertified in 2018. She has academic experience serving as a Chief Resident, as faculty at NYIT-COM and ATSU-SOMA educating students through didactic and hands-on training experiences, serving as a preceptor, and leading multiple regional and national committees. Dr. Asaro has experience with the NBOME with COMLEX Level 2PE (evaluating OMM performance) and COMLEX Level 3.

On July 1, 2018, Jana Baker, DO, joined MU-COM as Assistant Dean of Clinical Affairs. Dr. Baker is a graduate of Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (2007) and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Medical Center (2010). She has breadth and depth of academic experience at the OSU-COM having served as course director and faculty in clinical courses, small group facilitator, faculty advisor, chair of multiple committees, and Director of the Office of Academic Success. Dr. Baker also has experience with graduate medical education serving as medical student coordinator and Assistant Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency (OSU). She practices as a hospitalist, is completing a Fellowship for Medical Educators through the Costin Institute, and notably was a finalist for the George W. Northup Educator of the Year award (2018).

Speaking of the George W. Northrup Educator of the Year award, the 2017 award went to Thad Wilson, PhD, and the 2018 award went to Jonathan Lowery, PhD. Both gentlemen are faculty and active researchers at MU-COM. Along with Bryan Larsen, PhD, our Associate Dean of Biomedical Sciences and Michael LaFontaine, PhD, Director of our Master of Science Degree in Biomedical Sciences, we are nearing the completion of 1800 square feet of additional research space in the Evans Center.

We received notice from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that a research proposal “Role of the Sympathetic Nervous System in Rosacea” was awarded funding ($388,440 over two years; start date August 1, 2018). Congratulations to Drs. Kristan Metzler-Wilson and Thad Wilson.

Under the leadership of Luke Nelligan, DO, as course director for the Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) courses during the first two years of our curriculum, we will be adding more emphasis on OPP, more didactics, additional practice time for refining OMT techniques, better aligning our OPP and Clinical Skills courses, and augmenting our focus on creating osteopathic physicians that understand what being a D.O. is all about.

Rhonda Garrison, Assistant Dean of the Continuum of Physician Education, is working with our faculty to further expand the OPP didactic content in the third and fourth years. We are bringing the entire class back to our campus for a month-long educational experience which will include several activities in our simulation center and plenty of OMT practice the first month of year 4.

Clint Whitson, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, leads an amazing team that provides an award-winning Wellness Program and a suite of wonderful student support activities.

Sarah Zahl, PhD, Assistant Dean of Accreditation Logistics and Advancement, is constantly assessing our curriculum and activities. Under her guidance, we achieved our seven-year accreditation (the maximum awarded in 2017) through 2024.

Our faculty and staff were recruited from across the United States and collectively have developed a blended curricular model to prepare our students for a successful future in osteopathic medicine. Our systems and competency-based curriculum exposes students to early clinical scenarios and integrates the biomedical sciences with clinical application. Our licensing examination performance (first-time pass rates of 98.08% for the Class of 2020; COMLEX Level-1 exam) validates our curriculum model.

In collaboration with Dr. Dorothy Gomez, Dean of the Alan and Sue Leighton School of Nursing, which is also located in the Evans Center, we are expanding our graduate-level programs that will advance training in a truly interprofessional educational environment. This will allow our medical and nursing students to train in a milieu that mirrors future clinical experiences.

Our diverse student body comes to Indianapolis from across Indiana, the United States, and beyond. They bring strong academic metrics, talents, and experiences to a learning environment focused on student success. The diverse nature of each class is essential to educating medical students in an environment where they can learn professionally and personally from one another.

MU-COM is a wonderful place, with wonderful people, in a growing and vibrant city. The future is ours to create.


Donald Sefcik, DO, MBA
Dean College of Osteopathic Medicine
Senior Vice President of Health Professions
Marian University

For more information

(317) 955-6297

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