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Med Students Mentor High Schoolers During Summer STEM Programs, Celebrate Matching and Participate in a Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track Weekend


UNTHSC/TCOM Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society Welcomes New Inductees

The humanistic side of medicine is alive and well at University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC/TCOM). The UNTHSC/TCOM Chapter of the Arnold P Gold Foundation inducted 45 students and four faculty members into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. The students, who are all members of the Class of 2022, were chosen for their outstanding humanistic behaviors shown during medical school.

“Humanism in medicine comes down to recognizing the humanity of ourselves, our peers and our patients and forming respectful and compassionate relationships with them,” said UNTHSC/TCOM fourth-year student Alyssa Wilder. Read more about the Class of 2022 inductees.

A Call to Serve Others: KCU-COM Student Shares EMT Experience

Inspired by his faith and upbringing, serving others has been a long-standing priority for Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCU-COM) student doctor Ryan Hoffman. As a lifelong witness to service within his own family—his father, an osteopathic emergency physician, his mother, a nurse practitioner and his grandfather, who worked closely with Habitat for Humanity and other charities—Ryan is following in their footsteps.

The United Nations Public Service Day is observed on June 23. It recognizes the work of public servants and encourages young people to pursue careers in the public sector. Young people like Ryan, who has worked since 2017 at Lawson Fire and Rescue Protection District in Lawson, Missouri, covering 24-hour shifts on weekends and as needed throughout the school year. Presently, he picks up various shifts over KCU-COM’s winter and summer breaks. Read more about student doctor Ryan Hoffman and how he connects service and osteopathic medicine.

PCOM South Georgia, PCOM Georgia and PCOM Host Summer STEM Programs for Local High School Students

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Local high school students spent two weeks at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine South Georgia Campus (PCOM South Georgia) receiving a crash course in medical school during the annual Science and Math Summer Academy (SMSA). The pathway program is designed to encourage young students to pursue healthcare careers. Participants received medical lectures from faculty members, spent time with mentors and learned about the admissions process from college and university representatives.

By giving high school students early exposure to these resources, Stacie Fairley, PhD, faculty leader, hopes it encourages them to pursue their goals of joining the healthcare profession. “This year the academy was in-person, which I think allowed for a much more rewarding experience for the participants,” she said. “I was intentional about recruiting students that could ultimately help to build a more diverse healthcare workforce, which included underrepresented minorities and females.” Learn more about the PCOM South Georgia pathway program for high schoolers.

Photo: Gwinnett area high schoolers learned about human anatomy, preparing for college and a wide variety of careers in medicine.

At PCOM Georgia, about 40 high school students, known as “mentees,” energized the zoom rooms and halls for the past two weeks as they learned about healthcare careers from physical therapist to pharmacist to veterinarian, in addition to such topics as professionalism, time management, financial literacy and college readiness. A team of PCOM Georgia “mentors”—students in the biomedical sciences, osteopathic medicine and pharmacy programs—provided leadership and guidance to the high schoolers who participated in the college’s free Summer Math and Science Academy. Read more about PCOM Georgia’s local healthcare careers summer academy.

Photo: PCOM students host interactive brain demonstration for Science and Math Summer Academy

In Philadelphia, PCOM hosted its annual Science and Math Summer Academy for local high school students. This week-long program was designed to increase awareness of STEM+M (science, technology, engineering, math, plus medicine) careers for underrepresented high school students. The program included 32 high school students from across the Philadelphia area and featured an interactive curriculum with activities ranging from a virtual brain lab, interview opportunities with current PCOM students and an opportunity to present research to peers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event was virtual.

“Overall the program was a huge success,” shared Alicia Hahn-Murphy, MS, diversity and inclusion program coordinator and director of this year’s program. “I was particularly impressed by these students as they had just completed their school year the Friday before the program began. They were very involved in all the activities, they asked great questions and they were excited to share what they learned with their peers.”

Read more about the PCOM summer camp opportunity and program offerings.

WVSOM’s Class of 2021 Obtains 97 Percent Residency Match Rate

WVSOM_07082021_400x400_Katelyn Bennett_Heather Farr_Kristy FarmerPhoto: Katelyn Bennett, Heather Farr and Kristy Farmer pose with their residency matches.

Match Day, which takes place the third week of March every year, allows thousands of medical students to learn where they will train for residency. Residency programs typically last between three and seven years and are a key requirement in obtaining a medical license.

The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM)’s graduating class consisted of 179 graduates, with a 97 percent residency match rate for the class.

“This is a big deal, especially since there are not enough residency positions in the nation for the number of medical school students who apply,” said WVSOM President James W. Nemitz, PhD. “It was a particularly difficult year since students were restricted as to where they could go for clinical rotations, essentially eliminating audition rotations for many students.”

Victoria Shuman, DO, WVSOM’s associate dean for graduate medical education, said that the lack of in-person interviews required students to distinguish themselves on a virtual platform.

“Our students did very well considering there were more than 40,000 applicants for a little more than 35,000 first-year residency positions,” she said. “During this Match season, students had to show they were desirable candidates via virtual interviews—more than 95 percent of interviews were held virtually—and not through the traditional process of being in person and showing their strengths to prospective program directors.”

Read more about WVSOM’s 2021 match.

DMU-COM Graduate: A True Renaissance Man

BrianFerguson_DMUCOM_400x400_07082021Prior to enrolling in Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM) and public health dual-degree program, Brian Ferguson, DO, MPH, was an astrophysics data and research analyst for the Space Telescope Science Institute, which operates the science program for the NASA Hubble telescope, as well as a competitive gymnast on the trampoline.

As a DMU-COM student, he experienced an eight-week internship with the World Health Organization during which he wrote proposals and advocated for funding to address the international problem of poor early childhood growth and development. Now an active-duty emergency medical physician in the US Air Force, Ferguson also is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Wellness, a peer-reviewed open-access indexed journal about how to stay well in medical practice. And he recently published a novel, The Keeper of Keys, which he wrote initially as a gift to his wife.

Read more about Dr. Ferguson’s life, talents and future endeavors.

RVUCOM Rural & Wilderness Medicine Track Students Participate in Simulation Weekend

Students in Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM)’s Rural & Wilderness Medicine Track, a specialized program that trains students for practice in remote settings and with limited resources, traveled to Baggs, Wyoming, for a weekend of simulation scenarios and skills workshops. During the annual event, student doctors learned emergency medicine procedures in collaboration with local first responders and volunteers from the town of Baggs. View more images on RVUCOM’s Instagram and Facebook social accounts.