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Home | Tag Archives: Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine

Tag Archives: Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine

Texas A&M Physician Leader named Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine Dean

William Pieratt, DO, has been appointed dean and chief academic officer of the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine in Las Cruces, following an extensive national search.

Dr. Pieratt, a preeminent internist, is currently an associate dean at the Texas A&M College of Medicine, overseeing the Bryan-College Station clinical campus and more than 100 faculty and staff members. Dr. Pieratt will begin his duties at Burrell College, effective Tuesday, Sept. 1.

“Dr. Pieratt is highly regarded and comes to us with the experience, management and leadership skills needed to continue strengthening the quality of our medical education program and further our mission,” says John Hummer, president of the Burrell College. “In addition, having grown up in a small town around farming and ranching, Dr. Pieratt has first-hand experience and passion to assist medically underserved communities.”

In addition to his dean duties at Texas A&M, Dr. Pieratt serves as interim chair of the Department of Primary Care & Population Health, as well as the medical director of the A&M Integrated Medicine (AIM) Program.

The program aims to develop caring, competent and compassionate physicians by emphasizing community-based health care, continuity, innovation, ethics and service

“The Burrell College’s mission, beginning with, ‘Para la gente y el futuro,’ — ‘For the people and the future’ — is a simple yet powerful statement that resonates with me,” Dr. Pieratt says.

“My wife and I are excited to move to Las Cruces, New Mexico and become a part of the culture of the Burrell College family as well as the regions served by the college.”

Originally from Giddings, Texas, Dr. Pieratt earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Texas A&M University. He went on to complete a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, now known as the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

Dr. Pieratt completed his internship and residency training in internal medicine at the prestigious Baylor Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas.

Dr. Pieratt began his clinical career in 1995 as medical staff member of Round Rock Hospital. He went on to become chief of medical staff at Fayette Memorial Hospital and chair of the Department of Medicine at St. Mark’s Medical Center in La Grange, Texas.

He joined Baylor Scott & White Health in 2008 as a senior staff physician.

Dr. Pieratt has served as a preceptor for more than two decades and a Texas A&M College of Medicine faculty member since 2010. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP) and a recipient of multiple teaching awards, including the AIM Educator of the Year Award and the Excel Teaching Award.

“The leadership, faculty, staff and students of Burrell have achieved tremendous success in a relatively short time, and the potential for future growth and further success is unparalleled,” Dr. Pieratt says. “I am honored and humbled to be chosen to help lead us toward those goals and cannot wait to get started!”


For updates on all news from around Las Cruces, please visit our news partners at Las Cruces Today

Burrell College to host Inaugural Commencement Ceremony on Friday

Las Cruces – More than 130 students in the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine will officially become doctors on Friday, May 8.

The virtual commencement ceremony, where students will receive their Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degrees, will take place at 2 p.m.It will be live streamed on the college’s Facebook page.

John Hummer, co-founder and president of the college, will deliver the ceremony’s welcome remarks.

“When we broke ground on the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine five years ago, this virtual ceremony is not what any of us had in mind for our first graduating class of medical students,” Hummer said. “Despite all of the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are proud of our inaugural class and their accomplishments. I hope everyone tunes in on May 8 and enjoys the ceremony.”

Don Peska, DO, dean of the college, will lead the graduating students in reciting the Osteopathic Oath, where students pledge to provide compassionate, quality care to all of their patients.

This year’s keynote speaker is Ogechika Alozie, MD, chief medical officer of Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, where he oversees all medical staff and innovation and technology. Dr. Alozie is specializes in infectious diseases and is the largest single provider of HIV clinical services in El Paso.

Additional remarks will be delivered by New Mexico state Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The Class of 2020 is made up of 64 women and 69 men who average 29 years old. More than 25 of the graduates identify with a racial or ethnic group that is underrepresented in medicine.

The following are a few of the graduates who make up the Class of 2020:


Adam Moreno

Originally from El Paso, Texas, Adam Moreno holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in gerontology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Moreno matched to his preferred specialty, neurology, and will go on to complete his residency training at Advocate Health Care in Chicago.

“Neurology combines the best of what I consider to be the most cerebral specialties: internal medicine, psychiatry, and radiology,” Moreno says. “Seeing how pathology localized on a scan correlates to a physical symptom, and then being able to treat the pathology is incredibly rewarding.”

Moreno says that medical school was a long and arduous process—but he is proud that he was able to adapt and learn with help from support staff at Burrell College.


Joya Singh was born in Nepal and raised in Dallas, Texas. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Texas at Arlington and master’s degree in medical science from the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

On Match Day, Singh matched to her first choice: emergency medicine at UT Southwestern in Dallas. Singh says she enjoys working in the emergency department and taking care of a variety of patients.

“A physician trained in emergency medicine is equipped to take care of patients of all ages and is an expert in recognizing life-threatening conditions and providing resuscitation,” she says. “Additionally, the ED is a safety net for some of the most vulnerable patients within our community and it’s a privilege to have the ability to care for them.”

While in medical school, Singh founded Burrell College’s American Medical Women’s Association and served in multiple other organizations.


Carlos Yeelot

Carlos Yeelot was born in El Paso, Texas and raised in both El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Yeelot will receive his residency training in emergency medicine at McLaren Health Care Corp in Mount Clemens, Michigan.

“I chose emergency medicine because of the breadth of opportunities this specialty offers,” Yeelot says. “Acute care is extremely valuable and offers amazing hands-on experiences, procedures, critical patients, and incredible pathology. Being able to multitask, be a leader, and be part of a team sport attracts me since it opens your scope of practice to expect the unexpected while working in a fast-paced environment ready for anything that comes in the door.”

Yeelot says the last four years of medical school have taught him lifelong lessons about character, sacrifice, resiliency and perseverance.

He says, “For me, the accomplishment I’m most proud of is the man I have become during my time at Burrell College, the friendships I have fostered, and the impact people/patients have made in my life. Every experience whether good or bad has given me life lessons about who I am, who I aspire to become, and how I look forward to living my life and career.”


For updates on all news from around Las Cruces, please visit our news partners at Las Cruces Today

Free Holiday Light Show, Gingerbread Challenge at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine

In celebration of the holiday season, the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) is hosting the first annual Jolly Gingerbread Challenge and Light Show.

This free, family-friendly event is open to the public and will take place on Thursday, December 5.

The highlight of the event is a gingerbread house decorating competition featuring a grand prize of $500. The runner up will be awarded $250 and third place will take $150.

Participants, who must sign up online in advance, will receive one free gingerbread house kit and will have an hour-and-a-half to build and decorate a gingerbread home. Gingerbread creations will be judged for overall appearance, originality, creativity, difficulty and precision.

The public is invited to observe the live Gingerbread Challenge while snacking on hot apple cider, cookies and other goodies sold at a modest price by BCOM medical students. Attendees will also have the chance to take free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The event will culminate with a holiday light show at approximately 7:30 p.m. The professional light show will be produced by HB Stage Productions, which is behind some of Southwest’s most popular holiday light displays.

Gingerbread Challenge winners will be announced immediately after the show.

To learn more about the Jolly Gingerbread Challenge and Light Show, visit the Gingerbread Challenge website. Interested attendees are asked to please RSVP online. Parking on the BCOM campus is free and open to the public after 5 p.m.

What: The community is invited to a free holiday-themed light show and gingerbread house challenge.

When: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5

Where: 3501 Arrowhead Dr., Las Cruces, NM

$1.6M Gift Creates 33 New Scholarships for Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine Students

Thirty-three medical students attending the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) are set to receive scholarships to support their educational journeys.

The scholarships are made possible thanks to a $1.6 million anonymous gift to the Southwest Foundation for Osteopathic Education and Research (SWFOER).

“This private foundation strongly supports the mission and vision of BCOM and SWFOER — to bring more doctors to New Mexico and the Southwest region of the U.S.,” says Victoria Pineda, director of institutional advancement at BCOM. “We are so excited to have them support these aspiring physicians. And it’s not just an investment in our students, it’s an investment in the health and future of New Mexico.”

The gift will establish a new scholarship program at BCOM that will support 14 students with $100,000 over the course of their four years in medical school.

An additional 19 students will receive one-time scholarships of $10,000.

All students who are awarded scholarships must agree to complete a clinical rotation — hands-on medical training — at BCOM’s Southeastern New Mexico hub, which includes the cities of Artesia, Carlsbad, Hobbs, Lovington and Roswell.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, each of these cities are located in counties that are critically low on health professionals.

The rural training experience is expected to inspire BCOM students to one day work in regions of the U.S. where there are little to no doctors.

In addition, BCOM students who receive scholarships totaling $100,000 must agree to return to New Mexico after their residency training. If a career opportunity is available, he or she will practice as a physician for four years in one of the following regions in New Mexico: Artesia, Eddy County, Chavez County, Lea County, or Las Cruces.

“A program like this guarantees to bring doctors back to our region,” says Don Peska, DO, BCOM’s dean and chief academic officer. “This gift is going to make an extraordinary impact on New Mexico, bringing physicians back to New Mexico communities that truly need their help and expertise.”

John Hummer, president of BCOM, adds, “We are humbled and extremely grateful to have this donor — a renowned business leader and philanthropist who has done so much good for New Mexico — supporting our medical students and joining us on our mission to increase the number of future New Mexico physicians.”

The first cohort of scholars will be selected this summer, prior to the start of the 2019-20 academic school year. Scholarships will be awarded based on academic achievement, community service, personal integrity and character.

Students will be able to apply the funds towards tuition, books, room and board and other educational expenses.

The gift was secured by the Southwest Foundation for Osteopathic Education and Research (SWFOER). SWFOER is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Its charter and mission is to provide financial support to BCOM students, as well as to support medical and academic research initiatives.

Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine Presents Second Annual gift to NMSU

Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine Co-Founder and President John L. Hummer and Founding Dean and Chief Academic Officer George Mychaskiw, DO, presented a gift of $250,000 to New Mexico State University.

Receiving the gift were NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers and NMSU Foundation President Andrea Tawney. The gift will be used for the New Mexico College of Osteopathic Medicine Current Use Scholarship at NMSU, to be administered by the NMSU Foundation.

As a commitment to developing a pipeline of students pursuing medical and health careers to serve the region in the years to come, the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine and the New Mexico State University Foundation, Inc. have established the New Mexico College of Osteopathic Medicine Current Use Scholarship at NMSU.

The funds are to be used to award undergraduate students pursuing a degree in science or a health-related discipline, with a preference given to students in pre-medicine.

“This is an outstanding investment, not just for our students, but for our entire region,” NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers said. “Far too many of our communities are medically underserved – there just aren’t enough medical professionals to provide the care our region needs. These scholarships will allow more students to earn degrees at NMSU, who will then be prepared to go on to medical school. These scholarships will mean so much for our students, and for the health and well-being of people across our region.”

“This annual scholarship gift is one of the most powerful and tangible testaments of our public/private partnership with NMSU and will yield generational benefits for New Mexicans,” Hummer said.

The annual gift increases each year of operation until full operation is achieved at four years where it will remain at $500,000 per year, increased for inflation, for the life of the affiliation agreement with NMSU.

“The BCOM-NMSU partnership is the first of its kind in U.S. higher education and is a model of disparate organizations working together for a common good. This scholarship gift represents our belief in and support of this partnership,” said Mychaskiw.

The presentation took place Monday, December 11th.

Author: Justin McHorse – NMSU

NMSU Program Paves Way for Medical Students to attend Burrell College

The first group of students enrolled in a special program at New Mexico State University are taking their initial steps on the path to becoming a doctor of osteopathic medicine. Those steps are intended to lead to more doctors to serve people in underserved areas, especially the Southwest U.S.

“NMSU has major research, educational and outreach programs in the health sciences,” said NMSU Provost Dan Howard. “This program is a welcome addition to our efforts to improve the health and wellness of the people of New Mexico.”

The seven NMSU freshmen toured the new Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine on Sept. 7 and are settling into their regular NMSU classes.

They are the first participants in the Osteopathic Medicine Pathway Program, which gives qualifying students who complete various requirements an assured pathway into the Burrell College when they graduate with a bachelor’s degree from NMSU.

“A goal of the program is to train osteopathic physicians who will practice here,” said OMPP Program Director Jeremy Taulbee. “The hope of the program is by accepting students from the New Mexico, West Texas, Arizona region, they might practice medicine here.”

Taulbee said the program was created in October 2015 as an agreement between NMSU and The Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at New Mexico State University.

“The program was created to provide students interested in a career as an osteopathic physician with a pathway that would allow them to go from a baccalaureate program at NMSU, to a guaranteed seat in the doctor of osteopathic medicine program at BCOM,” Taulbee said. It also is intended to provide the opportunity for students interested in earning a degree from the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine to experience a supportive and enriched undergraduate learning environment, Taulbee said.

“Other goals are to enhance the accessibility of medical degrees for students graduating from NMSU and to increase the number of health care providers in New Mexico who are committed to serving the healthcare needs of our diverse population,” he said.

“This partnership with NMSU is very exciting as it allows BCOM to fulfill its mission of increasing the physician workforce in the region,” said Tania B. Arana, associate dean for Admissions and Student Affairs and associate professor of Biomedical Sciences at BCOM. “The pipeline program affords BCOM an opportunity to take an active role in developing these promising undergraduate students by helping them to build their curriculum and gain the necessary experience to prepare them to become successful medical students. We are very fortunate to have this unique opportunity to partner with such a well-recognized and established university.”

Taulbee said while OMPP students are required to earn a baccalaureate degree, they will not be required to major in any particular field. Students are able to choose any course of study that fits their interests. A few of the majors represented in the Fall 2016 cohort include biology, biochemistry, chemical engineering and kinesiology.

Joseph Berning, program director for Kinesiology and director of the Exercise Physiology Laboratory in the College of Education at NMSU, will focus on the academic preparation of the students while at NMSU. A particular focus will be mentoring the students to become future leaders.

“They will need to be leaders in medicine,” Berning said. As doctors, they will not only need to be experts in medical disciplines but also will need to lead the delivery of health care and understand the business aspects of medicine.

“We will help them understand the components of working in medicine,” he said.

NMSU’s Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will assist each OMPP student in finding scholarships and other forms of financial aid to cover the cost of their NMSU education. No scholarship is offered strictly to the OMPP students. Also, successful completion of the program does not provide any financial aid for the cost of attending BCOM. Once students are enrolled as medical students at BCOM, they will work with BCOM’s Financial Aid personnel to find options for financing their medical education.

Taulbee pointed out that OMPP offers a unique opportunity to selected NMSU students who are committed to serving their community’s health care needs.

“During the program and over the course of their undergraduate studies, the OMPP will provide opportunities for frequent and substantial interactions with the southern New Mexico healthcare community,” Taulbee said. “OMPP students will learn from professionals working and teaching in the healthcare field through seminars, research opportunities and internship positions. OMPP students will have the opportunity to interact with faculty, staff and students from BCOM.”

To qualify for the program, students must meet certain academic standards.

“The OMPP is open only to incoming freshmen students, who are attending the first fall semester at NMSU following their graduation from high school,” Taulbee said. “All candidates must meet all admissions requirements for NMSU, have earned a high school GPA of 3.5 or greater, and have a composite ACT score of 23 or greater or an SAT score of 1060 or greater.”

The application process for the OMPP is separate from the admissions application for NMSU. All students interested in the OMPP must also complete an application for admission to NMSU. The application period for the next fall cohort of the OMPP started on Aug. 1. To apply for the OMPP, candidates must complete an admissions application for NMSU ( and complete the OMPP Supplemental Application. This application includes the OMPP Application Form (found on the OMPP website:, a typed, two-page personal essay and three letters of recommendation.

Complete applications must be received or postmarked on or before Dec. 15. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of faculty and staff from both NMSU and BCOM. Top candidates will attend an on-campus interview at NMSU in mid-February. Successful candidates will be notified in mid-March of their acceptance into the OMPP for the following fall semester.

During their time in the OMPP, students must complete all NMSU undergraduate courses required for admission to BCOM with a grade of B or greater. Students must also complete at minimum 15 credits per semester and maintain an overall GPA of 3.3 or greater in all college coursework to remain eligible. Students must participate in all official activities associated with the program, unless excused by the OMPP director. In addition, OMPP students will be required to live on campus and participate in a dedicated Living Learning Community during their first year of undergraduate study.

During their third year, each student will be required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and earn a score in the 50th percentile or greater. Students will be required to earn a baccalaureate degree in a major of their choosing. By Dec. 15 of the year prior to their expected enrollment in BCOM, OMPP students will sign a letter of commitment to attend BCOM in the academic semester following their graduation from NMSU.

The Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at New Mexico State University is a freestanding, privately funded, separately licensed and independently operated entity, and is not a part of New Mexico State University.

For more information on the OMPP program, visit the website at

Author:  Darrell J. Pehr – NMSU

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