Brevard's first osteopathic medical school to debut in July on Florida Tech campus – Florida Today

An inaugural class of 100 future physicians will debut in July on the Florida Institute of Technology campus, learning in laboratories and classrooms inside the L3 Harris Commons building at the Space Coast’s first osteopathic medical school.
“Students learn the principles and practices of osteopathic medicine, and the hands-on skills: how to palpate the musculoskeletal system and how that integrates through the central nervous system to all the other organ systems in the body,” said Dr. Doris Newman, examining the neck and back of student Thomas Baez on a treatment table.
Newman serves as the new Florida campus dean of the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, which is partnering with Florida Tech to launch the four-year osteopathic medical school. The first class of students is expected to graduate in May 2028.
BCOM is a private medical school that operates in partnership with New Mexico State University. Both institutions are separately owned and governed. BCOM’s first class of students graduated in 2020 in Las Cruces, and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham delivered the keynote address.
The college has graduated 564 doctors to date.
Now, BCOM is leasing the second and third floors of the L3 Harris Commons building and compensating Florida Tech for its students’ access to libraries, dining services, health and fitness facilities, and housing. Newman likened the Sunshine State campus expansion with “a class size increase, though it’s two time zones apart.”
Burrell College:Florida Tech announces creation of Space Coast’s first medical school in Melbourne
“I think the affiliation with Burrell is a tremendous opportunity for Florida Tech — but also the community and the entire region. It brings in a much-needed medical school to the state,” Florida Tech President John Nicklow said.
“It’s Brevard county’s first medical school. So that’s going to be a really valuable asset, and critical. One of the statistics that I saw on the partnership agreements early on was that Florida is going to be short about 18,000 physicians by 2035,” Nicklow said.
“And so, having this world-class medical school right here on our campus really helps support the needs of the community,” he said.
Wednesday, officials offered a behind-the-scenes tour of BCOM’s freshly remodeled facilities at Florida Tech. The building features two lecture halls, an anatomy lab and prep room, an osteopathic manipulative medicine lab, five student study areas, two conference rooms, 10 patient rooms, student locker rooms, and offices for faculty and staff.
Florida Tech officials invited BCOM to establish a Sunshine State campus in Melbourne in 2018. A letter of intent was executed, and due diligence began.
The New Mexico-based college has sent small numbers of students to the Space Coast the past few years, including Baez, to perform clinical rotations at Rockledge Regional Medical Center and Melbourne Regional Medical Center. Newman said the college is forging a similar partnership with Health First, including a future residency program.
Palm Bay resident Daniel Welsh is one of the first 100 incoming osteopathic medical students at the Melbourne campus. He will graduate from Florida Tech in May with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry.
“I feel like the stars really aligned with this school opening up here. I live here. So it’s just very convenient for me financially, mentally, all these aspects of my life. So my No. 1 pick was Burrell,” Welsh said.
Rick Neale is a Space Reporter at FLORIDA TODAY (for more of his stories, click here.) Contact Neale atRneale@floridatoday.com. Twitter/X: @RickNeale1
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