Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
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Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
Kansas City University
of Medicine and Biosciences
KCU Logo.png
TypePrivate medical school
Established1916 (1916)
Endowment$70 million[1]
ChairmanJohn P. Smith, Jr.[2]
PresidentMarc B. Hahn, DO
ProvostEdward R. O'Connor
DeanDarrin D'Agostino
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States
CampusUrban, 23 acres[6]

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU) is a private medical school with its main campus in Kansas City, Missouri. Founded in 1916, KCU is one of the original osteopathic medical schools in the United States. It consists of both a College of Osteopathic Medicine and a College of Biosciences. KCU maintains one of the largest medical schools in the nation by enrollment.

In 2017, KCU began welcoming medical students onto a second, brand new campus in Joplin, Missouri. The university is also currently in the process of developing and constructing a College of Dental Medicine on their Joplin campus.

KCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission[5] and recognized by the Coordinating Board of Higher Education for the Missouri Department of Higher Education. The College of Osteopathic Medicine is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation.[7]


KCU opened in May 1916 as the Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery. At the time, it was the fifth osteopathic medical school to be established.[8] In January 1921, the college moved its campus to the Northeast neighborhood, just east of downtown Kansas City. In 1940, the Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery took over the assets of the Central College of Osteopathy in Kansas City, Missouri.[9]

In November 1970, the name of the college was changed to the Kansas City College of Osteopathic Medicine, and again in July 1980 to the University of Health Sciences. In 1999, KCU joined with seven other research institutions to form the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute. As a founding partner, KCU has provided biomedical research opportunities within the greater Kansas City area.

In 2004, the College of Biosciences opened and the university's name was changed to Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.[9] The first students in the College of Biosciences began coursework in the fall of 2005, working towards a one-year master's degree in biomedical sciences. The College of Biosciences later expanded the program to a two-year master's degree. In 2008, the college began offering a Master of Arts in bioethics.

In 2009, the president of the university, Karen Pletz, pursued the possibility of offering a dual DO-MD degree.[10] The idea of a dual DO-MD degree was very controversial and raised concerns within the osteopathic medical community.[11] Several leaders of the profession formally requested the option be abandoned. Pletz was subsequently fired, but refrained from discussing the details of her dismissal as a lawsuit was underway.[10] The lawsuit and firing related to financial disagreements between Pletz and the university.[1] Later that day, Pletz filed a countersuit against the school for alleged wrongful termination.[12] Pletz was indicted by federal prosecutors on March 31, 2011 for embezzling $1.5 million from KCU.[13] Pletz committed suicide on November 22, 2011, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before the case went to trial.[14][15]

In January 2014, the university announced a $60 million expansion plan, which has since then included a clinical training center, offices, classrooms, and a medical simulation building.[16][17] As part of this expansion, the university began construction of the Center for Medical Education Innovation (CMEI) on the Kansas City Campus in 2018. This $33 million dollar, 56,000 sq. foot facility will house state of the art standardized patient exam rooms, a skills simulation deck mimicing many hospital environments, and an advanced osteopathic skills lab. The CMEI is expected to open its doors in 2020.[18]

In 2016, the university broke ground on a new state of the art medical campus in Joplin, Missouri, to house a second College of Osteopathic Medicine. The first class of medical students on the Joplin Campus began instruction in 2017. The university planned to expand the Joplin Campus to also house a College of Dental Medicine with the goal of breaking ground on the new dental school in 2020 and welcoming its first class in 2022.[19] This second campus in Joplin, was constructed in order to better meet the healthcare needs of middle America.

The Kansas City Campus occupies the original site of Children's Mercy Hospital.[20]


KCU offers graduate degrees in osteopathic medicine, biomedical sciences, clinical psychology, business, and bioethics. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[5] and recognized by the Coordinating Board of Higher Education for the Missouri Department of Higher Education. The College of Osteopathic Medicine is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation.[7]

College of Osteopathic Medicine

KCU Affiliated Hospitals[21]
HCA Midwest Division[22] Kansas City Metro Area
Unity Health - White County Medical Center Searcy, Arkansas
Florida Hospital East Orlando, Florida
Gulf Coast Medical Center Ft Myers, Florida
St. John Oakland Hospital Madison Heights, Michigan
Freeman Hospital & Health System Joplin, Missouri
St. Mary's Hospital Blue Springs, Missouri
Beaumont Hospital-Farmington Hills Farmington Hills, Michigan
Des Peres Hospital St. Louis, Missouri
St. Francis Health Center Topeka, Kansas
Swedish Medical Center (Colorado) Denver, Colorado
Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center Denver, Colorado
OhioHealth Doctor's Hospital Columbus, Ohio
INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center Toledo, Ohio

Founded in 1916 as the university's inaugural program, the College of Osteopathic Medicine confers the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine is one of three medical schools in the United States to be recognized twice with the John Templeton Foundation's Spirituality in Medicine Curricular Award, which recognizes outstanding medical education curricula incorporating spirituality in medicine. KCU is also one of three osteopathic medical schools nationwide working to enhance future physicians' cultural competency and eliminate disparities in health care through a grant from the American Medical Student Association.

The curriculum at KCU's College of Osteopathic Medicine consists of four years of structured training. The first two years are organized in a modified systems, clinical application-based curriculum. Each system is repeated in years one and two. The first year focuses on normal structure and function, while the second year focuses on disease processes and clinical presentation.[23] Throughout years one and two, students have early clinical exposure in the curriculum through participation in Score 1 for Health (KCU-Kansas City), standardized patient encounters, and human patient simulation. During years three and four, students are matched with a preceptor or at a hospital/ward at a KCU-affiliated clerkship site in various specialties of medicine and surgery.

Students at KCU's College of Osteopathic Medicine also partner with local health organizations during the first and second year. First and second year students can apply to be student doctors and scribes, working with attending physicians, at KC Care Health Center, a local clinic providing health services to financially underserved populations in Kansas City, MO.[24]

The school has an early matriculation program, called the Partners Program, with several undergraduate institutions. In this program, students can apply to KCU in their sophomore year of college and be accepted by their junior year.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine offers two dual-degree programs. KCU offers a DO/Masters in Bioethics and a DO/MBA in Health Care Leadership through a partnership with Rockhurst University's Helzberg School of Management. Dual-degree students complete both programs in four years and graduate with other members of their KCU class.[25]

College of Biosciences

The College of Biosciences was established in 2005 and currently offers two degrees including a Master of Science of Biomedical Sciences and a Master of Arts in Bioethics.

Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program

KCU's Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program is a five-year, practice-oriented program. Students are exposed to a broad base of discipline-specific knowledge and trained in profession-wide competencies set by the American Psychological Association. KCU will offer the only PsyD program in Missouri or Kansas. This program will work synergistically with the College of Osteopathic Medicine to enhance clinical education.


The KCU campus is located on a 23 acres and consists of 13 buildings.[6] The Administrative Building, the prior site of Children's Mercy Hospital, houses the administrative offices and support facilities. The Annex Building, with 2,200+ seat lecture halls, consists primarily of classroom space. The D'Angelo Library opened in the spring of 2011 and includes a learning resources center, collection and reference rooms, several training and conference rooms, an audio-visual/multimedia room, a special collections room, and group study rooms and numerous offices for library support personnel. The library was named for Vincent D'Angelo, D.O. (class of 1957) and his wife, Cleo D'Angelo.[26] The Leonard Smith Hall houses more than 50 individual and small-group study rooms, a computer lab, student lounge, and a Bioethics classroom. The Mary Lou Butterworth, D.O., Alumni Center is a meeting center for students, faculty, and alumni.

The Dybedal Center for Research is the focus of research activities at KCU. The 45,000-square-foot (4,200 m2) center is equipped for Biosafety Levels I and II research and includes more than 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) of basic science laboratories. Opened in 2004, the Dybedal Center includes an 8,000-square-foot (740 m2) clinical research center, the only adult academic clinical research center in Kansas City that conducts Phase I-IV studies.[26]

The Kesselheim Center for Clinical Competence was completed in 2006 and provides a facility for patient simulations for first and second year medical students, both human "standardized patients" and technological simulations.[27]

The Strickland Education Pavilion opened in 1996 and houses anatomy and OMT laboratories, a classroom for biomedical sciences students, a 250-seat auditorium, a cafeteria, and meeting rooms.

The Student Activities Center, which opened in early 2011, includes a student lounge, Common Grounds Cafe, meetings and conference rooms, campus store, a multi-dimensional fitness center with cardiovascular and weight training equipment, an aerobics facility, and game room. The building is connected to the Academic Center. The Academic Center was formerly the Weaver Auditorium, a 1,500-seat auditorium, which opened in 2007.

In June 2018, KCU-Kansas City began construction of a 56,000-square-foot Center for Medical Education Innovation (CMEI).[28]

KCU enrolled its first class at the KCU-Joplin campus, in Joplin, Missouri, which began classes in the fall of 2017.[29]

The KCU-Joplin campus features a 150,000-square-foot building on approximately 40 acres of land.[30]


KCU Demographics[3]
Asian 18%
Black/African American 1%
Hispanic/Latino 2%
Two or more 2%
White/Non-Hispanic 72%
Non-resident alien 2%
Unknown 2%

There were students 1,334 enrolled for the 2016-2017 year. There were 1,106 students enrolled for the 2015-16 academic year.[3] For the 2015-2016 academic year, about 44 percent of KCU students are female.[3] Students range from 18 to 40 years of age.[31] About 18% of students are Asian, 1% Black/African American, 2% Hispanic/Latino, 72% White/Caucasian, 2% identify as two or more races or ethnicities, and the remainder are of unknown race/ethnicity. Students on campus participate in a number of clubs, which include:[32]

Score 1 for Health

Score 1 for Health is a non-profit organization that administers free, comprehensive health screenings to elementary-aged children living in Kansas City's urban core. The program gives students hands-on clinical training during their first and second year of medical school. The program screens up to 13,000 children for vision, dental, hearing, blood pressure, height/weight and more every year. Registered nurses follow up with children who have a referral and their families to connect them to health resources in the community.[33]


Since 1916, more than 10,500 students have graduated from KCU.[34]

Notable alumni

Of KCU osteopathic physician alumni, about 70 percent practice primary care medicine, and 40 percent practice in rural settings.[35]


  1. ^ a b "In The Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri at Kansas City" (PDF). American City Business Journals. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January 2015. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ "Who We Are". KCU. Kansas City University.
  3. ^ a b c d "Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences". College Navigator. U.S. Department of Education.
  4. ^ "Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine". Princeton Review. Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine" (PDF). American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. 2016.
  6. ^ a b "KCUMB Campus Master Plan" (PDF). Kansas City University.
  7. ^ a b "Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine" (PDF). American Osteopathic Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  8. ^ "U.S. Osteopathic Medical Schools by Year of Inaugural Class" (PDF). AACOM.
  9. ^ a b "Historic Reference of Osteopathic Colleges". American Osteopathic Association. 2006. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Fired medical school president had been pushing big changes". Joplin Metro. December 25, 2009. Retrieved 2012.
  11. ^ "Daily Report Blog". American Osteopathic Association. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 2012.
  12. ^ Sherry, Mike (March 22, 2010). "Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences sues its former president, alleging fraud, mismanagement". Kansas City Business Journal. Retrieved 2012.
  13. ^ "KCUMB President Pletz indicted for Embezzlement".
  14. ^ Bavley, Alan (February 10, 2012). "Karen Pletz's Death Was a Suicide, Coronor Says". The Kansas City Star.
  15. ^ Bavley, Alan (June 12, 2012). "Feds settle claim against Karen Pletz estate". The Kansas City Star.
  16. ^ The Associated Press (January 12, 2014). "After recovering from controversy, KC osteopathic medical school begins $60 million expansion". The Daily Journal. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  17. ^ Williams, Mara Rose (January 7, 2014). "Osteopathic Medical School is Ready to Grow Again". The Kansas City Star.
  18. ^ "KCU Breaks Ground on New Center for Medical Education Innovation". Kansas City University. Retrieved .
  19. ^ "KCU College of Dental Medicine Nears $30M in Fundraising". Kansas City University. Retrieved .
  20. ^ White, D.O., Betty Jo. "The History of Osteopathy in Kansas City, MO (1903-1996)."
  21. ^ "Clerkships". www.kcumb.edu.
  22. ^ "HCA Midwest Health and Kansas City University announce a clinical rotation collaboration to help educate medical students". Kansas City University.
  23. ^ "Curriculum". www.kcumb.edu.
  24. ^ "Community Partners".
  25. ^ "Health Care Leadership Overview". Rockhurst University. Retrieved 2012.
  26. ^ a b "KCUMB Student Center & Library Complexes". Straub Construction. Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. Retrieved .
  27. ^ "KCUMB". KCUMB. 2011-09-22. Retrieved .
  28. ^ "KCU Breaks Ground on New Center for Medical Education Innovation". Kansas City University.
  29. ^ Bavely, Alan (March 26, 2015). "KC University of Medicine and Biosciences plans to open campus in Joplin". The Kansas City Star.
  30. ^ "KCU Joplin". www.kcumb.edu.
  31. ^ "Student Profile". www.kcumb.edu.
  32. ^ "Student Clubs". Kansas City University.
  33. ^ "Score 1 for Health | Home". KCUMB. Retrieved .
  34. ^ "Graduation Central". Kansas City University.
  35. ^ "Students & Alumni". Kansas City University.
  36. ^ "Representative Jim Neely District 008". Missouri House of Representatives.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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