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Campus Roundup

Students Bring Awareness to International Overdose Day, Answer Vaccination Questions, Provide Back to School Screenings and More

September 16, 2021


Following Her Heart, UNTHSC/TCOM Student Takes a Chance and Matches Late into Specialty of Her Dreams

TCOM_09162021_350x350It was another late night in July for Megan Jenkins-Turner, DO, waiting for her husband to get home from work, and surfing the internet hoping to find an open general surgery residency position. Dr. Jenkins-Turner had graduated from the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC/TCOM) months earlier, but was without a job and a residency, all because of a calculated risk she took following her dream.

The stakes are high, the rewards even higher for medical students going through the residency interview process and preparing to pick a specialty. It all leads up to the climactic moment of Match Day. Dr. Jenkins-Turner knew the risks, but decided to follow her dreams, even if that meant changing her desired specialty and possibly not matching.

Read more about the story of how a UNTHSC/TCOM preceptor became a mentor and helped change the path of a medical student, who beat the odds and went from chasing her dream to living it.  

NSU-KPCOM Ranked as the Fifth Largest Medical School in the U.S.

Photo: The Terry Building, which houses the NSU-KPCOM Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus site.

According to an article that appeared in Yahoo News, the Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-KPCOM) is now the fifth largest medical school in the nation in terms of enrollment based on 2020-2021 statistics. Read more stories like this on NSU-KCOM’s Facebook page.

TUNCOM’s Class of 2025 Begin Their Medical School Journeys

For the first time since 2019, Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine (TUNCOM) welcomed its newest cohort of medical students to campus for orientation as the future physicians began their medical school journeys.

“We are delighted to welcome the DO Class of 2025 to Touro University Nevada,” said Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine Wolfgang Gilliar, DO, FAAPMR. “Today’s medical students are poised to become leaders in their chosen fields and will make a positive change in our society.”

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the DO Class of 2024 to have their orientation virtually. One month before the DO Class of 2025 was welcomed to campus, new students from the College of Health and Human Services and the Master’s of Science in Medical Health Sciences Program (MHS) came to campus for the first in-person orientation in two years. Read more about the class composition, one student’s journey and more.

Fernando P. Bruno, MD, MPH, Named Science & Technology Policy Fellow

TouroCOM.Bruno-Fernando_Horizontal_09102021_200x250Fernando P. Bruno, MD, MPH, associate professor in the Department of Anatomy at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - New York (TouroCOM-NY) Middletown Campus, has been awarded a Science & Technology Policy Fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). His fellowship placement will be at the Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science, within the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Bruno is among 284 highly trained scientists and engineers who will spend a year serving professionally in federal agencies and congressional offices as a Science & Technology Policy Fellow. The U.S. government benefits from the contributions of highly trained scientists and engineers while they learn first-hand about federal policymaking and implementation.

“I am very honored to be granted the AAAS fellowship,” said Dr. Bruno. “Scientific discoveries are essential for improving patient care. Yet, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it takes an average of 17 years for only 14 percent of new scientific discoveries to enter day-to-day clinical practice. I will work on health and science policy to identify the best strategies for ensuring successful integration of evidence-based interventions within clinical and public health settings.” Read more about Dr. Bruno’s appointment in the Science & Technology Policy Fellowship.

PCOM Georgia Student-Led Non-Profit Honored for Commitment to Public Safety

PCOMGeorgia_09162021_850x400Photo (left to right): Tyler Richie (DO '23), Rex Burch (DO '23), Chris Griesser (DO '23) and Sara Lezcano (DO '23) are pictured with the public access defibrillator placed on Main Street in the city of Helen, GA.

Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris honored four Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Georgia Campus (PCOM Georgia) third-year medical students, along with their not-for-profit organization, for their commitment to community public safety at a recent Duluth, GA, city council meeting. Group members are the founders of “Student Docs for Shocks,” an organization that works to increase survival for citizens who experience out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest.

The organization accomplishes its mission through public awareness, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator (AED) training and the donation and placement of public access defibrillators in gathering areas.

To date, AED donations and placements have been made on Main Street in Helen, in the Duluth Festival Center and Town Green in Duluth, in the Treehouse Learning Center in Belle Glade, FL, and at The Works in the upper Westside of Atlanta. Read more about the non-profit and the students’ goals for its future.

ICOM Opioid Task Force Recognizes International Overdose Day 

ICOM_Overdose Awareness Day_09162021_850x400Photo (left to right): Student doctors Melanie Athens, Benjamin Black, Kamela Kadri and Mindy Hoang.

August 31 marks International Overdose Awareness Day—the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose, remember those who have been impacted by opioids, and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.

In recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day, members of Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM)’s student-led Opioid Task Force, shared information with the campus community and passed out purple ribbons as a symbol of overdose awareness.

“As future physicians, we must incorporate compassion and mindfulness as we care for everyone in our community, and work as a team with community members, families, public health officials and harm reduction services to stimulate action and discussion about evidence-based overdose prevention and drug policy,” said Kamela Kadri, a second-year medical student and member of ICOM’s Opioid Task Force. Read more about what the task force has accomplished for their local community.

WVSOM Alumnus Shares Importance of White Coat, Physician Compassion During Ceremony

West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM)’s annual Convocation and White Coat Ceremony took place August 28, marking the beginning of the Class of 2025’s commitment to the osteopathic medical profession and a life of health care service. Andy Tanner, DO, a 1999 WVSOM graduate, provided the keynote speech, telling students, “I want all of you to believe in yourself, your abilities and find the silver lining in all that you do and in all of the people you meet along the way. I always tell the medical students and residents I work with that every patient has something to teach you; you just must be open to it and be aware.” Read more about the ceremony.

PCOM Students Provide Health Screenings for Back to School

Recently, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) partnered with local organizations to prepare school-aged children for the upcoming school year. These events, held on Friday, August 20, and Saturday, August 21, included free health screenings and school supplies for guests in attendance.

Friday’s event was hosted in partnership with Methodist Services, located in Philadelphia, PA. Methodist Services aims to provide life-enriching services to children, adults and families as they face the challenges of limited resources, increased poverty and homelessness, disability, inequities in education and behavioral health services.

Saturday’s event was hosted in partnership with the Ward Emmanuel AME Church, also located in Philadelphia. This event was led by the PCOM Hearts student-run clinic and included live music, free food and backpacks filled with school supplies for school-aged children. Read more about the events and PCOM’s community wellness initiative.

UNE COM Students Engage Local Students in Health Careers Exploration Camp

UNE COM_09162021_850x450Every year, the University of New England’s Maine Area Health Education Center (AHEC) hosts a free health careers exploration camp for local high school students from rural or underserved communities.  Over the 3-day program, campers were exposed to team building activities, a case presentation, an activity on social determinants of health and health equity and hands-on clinical activities led by University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNE COM) students in addition to nursing, pharmacy and physician assistant students.


AZCOM/MWU Alumna Promotes Cultural Sensitivity in Healthcare

Students at Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University (AZCOM/MWU) had the opportunity to interact with one of the College’s graduates who is making a difference in matters of cultural diversity and inclusion. AZCOM/MWU’s Diversity and Inclusion Community Outreach Committee hosted Connie Tucker, DO ‘00, as she shared her perspective on caring for diverse patient populations in a culturally sensitive manner. Dr. Tucker serves as the chief medical officer for Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health (NOAH), one of Arizona’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center organizations.

DO Alumnus Returns to DMU-COM for 'Exciting Opportunity'

DMUCOM_09162021_200x250Becoming a physician was always the long-term plan of Adam Bertroche, DO, a 2017 graduate of Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM). While he considered family medicine, emergency medicine and neurology for his career, he chose psychiatry because of its impact on patients that he observed. “Even for patients with a high degree of functional impairment, it’s incredible to see the kind of improvement they have with the psychiatric interventions we provide,” he says.

Dr. Bertroche will have a prominent role in that treatment as the psychiatrist at DMU’s new Behavioral Health Clinic, which will begin seeing patients this winter. The center will be part of the multi-specialty DMU Clinic at 3200 Grand Ave. in Des Moines. “It’s an exciting opportunity to be part of that,” he says. Read more about the clinic, including its genesis and what it will offer to the local community.

RVUCOM’s OBGYN/Pediatrics Simulation Course Introduces Medical Students to Complex Skills

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM)’s Healthcare Simulation Center hosted an OBGYN/Pediatrics Week on the Colorado and Southern Utah campuses, which gave medical students experience with complicated deliveries, IUD insertion, pediatrics sports head injuries, neonatal resuscitation and more. The course also employed the use of Perspectus, a virtual reality technology that allows users to enter a virtual world where they can manipulate anatomical structures and view them from every angle. View more pictures from the events on RVUCOM’s Facebook page.

KCUCOM Students Answer Questions and Provide Vaccinations

Each Saturday for the next several weeks, Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCUCOM) will host free walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics in collaboration with the Black Health Care Coalition, Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center and the Kansas City Health Department. The event takes place at the Negro League Baseball Museum, where KCUCOM students serve as vaccinators. The effort launched on August 30 with listening sessions that allowed guests to have an open forum to ask COVID-related questions and learn about vaccination hesitancy. Additionally, those in attendance could take advantage of health screenings, mental health and physician consultations, and access to other wellness-related services all free of charge. Read more stories like this on KCUCOM’s Facebook page

TUCOM-CA Student Persuades Own Father to Get Vaccinated

TUCOMCA_09162021_200x250Hey Alexa … what causes vaccination hesitancy? Getting answers to complex questions isn’t always as simple as asking a digital assistant. For one Vallejo father, he didn’t need a technological device, but he was finally convinced by his own Alexa. Second-year Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine – California (TUCOM-CA) student Alexa Torres, working with the TouroCARES MVP program, has spent time convincing people reluctant to get vaccinated to do so. A major milestone in that process for her was convincing her own father to finally get the injection.

“It was such a relief when I finally saw him get that shot,” Torres said. Torres got involved with MVP initially because it was one of the first clinical volunteer opportunities that became available to students and at first seemed to be having purely academic benefits for her and many of the other student volunteers. The interdisciplinary program allows the MVP students to interact with students from other Touro academic programs.


VCOM-Louisiana Students Aid Hurricane Evacuees

Photo: First-year medical student, Chase Butler, works with Interim Dean Mark Sanders, DO, JD, MPH, LLM, MS, FACOFP, to assist an evacuee at the Monroe Civic Center following Hurricane Ida.

Hurricane Ida recently devastated Southeastern Louisiana, sending evacuees to the Monroe area. Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Louisiana Campus (VCOM-Louisiana) students and faculty volunteered at the Monroe Civic Center alongside first responders. Students assisted by taking medical histories, checking blood pressure/vitals and providing supplies to those affected by the storm.

VCOM-Virginia Class of 2024 Commits 100 Percent to Naloxone Training

VCOMVC_09162021_850x400In September 2020, the Virginia Department of Health reported that drug overdoses in Southwest Virginia were up 11% since the start of 2020. The Class of 2024 at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Virginia Campus (VCOM-Virginia) took this information and chose to make a difference. They committed to a goal for the year of 100 percent participation for their class in voluntary Naloxone training. “Adding to the impact and significance of this story is the fact that VCOM-Virginia second- and third-year medical students led the training,” said Dean Jan Willcox, DO. The class surpassed their goal with over 200 students, faculty and staff being trained. The Emergency Medicine student organization took this one step farther, hosting a “train the trainer” event, where over 30 students became trained in Virginia’s naloxone training program, REVIVE.

VCOM-Carolinas Students Groups Host Tie Dye Party

VCOM-CC_09162021_850x400Photo: Students at VCOM-Carolinas joined together to make tie-dye creations to benefit PRIDELINK.

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas Campus (VCOM-Carolinas)'s  Medical Outreach and Volunteer Effort (MOVE) and the Pride in Healthcare groups joined together to present a Tie Dye Party on the back lawn of campus on Friday, August 27. All proceeds from the event benefited PRIDELINK. Students wore their tie-dyed creations on a "dress-down day" on Friday, September 3.

Mobile Health and Education Clinics Bring COVID-19 Relief to Erlanger Health

In keeping with its mission to meet the healthcare needs of rural and underserved communities, Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM) Mobile Health and Education Clinics traveled this week to support Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital (EWCH) in providing monoclonal antibody therapy to patients battling COVID-19.

The Mobile Health and Education Clinics (MHECs) were funded by the COVID Recovery Grant, which was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2020 and now managed by the North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office. The MHECs are already proving to be indispensable to fulfilling Campbell’s mission through their weekly use by the Community Care Clinic to provide health exams and vaccinations in Harnett County and neighboring communities. On its farthest trek from Buies Creek, the MHEC will be utilized by EWCH for additional treatment space.

“We are working to expand our influence in healthcare delivery throughout rural North Carolina. As the pandemic continues, partnering with our friends at Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital in Murphy is exactly the type of assistance we knew rural communities needed in such times, and we are honored to come alongside them and put the MHEC unit to work,” said Britt Davis, DPA, vice-president for institutional advancement at Campbell.