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AZCOM Students Inspire Local Youths, ICOM Students Provide Flu Shots, and More in Campus Roundup

October 08, 2019

ATSU-KCOM Students Host Patriot Day Ceremony

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The A.T. Still University (ATSU) Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons hosted their annual Patriot Day ceremony on September 11, in somber remembrance of the terrorist attacks that shocked the nation in 2001.

Students, community members, and first responders gathered near the Adair County Courthouse in Kirksville, MO, to remember and honor the nearly 3,000 innocent people who lost their lives 18 years ago. The event featured a moment of silence, the National Anthem sung by the ATSU Medleys, student speakers, the raising of the United States flag, and members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2508 playing “Taps”.

Rather than focusing on the fear felt by all Americans on this tragic day, student keynote speaker Chris Anderson encouraged all who attended to shift their attention to honoring the acts of heroism shown by many in the midst of tragedy.

“What defines a hero?” Anderson asked the crowd. “I believe a hero is someone who is willing to sacrifice their own life to save others.” Read more.

Southeast Health ACOM Ashford Clinic Arrives

The new clinic facility, which will be located approximately seven miles from the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) campus and adjacent to the existing clinic, will help increase access to primary care for citizens and focus on education of ACOM students within a nurturing, patient-centered environment. Southeast Health and ACOM, in partnership with Ashford leaders, recognized the need to increase health care options in the rural community and identified an opportunity to expand the health care coverage in the area. The Southeast Health ACOM Ashford Clinic will further highlight the great opportunities for medical education in the Wiregrass and foster a greater understanding of the patients this area serves. 

AZCOM Students Inspire Local Youths During School Visits

Osteopathic medical students are often passionate about what inspired them to pursue a career in medicine. To pass that spirit along, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM) students recently spent time at North Phoenix’s Ridgeline Academy speaking to eighth-graders about osteopathic medicine, surgery, anatomy, and medical careers.

“It’s vital to give back to the community and to pass the torch to the next generation,” said Michael Galibov. “The kids really impressed me. They came prepared with astute and pointed questions, scribbling notes the entire time.”

“The students asked appropriate questions and showed in-depth thinking,” agreed Jalicia Sturdivant. “They were excited to learn about muscle energy and to practice osteopathic techniques.”

The Ridgeline Academy visits are part of AZCOM’s ongoing outreach to local schools and youth to spark interest in future osteopathic physicians.

BCOM Student’s Case Study Highlighted Nationally on MedPage Today

BCOM_CR_10102019A recent case study by Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) fourth-year medical student Cory Albrechtsen has been accepted and published on the prestigious physician website MedPage Today.

This past fall Albrechtsen witnessed a rare patient phenomenon at Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces while he was rotating through an obstetrics and gynecology clerkship. The experience inspired him to write the case study, “Why Are These Bones and Teeth Where They Shouldn’t Be?”

Co-authored by Darwana Ratleff-Todd, MD, and Brianna Wellington, MD, the study describes the patient’s presentation, findings and outcomes to help guide other physicians who may encounter a similar case.

The study describes a woman who visited the emergency department for lower abdominal pain. An ultrasound and CT scan revealed a mass in the woman’s right ovary known as an ovarian cystic teratoma. Under Dr. Ratleff-Todd’s supervision and guidance, Albrechtsen scrubbed in and helped remove the abnormal cyst. Read more.

ICOM Student Doctors Give Campus Flu Shots

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October marks the beginning of the flu season, and student-doctors in their second year of study at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) are doing their part to help vaccinate. 

Hosted by ICOM’s Student Government Association’s (SGA) Wellness Committee and Student Osteopathic Internal Medicine Association (SOIMA), second-year students administered the influenza vaccine, under physician supervision, to their fellow students, faculty, and staff, during the college’s inaugural Flu Shot Clinic. Read more.

NSU-KPCOM Students Named as Officers of NSU Sigma Xi Chapter

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Photo: the new Sigma Xi chapter at Nova Southeastern University will connect faculty members and students with research opportunities.

First-year Nova Southeastern University Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (KPCOM) student Avidor Gerstenfeld was elected vice president of NSU’s new Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society chapter, while second-year student Allan Barraza was elected student representative. The NSU Sigma Xi chapter, which was installed on September 19, has a three-year plan that includes developing skills students can use to obtain research opportunities and funding, as well as facilitating opportunities for professional development.

Sigma Xi is the world’s largest multidisciplinary honor society for scientists and engineers. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world. More than 200 Nobel Prize winners have been members.

OU-HCOM Student Group Publishes 4th Annual Art/Lit Journal

OUHCOM_CR_10102019Photo: Cover of the 2019 issue of ARTery.

The Humanism in Medicine student group at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) at Dublin has published the fourth annual issue of its art and literary journal, ARTery. The organization, founded at the Dublin campus in 2015, celebrates the continuity of art and medicine and promotes humanistic values in future physicians. ARTery, an online publication, accepts contributions in a wide range of media, including poetry, prose, graphic art, and more from Heritage College students and faculty, as well as physician assistant students from the Ohio University College of Health Sciences and Professions in Dublin. Read more.

PCOM Hosts Second Annual Wellness Fest

On September 21, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) held its second-annual Wellness Fest, title sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. This year the PCOM community welcomed almost 900 guests from 111 zip codes to enjoy free, healthy fun for the whole family.

“We are delighted to once again welcome our local community to our Philadelphia campus for Wellness Fest,” said Jay S. Feldstein, DO, President and CEO. “Sharing the osteopathic philosophy of whole person health care is a central focus of Wellness Fest and we are pleased to provide free health screenings and health-focused activities for people of all ages.”

This year, PCOM and its sponsors offered over 15 free health screening options including blood pressure, hearing, cholesterol and A1C checks, and flu shots. Guests were also invited to ask their health questions in the “Ask the Doctor” booth and attend health-focused presentations by PCOM faculty members. Read more.

TUNCOM Faculty Focus: Dr. Sharon McKenna, Assistant Professor, College of Osteopathic Medicine

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As a coal miner’s daughter growing up in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Sharon McKenna, DO, had a familiarity with medicine at a young age. “My mom was in and out of the hospitals when I was a little kid, and our family doctor was a DO,” she said.

Robindale, the small, blue-collar town where McKenna grew up, population 78, no longer exists. A flood ravaged the town in the late 1970s, and residents who survived were forced to relocate. “What was once Robindale is now a power plant located next to a coal mine,” McKenna said.

After majoring in biology and chemistry during her undergraduate years, McKenna chose to teach since she wasn’t entirely sure if medicine was a career she wanted to pursue after college.

At one point, she and her husband took on a few different business ventures, including owning a children’s clothing store and a restaurant. While owning the clothing store, McKenna’s husband suffered a heart attack. From there, her career trajectory steered her toward her calling.

“We had a talk about what the future held for our careers, and I told him that I really wanted to be a doctor,” McKenna recalled. “He told me that I should go for it.” Read more.

RVUCOM Celebrates Healthcare Simulation Week

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This past week, Rocky Vista University (RVU)’s Office of Simulation in Medicine and Surgery (SIMS) celebrated Healthcare Simulation Week. While grabbing a slice of cake at an informational booth on campus, students learned about upcoming projects and the role of simulation in health care education. The week also recognized and celebrated the professionals around the world who use simulation to improve the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of health care services every day.

RVU’s simulation program utilizes specialized manikins and technology such as the Cut Suit®, a human-worn body suit that contains battery-operated, blood-filled vessels and organs that accurately replicate the look and feel of actual intra-abdominal and intra-thoracic contents. Students can also practice and develop their communication and clinical skills in the Standardized Patient lab, where trained actors portray realistic scenarios and symptoms for students to diagnose. Interested students can join the Sim Scholar program, which provides additional simulation mentoring or they can participate in the annual Simulation Team Competition.

“[Simulation] provides deliberate practice with minimal risks and allows opportunity for real time feedback,” said Chasity Edwards, Assistant Director of the Office of SIMS. “It gives students exposure to some of the more uncommon events that they may not otherwise experience in their clinical externships.”

New Research Leader at WesternU Receives $2.8 Million NIH Grant

Western University of Health Sciences Senior Vice President for Research Devendra K. Agrawal, PhD, received a $2.8 million National Institutes of Health grant to study a potentially life-altering treatment for patients undergoing hemodialysis.

The project, “Novel Molecular Target to Prevent Maturation Failure of Arteriovenous Fistula,” is being funded for $704,979 per year for four years. Agrawal joined WesternU on July 1, 2019.

Those who suffer kidney failure must undergo one of three renal replacement therapies: hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis or kidney transplantation.

One of the most common methods of hemodialysis is via an arteriovenous (AV) fistula, an access made by connecting an artery to a vein. The AV fistula undergoes a remodeling or maturation process that involves three stages.

“We are connecting a high-flow vessel to a low-flow vein. Because of that, there is shear stress in the blood flow, which increases the size of the vessels so there is enough blood flow.

Auto Extrication Teaches WVSOM Students Emergency Procedures

WVSOM_CR2_10102019The loud crack of metal twisting, the sharp clink of glass shattering, and the hydraulic buzz of rescue tools in action filled the air at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine’s (WVSOM) fourth annual automobile extrication demonstration.

The event, which took place October 1 on the school’s campus in Lewisburg, WV, was intended to show osteopathic medical students the steps emergency personnel take when freeing passengers after an accident. WVSOM’s Wilderness Medicine Club, Emergency Medicine Club and Rural Health Initiative program sponsored the demonstration, with students serving as accident victims trapped inside a Chevrolet 4x4 and a Ford Mustang.

Organizations that helped stage the event included HealthNet Aeromedical Services, the Lewisburg Volunteer Fire Department, Fairlea Volunteer Fire Department, White Sulphur Springs Emergency Medical Services, Anthony’s Truck Repair & Towing, and the West Virginia State Police.

Second-year WVSOM student Trevor Toussieng, president of the school’s Wilderness Medicine Club, said the experience provided an example of the kind of knowledge that can’t be taught in class.

“Those of us who are trying to be physicians spend a lot of time with our heads in books, so we don’t always understand what goes on outside the hospital,” he said. “For us to see what EMS, fire departments, and air medical services do in order to bring a patient to us was an invaluable experience.”


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Vol. 3, No. 17
October 10, 2019