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CUSOM Receives $1.8M Grant, PCOM Highlights Student's Diversity Podcast, and More in Campus Roundup

August 05, 2019

ATSU-KCOM Student Completes Fellowship at Hazelden Betty Ford


Third-year A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) student Monica Makar completed a week-long Summer Institute for Medical Students (SIMS) program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center’s campus in Center City, MN.

“As a future physician, I will be prescribing medications that have potential for abuse,” Makar said. “It is important to me to learn more about addiction and acquire the ability to have that vital conversation with my patients about drug dependence, tolerance, and addiction.”

Working alongside 13 other medical students of all levels from throughout the country, Makar attended lectures regarding spirituality and recovery, motivational interviewing, and the neurobiology of addiction as a disease. In addition, participants were provided the opportunity to follow a patient throughout their therapy and detox journey.

According to Makar, the rehabilitation process at Hazelden Betty Ford goes beyond physical healing, addressing mental well-being and spirituality as key aspects of a patient’s addiction recovery.

“One of ATSU-KCOM’s core values is professionalism and approaching each patient as a whole – taking into account body, mind, and spirit,” Makar said. “The recovery process at Hazelden Betty Ford made me very thankful and proud of ATSU-KCOM for teaching me how to approach a patient in a wholesome matter.”

AZCOM Class of 2023 Enjoys Musical Icebreaker at Orientation

Photo: Each year, AZCOM takes its incoming class of DO students to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix as an icebreaker and a way to highlight the importance of observational and listening skills.

The Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM)’s incoming class of DO candidates recently spent a day at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in north Phoenix as part of their orientation activities.

The new group of students had a chance to get to know each other in an informal setting and introduce themselves to AZCOM faculty. They were also treated to an interactive presentation from MIM, which included a scavenger hunt to identify various musical instruments from around the world located in the MIM collections. The activities were designed to help students understand the value of listening and observation as physicians, as well as relax before embarking on the challenges of didactic study.

AZCOM Associate Deans Katherine Mitzel, DO, FACEP, and Randall Nydam, PhD, accompanied the class.

Campbell University Receives $1.8M Grant to Establish New Primary Care Fellowship

Photo: (from left to right) Dr. Victoria Kaprielian, Program Director, and inaugural fellows Alison Beam, PA-C, Ashley Nordan, PA-C, Tom Motyka, DO, Nancy Finnigan, DO, Shannon Jimenez, DO.

Dr. Victoria Kaprielian, associate dean for faculty development and medical education at Campbell University—Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM), has been awarded a $1.8M five-year grant through the Health Resources and Services Administration to fund a Primary Care Champions Fellowship. The purpose of the program is to strengthen primary care and the workforce by establishing fellowship programs to train community-based practicing primary care physician and/or physician assistant champions to lead health care transformation and enhance teaching in community-based settings.

“We know that we need more clinical teachers,” said Dr. Kaprielian. “We are particularly focused on rural and medically underserved populations and [training] fellows from those settings.”

The School of Medicine is surrounded by rural and medically underserved areas. Many of the preceptors currently working with Campbell medical students are practicing in those communities, and in medically underserved areas throughout North Carolina.

"This part-time fellowship allows clinicians who are already in practice to get more training in how to modernize their practices, how to adapt to the changing health care system, and how to do that effectively so they can teach in the practice setting,” said Kaprielian.

Many current practitioners are feeling overwhelmed and overworked, so the idea of adding a learner to the mix can be [even more] overwhelming.

The one-year program requires fellows to attend a four-hour class on-campus each week and complete a practice transformation project. Weekly topics include leadership and managing change, teaching skills, and administrative skills for running the business and/or educational aspects for any type of practice. Read more.

DMU-COM Students, Faculty Provide Free Back-to-School Physicals

Getting annual physicals is an important way to protect one's health and detect any health problems early. On July 25 and 26, Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM) students, clinicians, and other volunteers made that task a lot more accessible for central Iowa school kids. In the University's Olsen Center, 87 kindergarten through 12th grade students were screened and treated by 191 DMU students, 15 faculty, and one graduate of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. Read more.

ICOM Welcomes Second Class of Student-Doctors

The Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) welcomed its second class of student-doctors to campus on Monday, August 5. 

The college’s second class, comprised of 162 students, came to ICOM from across the United States, with 26 hailing from the school’s home state and 48 coming from ICOM’s five-state target region of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

“Being closer to my home state of Wyoming is really great, and I love that I can visit my family,” said first-year osteopathic medical student Joshua Morgan. “But I love the focus that ICOM has on taking care of its students and helping us be the best that we can be as we strive to reach our goals of becoming physicians one day.”

School officials hope graduates from ICOM will help to fill the critical doctor shortage in Idaho, which ranks 49th for the number of physicians and 50th for primary care physicians per capita.

ICOM’s Class of 2023 participated in New Student Orientation July 30 through August 2, prior to the start of classes, where they met faculty and staff, toured the campus, and were fitted for their white coats. Read more.

New York Greenlights LECOM at Elmira

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) is another step closer to expanding its presence in the Empire State, thanks to a decision by the New York State Education Department.

The state’s Board of Regents approved LECOM’s request to operate its doctor of osteopathic medicine program in Elmira, NY. With this approval, LECOM is on pace to welcome 120 first-year medical students to its newest campus, LECOM at Elmira, in July 2020.

“Finally receiving approval from the New York State Board of Regents is the culmination of several years’ effort. It is a tremendous achievement,” said Richard Terry, DO, MBA, LECOM at Elmira associate dean of academic affairs.

In September, the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) approved LECOM’s application to establish an osteopathic medical school on the Elmira College campus. Construction on a $20 million, 49,000 square-foot facility began in January; completion of the state-of-the-art academic complex is slated for year’s end. Read more.

College Students from Chicago Attend Anatomy Bootcamp to Get a Taste of Medical School

LMUDCOM_CR_08082019Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) welcomed eight students from the Sudden Cardiac-Death Awareness and Research Foundation (SCARF) to participate in Anatomy Bootcamp, a three-week intensive anatomy course designed for incoming first-year osteopathic medical students who wish to start learning Gross Anatomy prior to the start of school.

SCARF’s Mentorship and Career Guidance Program partners with students in high schools and colleges, giving them the unique opportunity to learn, practice, and prepare for their future, while helping in their community. Based out of Chicago, all the hosted students from the SCARF program were from the Chicago area.

“We wanted them to get an early taste of what medical school will be like,” said Rick Slaven, coordinator of student advancement for LMU-DCOM. “We also wanted to give them a taste of life in Appalachia with hopes that they might attend LMU one day.” Read more.

Student Podcast Seeks to Inspire Future Medical Professionals of Color

Photo: Student doctor Alicia Williams (pictured right) interviews guest Magdala Chery, DO (pictured left) for her podcast. The podcast explores careers in medicine with guests from across the health care industry, all of which are people of color. Photograph taken by student doctor Cassandra Yeboah with The CA Agency.

Since launching her Medicine in Color podcast in January 2019, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) student Alicia Williams has embarked on a journey of connection and inspiration. With a variety of guests from across the medical landscape, Ms. Williams has provided for her listeners what she knows is valuable as an aspiring medical professional—real examples of what a career in medicine can look like for men and women of color.

“I have always found it’s easiest for me to receive advice from someone I have a connection with, someone that has accomplished what I am looking to accomplish,” she said. “The goal of the podcast is for aspiring physicians to hear from people they can relate to, people who can give guidance on what they would and wouldn’t do differently throughout their career. I also hope to engage an audience who may not have thought medicine was an option for them. Hearing these stories of people who have found their way to medicine can inspire others to see this career path as a possibility.”

Even as demand for diversity increases, minorities are still widely underrepresented in the medical profession. A study published in 2016 by researchers at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina showed racial and ethnic minorities represent 30 percent of the total population but only 11.5 percent of physicians, 11.2 percent of nurses, and 10.1 percent of pharmacists currently in practice in the US. Read more.

OU-HCOM Dublin Hosts 5th Medical Academy for High Schoolers

Photo: Students take part in a simulation exercise during Medical Academy.

Nearly 50 high school juniors and seniors from 29 high schools throughout Ohio gathered at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM)’s Dublin campus June 18-21 for the fifth annual Medical Academy, where they got to explore careers in the health professions. During the four-day camp, students learned about human anatomy and physiology, practiced hands-on clinical skills, and worked with simulated patients alongside medical students, physician assistant students from Ohio University College of Health Sciences and Professions, and health care professionals. Support came from signature sponsor and program partner OhioHealth, as well as other sponsors and representatives from MedFlight, Washington Township Fire Department, and Dublin Police Department. Medical Academy participants will also take part in quarterly enrichment activities throughout the upcoming school year to further their interest in health and medicine—all at no cost to the students.

RVUCOM Welcomes Students with White Coat Ceremony

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) welcomed its twelfth class of medical students to the program during the annual White Coat Ceremony, held at the University of Colorado South Denver on Friday, July 19. The keynote address was given by Bruce Dubin, DO, JD, FCLM, FACOI, who served as the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost, and Dean for the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine. During the address, Dr. Dubin, who also served as Dean and Chief Academic Officer at RVUCOM until 2013, emphasized the battle against disease that physicians willingly undertake in service to others, and the legacy that precedes the Class of 2023.

The class is comprised of 162 students from a variety of backgrounds and locations, and, in keeping with RVU’s continued support of military students, seven percent of the incoming class is attending through the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program. Fourteen students from the class matriculated after receiving RVU’s Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree, a nine-month graduate program designed to increase a student’s understanding of the health sciences.

During the ceremony, Joseph Stasio, DO, FACOFP, Chair of the Department of Primary Care Medicine, received the Faculty Innovator Award, which is given annually to a faculty member who demonstrates outstanding achievements in academic excellence. Dr. Stasio received the award for being a champion of innovation and embracing new teaching models, among his many accomplishments.

UNE COM Second-Years Spend Summer Returning to Honduras

UNECOM_CR_08082019This past June, second-year University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNE COM) students Vincent Martello and Nicole Parentela spent one week of their summer vacation giving time and medical treatment to the people of the San Manuel region of Honduras. This was Vincent’s third trip and Nicole’s fourth time traveling to Honduras.  They were eager to join physicians, PAs, medical students, and undergraduates to serve less fortunate populations in need of basic health care and education.

This 5-day volunteer clinic was organized by Action for Education (AcE), a non-profit organization founded by one of their undergraduate classmates from their time at College of the Holy Cross. Michael Mastroianni, the founder of the company, is pursuing his medical education at Tufts University. Action for Education works toward uniting and serving the needs of health care and education in rural communities of Honduras. Their team traveled daily to surrounding villages and set up clinics in churches, schools, and community centers. The AcE Team partnered with local physicians, optometrists, and dentists to provide primary care services to roughly 1500 patients in 5 days of work while filling roughly 2700 prescriptions. Common conditions treated included hypertension, diabetes, asthma, gastritis and GERD, the common cold, headaches, and bacterial infections. From working in triage, obtaining vital signs, to filling prescriptions in the pharmacy, their team operated a highly-efficient mobile clinic to personally address the needs of each patient.

They hope to return in the future, both as students and ultimately as physicians, each time bringing more sophisticated skills and resources to serve any individual and families in need. For more information on their recent trip, or if you want more information on how to get involved to support a year’s education for a Honduran student, please visit the site at https://www.action4education.org/.

Students Become Acquainted with TUNCOM during Orientation Week

The Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine (TUNCOM) welcomed 178 new students to the Touro family during Orientation Week. Dean Wolfgang Gilliar, DO, (center) and the entire COM faculty are excited to work with the Class of 2023.

TUCOM-CA Student Appointed to Vice Chair Position within the AMA 

Touro University California third-year DO/MPH student Rowena Hann was appointed at the Vice Chair of the Committee on Global & Public Health in the Medical Student Section by the American Medical Association (AMA). Ms. Hann served last year as a committee member prior to her Vice Chair appointment this year.

WVSOM’s Day of Service Draws More Than 130 Student Volunteers

It may have been a Saturday morning, but that didn’t stop students at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) from rolling up their sleeves on July 27 to mow, landscape, paint, clean offices, set up air conditioning units, and complete other physical tasks as part of the school’s Day of Service.

An annual partnership with the United Way of Greenbrier Valley, the Day of Service connects osteopathic medical students with organizations in need of volunteer labor. The event, held as part of WVSOM’s orientation week for incoming students, introduces newcomers to Lewisburg and surrounding areas and offers them a chance to give back to the community in which they’ll live during the first two years of their medical education.

The event also allows students to earn Translating Osteopathic Understanding into Community Health (T.O.U.C.H.) hours. Students who volunteer 50 hours or more in one year receive special recognition.

More than 130 first- and second-year students took part in this year’s event. Second-year student Nathaniel Jordan, WVSOM’s T.O.U.C.H. coordinator for 2019-20, said he thinks students got even more out of the Day of Service than they put into it.

“Showing the community that we’re invested in them had a big impact on us,” he said. “Osteopathic medicine teaches us to look at the whole person and being part of a community is an important aspect of being a whole person.”


Vol. 3, No. 13
August 8, 2019