The Bigger Picture

Campus Roundup

ATSU-SOMA Celebrates Annual Founder’s Day Event

On Friday, October 27, A.T. Still University (ATSU) celebrated Founder’s Day on its Arizona campus. Approximately 550 people attended the event, including ATSU students, faculty, and staff, as well as their families. ATSU’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) celebrated its 10th anniversary, in conjunction with the University’s 125th anniversary.

Festivities included bounce houses, music, and a Halloween costume contest for kids. ATSU Student Life provided dinner from Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. Councilmember Jeremy Whittaker and Vice Mayor David Luna of Mesa, Arizona presented a proclamation by the City of Mesa declaring October 27, 2017 to be “A.T. Still University Day.”

Mykel Estes, MEd, ATSU’s Director of Student Life, served as chair of the planning committee. “It’s a great event because it allows our students, employees, and their families to come together outside the walls of our classrooms, clinics, or labs,” he says. “It really was a fun-filled, spirited event.”


On November 7, the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University (AZCOM) welcomed Adrienne White-Faines, MPA, Chief Executive Officer of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), as a guest speaker to first- and second-year students. Ms. White-Faines addressed several important topics for osteopathic students, including her perspectives about the future of osteopathic medicine, single-accreditation system updates, and changes in current health policy. Ms. White-Faines also encouraged AZCOM students to continue their efforts in promoting osteopathic medicine.

Over 820 Hours of Community Service and Counting: Sigma Sigma Phi Inducts 32 BCOM Students

113017_BCOM_CRPhoto: Sigma Sigma Phi Officers & Co-Founders. From left to right: Mikhail de Jesus, Roy Thomas, Daniel Sulitzer, Robert Lyday, Mohan Muvvala, Hannah Niehaus, and Joya Singh.

A chapter of Sigma Sigma Phi (SSP) has been established at Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM), and 32 members of the class of 2020 were recently inducted into this honorary osteopathic service community. SSP aims to “improve scholastic standing and promote a higher degree of fellowship among its students.”  

Acceptance into SSP is limited to only 25 percent of each class. Candidates must have already completed at least one semester of medical school and have a cumulative grade average above 80 percent to be considered for membership. Applicants are also evaluated based on academics, leadership, service, awards, and personal characteristics, and they must submit a short essay explaining what they hope to accomplish in the fraternity. Read more.

CCOM Students Participate in Residency Ready Day

Photo: Third-year students at CCOM participate in a full-day of activities to prepare them for their future residencies.

The Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) brought all the third-year students back to the Downers Grove Campus for a Residency Ready Day. The entire day was filled with information geared to preparing students for residencies, which are a vital step in the postgraduate education of future physicians.

Throughout the day, the CCOM students covered topics including obtaining letters of recommendation, applying for residencies, interview and rotation etiquette, and choosing a specialty. The students also learned more about the new Single GME Accreditation System.

DMU-COM Hosts “50 and Better” Senior Health Fair

113017_DMUCOM_CRHundreds of students and community members participated in the 2017 Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM) "50 and Better" Senior Health Fair on Saturday, November 4. This annual event is an excellent opportunity for central Iowans to learn more about the compassionate care DMU-COM is training students to provide. DMU-COM also partners with organizations such as the National Kidney Foundation to provide screenings and Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to offer interprofessional bone density scans. Students also displayed their wide array of non-academic skills. The DMU Chamber Ensemble serenaded the crowd, and tantalizing scents from a healthy cooking demonstration hosted by the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) wafted through the space.

LECOM Health Joins Warren General Hospital and Highmark Health in New Venture

Warren General Hospital announced that an agreement in principle has been reached with Highmark Health, Allegheny Health Network (AHN), and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) Health to establish an affiliation that will further enhance access to high-quality, high-value health services in the communities of Warren and surrounding regions.

In this tentative agreement, Warren General Hospital will provide a membership interest to AHN and LECOM Health. The organizations expect to execute definitive agreements and secure regulatory approvals for their affiliation by the first quarter of 2018. Upon closing the deal, Warren General will partner with AHN, Highmark Health, and LECOM Health to further strengthen and expand the quality and scope of medical care it offers to the region. Read more.

“The Feminine Touch” Documentary Nominated for Suncoast Regional Emmy Award

“The Feminine Touch: The Struggle for Equality in Medicine,” a WEDU PBS-TV documentary based on the book by Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine - Bradenton (LECOM-Bradenton) faculty member Thomas Quinn, DO, has been nominated for a Suncoast Regional Emmy Award for best historical documentary. The documentary portrays the struggle for women’s acceptance in the medical profession. It was the osteopathic profession that fully threw open the doors to women in the medical field. “The book and documentary tell the story of the fight against the inequality of the sexes in medicine,” Dr. Quinn explained. “And it is intertwined with the struggle for osteopathic medicine to be accepted as a valid scientific practice.”

Dr. Quinn said Silvia Ferretti, DO, Senior Vice-President and Provost of LECOM, is prominently featured in the book as well as in the documentary. “As the first woman to become dean of an osteopathic medical college, Dr. Ferretti has been an inspiration to a generation of female osteopathic physicians,” Quinn said. Read more, and to view “The Feminine Touch” visit or

Following a Path to Wellness

On October 26, students, faculty and staff members gathered to celebrate the unveiling of The Healing Path, a student-driven project led by New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) students Matthew GoldfingerSamantha Gottlieb, and Alexander Nello. The path was created to promote wellness and provide an inviting and serene space for introspective reflection for the entire NYIT and NYITCOM community. Thanks to the generosity of donors, the Healing Path has become a reality and is enabling students and practitioners to stay true to the goals of the profession of healing. This outdoor location contains reflection areas dedicated to themes that portray different tenets, lessons, and goals that students will encounter in their careers. Each reflection area includes a notebook, inviting visitors to share their thoughts and concerns and read the entries of others.

The Healing Path will always be a work in progress, and will give all who visit the opportunity to welcome compassion into their lives. Watch the video.

PCOM Researcher Lands NIH Grant

Kennedy’s Disease, also known as spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), is a rare genetic disorder which causes the death of nerve cells in the spinal cord, as well as muscles that control voluntary movement. Roughly 1 in 40,000 worldwide has Kennedy’s Disease, and it can severely affect quality of life through symptoms such as muscle tremors and cramping. Patients also suffer difficulty swallowing and speaking, and eventually become non-ambulatory.

There is currently no cure or effective therapy for the disease, but Heather Montie, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Physiology, and Pharmacology, is hoping to change that. Thanks to a new $151,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Montie and her team will spend the next two years creating a preclinical research model using zebrafish, which will hopefully help drive research in SBMA and eventually, help lead to a therapy for patients. Read more.

GA-PCOM Center Provides Students with Hands-On Training

GA-PCOM students diagnose a patient in the simlabSimulation or “Sim” Centers are often used to train students who are seeking advanced degrees in health care. At Georgia Campus - Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM), students in the osteopathic medicine, physician assistant, and pharmacy programs receive hands-on training and clinical skills experience before treating actual patients.

the GA-PCOM Sim Center is used regularly by second-year DO students who are training to participate in the Sim Challenge which is held at the American Medical Student Association annual convention. The challenge is a competition in which student teams are presented with emergent clinical scenarios that require medical knowledge, clinical skills, teamwork and communication to save the simulated patient.

“The DO students training for the SimOlympics are bridging the gap between basic science classroom work and clinical medicine in the simulated ‘real world’. Medical education combined with competition provides a win/win situation,” Michael J. Sampson, DO, Associate Dean for Clinical Integration said. Read more.

Photo: GA-PCOM DO students, Georgia Gwinnett College nursing students, and Gwinnett Technical College EMT students learned to collaborate and communicate during the recently held Trauma Day.

Predoctoral OPP Fellows Take the Reins

113017_NSUKPCOM_CRSix second-year students at Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-KPCOM) recently began a Predoctoral Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) Fellowship. The yearlong apprenticeship includes an application, interview, and a ranking based on academic excellence and interpersonal skills. The students spend an additional year in medical school between their preclinical and clinical years in the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) Clinic and in the classroom, where they have the privilege of teaching first- and second-year students in the OMM Lab.

Their experience goes beyond manipulating skeletal and muscular disorders because they have the unique ability to grow as a family of colleagues and friends with one another, as well as with the physicians who mentor them every day. The six NSU-KPCOM students selected to participate in the 2017–2018 predoctoral fellowship are Stephany Giraldo, Paul Kim, Anna Marie, Urvi Patel, Rajinder Persaud, and Anna Maria Roman.

Photo: The six fellows are joined by David Boesler, back row, left.

RVUCOM Hosts Annual Research Appreciation Day

113017_RVUCOM_CRRocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) held its annual Research Appreciation Day on both campuses. This event acknowledges the efforts of students, faculty, and staff in the area of medical and educational research. Kicking off this year’s event, Carol J. Saunders, PhD, Clinical Director of the Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine at Children’s Mercy Hospital, provided the keynote, “Shortening the Diagnostic Odyssey in Pediatric Testing.” Participants then displayed and discussed their research posters during a poster presentation session. The event closed with an awards ceremony.

TUNCOM Student Veteran Spotlight: Michelle Mangold

113017_TUNCOM_CR“Student Veteran Spotlight” is an occasional series that highlights Touro University Nevada’s student veterans. This month, TUNews spoke with Michelle Mangold, a fourth-year medical student from the College of Osteopathic Medicine (TUNCOM). She is an eighth-generation military family member and served as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force from 2012-2014. Read the interview.

VCOM-Auburn Holds Third White Coat Ceremony

113017_VCOMAC_CRThe Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Auburn Campus (VCOM-Auburn) held its third White Coat Ceremony on October 15, 2017, in the Auburn Arena on the Auburn University campus. Students from the class of 2021 walked across the stage and received their white coats to the cheers of family and friends. This year’s event saw 160 VCOM-Auburn students receive their coats, along with VCOM-inscribed stethoscopes. The guest speaker for the White Coat Ceremony was American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) President Rodney M. Wiseman, DO, dist. Following the White Coat Ceremony, attendees gathered at the VCOM-Auburn campus building for a family-style picnic.

Photo: VCOM-Auburn Campus Dean Elizabeth Palmarozzi, DO, left, and Discipline Chair Jeff Martin, PhD, MS, right, pose for a photo with class of 2021 member Luke Etheridge, OMS-I, center.

VCOM-CC Faculty Present Fall Research Fair

113017_VCOMCC_CRThe Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas Campus (VCOM-CC) hosted a Fall Research Fair.

The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas Campus (VCOM-CC) hosted a Fall Research Fair on Thursday, October 26, 2017. At the event, students gathered in the biomedical halls of the VCOM-CC to see the research projects conducted by their professors. Faculty members presented posters from 11:00 AM-2:00 PM to give students an idea of the breadth of topics they explore on campus and in collaboration with labs in the region. Students were able to ask questions and explore how they can get involved in these and future research endeavors conducted during their academic careers and beyond.

VCOM-VC Helps Raise Money for the American Heart Association

113017_VCOMVirginia_CRThe Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Virginia Campus (VCOM-VC) took part in the Roanoke and New River Valley HeartChase events helping to raise money for the American Heart Association. Teams of two to five participants competed for points throughout the community, and the team with the most funds raised received a special advantage card. Students and faculty had fun playing and volunteering their time for a great cause. VCOM had 24 teams with 102 registered members and raised $4,920 at the NRV HeartChase. 

WesternU/COMP Holds Innovation Expo to Celebrate New Center for Innovation

In an effort to pair technology and innovation to address current and future issues in health sciences education and health care, Western University of Health Sciences has established the WesternU Center for Innovation, which made its debut during an Innovation Expo on the Western University College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific - Northwest (WesternU/COMP-Northwest) Lebanon, OR campus.

Paula M. Crone, DO, Dean of WesternU/COMP-Northwest, opened the Innovation Expo to students and the community, painting a picture of health care’s future. “Predictive medicine, personalized medicine, and targeted treatments—these are all examples of innovation and ideas that led to improved techniques and processes,” she said. “When I dream about the future and what is really out there for patient care, it doesn’t look like anything we are doing now. It doesn’t look anything like how patient care is delivered in the United States of America.” Read more.