AZCOM Faculty and Students Assume National and Local Leadership Roles
Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University (AZCOM/MWU) students and faculty have recently assumed local and national leadership roles in osteopathic medicine and education.
Two AZCOM faculty members have assumed the presidencies of osteopathic medical organizations: Evelyn Schwalenberg, DO, became President of the National Association of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NAOME); and Shannon Scott, DO, who recently received the Mentor of the Year Award from the Student American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (SAOFP), was elected President of the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association (AOMA) and is currently leading the development of a new public awareness campaign about DOs in Arizona. On the student side, Sasha Hallett, MS-II, was named the western regional representative of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident & Student Association (AAEM/RSA) Medical Student Council.
Four CUSOM Students Receive National SOMA Appointments
During the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) Spring Convention, held April 13-15 in Washington, DC, two Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM) students were elected to the SOMA National Board of Directors and two were elected to the Board of Trustees. View the full list of newly-elected representatives.
Elected from a pool of 42 candidates from medical schools across the country, Crystal Cobb, MS-II, will serve as the Political Affairs Director and Alexandra Jordan, MS-II, will serve as the Strategic Partnerships Director on the SOMA National Board of Directors. Additionally, Elizabeth Gibbs, MS-III, will serve as Treasurer for the SOMA Board of Trustees and Jordan Hitchens, MS-III, will serves as the Student Trustee to the AOA Board of Trustees.
DMU-COM Hosts Annual Girls Day in Science
More than 200 fourth through seventh grade girls traveled to the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM) campus on April 2 for the 11th annual Girls in Science Day, an opportunity for participants to experience interactive activities at 15 stations that showcased how science skills are important in health care careers. The girls were able to hold real human organs, handle bones, peer through microscopes, suture pigs’ feet, and help rescue a medical mannequin from heart failure, among other activities. Participating DMU-COM students enjoyed the girls’ vibrant energy amid a semester of rigorous course work and training. Girls in Science Day was hosted by the DMU-COM Women’s Medical Alliance, with support from the University’s community relations office, and dozens of campus volunteers.
Heritage College Earns Plaudits from Legislator and Governor for 40 Years of Service
In 1975, Ohio State Rep. Tom Fries sponsored House Bill 229, legislation that would create the state’s first college of osteopathic medicine (COM) at Ohio University. He knew the state was in need of more primary care physicians, and he believed that the proposed new medical school could go a long way toward supplying them. What he didn’t realize then was just how far the college would run with that mission over the next 40 years.
Fries, who ended a 14-year stint in the Ohio Legislature in 1984, returned to the Statehouse for a Founder’s Day event on Wednesday, April 20. Along with top leaders of the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM), he stood front and center as the Legislature recognized the college for four decades of service to the state, with resolutions presented on the floors of both the House and Senate. Gov. John Kasich also recognized the college’s 40th anniversary with a proclamation, in which he praised the school “for creating meaningful and lasting impact on generations of Ohio University students.”
KCU Celebrates Groundbreaking for New Medical School in Joplin, Missouri
On March 30, leaders from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU) joined partners and friends from the Joplin community to break ground on its second College of Osteopathic Medicine in Joplin, MO. The groundbreaking took place during a ceremony at Mercy Hospital Joplin’s former location, which was donated to serve as the campus of the new medical school.
KCU-Joplin, the first new medical school in Missouri in nearly 50 years, represents the realization of a shared vision for the region, and has been made possible through collaboration among KCU, Mercy Hospital Joplin, Freeman Health System, the City of Joplin and philanthropic leadership from the surrounding community.
LMU-DCOM SNMA Chapter Named Regional Chapter of the Year
The Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) was named Region X Chapter of the Year at the 52nd Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC), held March 23-27 in Austin, TX. Region X is composed of the SNMA chapters at medical schools in Tennessee and Kentucky.
In November 2015, the LMU-DCOM SNMA chapter hosted the Region X Regional Medical Education Conference (RMEC). The conference included students from LMU-DCOM, as well as from the University of Kentucky School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center School of Medicine.
The LMU-DCOM chapter continues to work on establishing a pipeline mentoring program with Northwest Middle School in Knoxville, TN. The pipeline program is designed to help minority students to foster academic and scientific interest at an early age. The LMU-DCOM chapter was also chosen to redesign SNMA's national publication, “So You Want to Be a Doctor?”. The publication serves as a guide to gaining acceptance into both allopathic and osteopathic medical schools across the country and is available to pre-medical students across the nation.
PCOM Hosts First Transgender Medicine Symposium
To help primary care doctors better understand and more effectively treat the growing number of transgender patients in the United States, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) recently hosted a continuing medical education lecture on transgender medicine, which brought together local and national experts in the field to speak on a variety of topics such as continuity of care, counseling services, surgical options, and hormone treatments.
Traditionally, it has been difficult for this population to receive adequate care; a recent study by Lambda Legal found that 70 percent of transgender patients had experienced discrimination in health care, and another study by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National LGBTQ Task Force found that 33 percent either postponed treatment or did not seek preventive care due to those past experiences.
Thus far, PCOM has taken several steps to augment its medical education curriculum, to better prepare DO and physician assistant studies students to address LGBTQ issues, including an interactive course for second year students to learn more about the unique health disparities facing this community, such as rates of HIV and cancer.
The College is also making its campuses in Philadelphia and Georgia more welcoming to transgender individuals who want to practice medicine—research shows that patients are more likely to trust a clinician who shares their background. These include the founding of the LGBTQIA subcommittee of the President’s Diversity Council, the establishment of Safe Zones on both campuses, and the construction of gender-neutral restrooms.
RVUCOM Celebrates Mental Health Awareness Week and Diversity Week
Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) recently celebrated its first annual Mental Health Awareness Week. This event was developed by the Student Wellness Committee to provide awareness of the issues students may face as physicians, while providing tools to enhance and manage their own mental health. With physicians facing alarming increases in drug use and suicide, it is more important than ever to focus on and support these issues. The week’s activities included guest speakers who provided tips on self-care, balancing work and life, stress management, and avoiding substance abuse, as well as other wellness activities.
RVU also recently hosted its second annual Diversity Week. This event was created by the Diversity Committee—a group of students who recognized the need for more conversation and awareness of the diversity found in the health care field, with the goal of developing into more open and unbiased physicians.
To kick off the week, students and faculty gathered for a viewing of TED Talks clips that highlighted misconceptions on culture and stereotypes, students welcomed guest speakers, and participated in a discussion panel in which students and faculty talked about diversity in health care and its challenges.
TouroCOM-NY Creates NOM Week Video
The Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York created an original video to encourage students, faculty, and administration to get involved during NOM Week. Watch it here.
TouroCOM Research Reveals Potential for ERs to Reduce Radiation Exposure in Children with Suspected Appendicitis
Physicians can safely reduce the use of computed tomography (CT) scans in children who have a suspected appendicitis by performing an ultrasound first, according to preliminary results of a three-year study presented here at Touro College Research Day. Organized by the Touro Research Collaborative, Touro College Research Day was on Tuesday, May 3 at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Touro College of Pharmacy campus.
The study compared testing trends and outcomes of pediatric patients who came to the Orange Regional Medical Center with suspected appendicitis during two periods of time, 2011-12, and 2014-15. Researchers found that rates of using CT scans first dropped from 12.8 to 7.5 percent between the two time periods.
“These results show that our hospital is doing better at following the recommendations by using ultrasound first, and then if indicated, moving on to CT,” said Suhal Shah, MS-III, TouroCOM. “That shows that we are limiting radiation exposure in children.”More research is needed to study the variables that were not taken into account in this study such as variations among physicians ordering the tests, the ultrasound technicians and radiologists.
WVSOM Hosts Fourth Annual Sigma Xi Science Fair
The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) hosted its fourth annual Southern West Virginia Regional Middle School Science Fair on April 19.
This year nearly 55 students—the most participants in the fair’s history—from seven schools and representing five counties participated in the event. The science fair was open to entries in the experimental and non-experimental categories. Four workshops were offered: lessons in CPR, wilderness medicine providing techniques for dealing with injuries in rural areas, a drunk driving test simulation, and a robotic simulator experiencing alcohol withdraw. First- and second-year WVSOM students judged the event based on scientific thought, creativity, understanding, clarity, dramatic value and technical skills.