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The Bigger Picture

A Student-Assisted Cleft Palate Clinic, World AIDS Day Ceremony, Tobacco Prevention and More in Campus Roundup

ACOM Students Provide Aid During Hurricane Michael

Two months ago, Hurricane Michael, the most devastating storm in recent history, hit the Florida panhandle, moving its way across southeast Alabama and southwest Georgia. Panama City, one of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM)’s core clinical training sites, took a direct hit. More than a dozen students were training there at that time, and when given the option to evacuate, they chose to stay, not knowing how much their skills would be needed in the wake of the storm. Hurricane Michael surprised everyone. While the hospitals were preparing for the storm, ambulances lined the area to move as many patients as possible, including at least 20 newborns from the NICU.  

With maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, Hurricane Michael came ashore, wreaking havoc on everything it touched. Students recall that eight people held the ER doors closed against the wind and eventually used a refrigerator to keep them from blowing in. Although generators were brought in before Michael arrived, they were not sufficient to run all services given the magnitude of the storm. The elevators failed, and students had to help transport patients between floors using slides on the wet stairs as the windows blew out in the stairwells. The hospitals were inundated with patients coming in even during the storm–women in labor, people with lacerations and broken bones, as well as accident victims.  

In addition, several of these students lost most, if not all, of their belongings because of the hurricane, and all were displaced from the Panama City area. Through ACOM’s extensive network of clinical resources, all of these students have been reassigned to different core sites to continue their medical training. ACOM is proud of these students for their bravery and dedication to helping patients in the face of disaster.

BCOM Students Assist at Cleft Palate Clinic

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Nineteen medical students from the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) helped out at the Las Cruces Cleft Palate Clinic held in early November at the MECA Therapies Early Intervention Services building. This clinic is held twice per year in Las Cruces, NM, during which cleft lip/palate and craniofacial patients and their families come in from areas in southern New Mexico and far west Texas to see an array of medical specialists.

BCOM Anatomy and Cell Biology Professor Nancy Minugh-Purvis, PhD, said that the clinic is a great opportunity for medical students to understand the complexity of cleft patient care and to highlight the important role primary care physicians play in the treatment plan. “These students are so busy already, so it’s wonderful of them to donate their time,” she said. “They did an amazing job and I know the families were very appreciative to have them there for support.”

Courtesy Photo: Students from the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine gather for a photo after volunteering at the Las Cruces Cleft Palate Clinic. Read more.

CCOM Students Participate in Residency Ready Day

The Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) welcomed third-year osteopathic medical students back to the Downers Grove Campus for a Residency Ready Day. The event was filled with information to help students prepare for residencies.

Throughout the day, CCOM students covered topics including the Single GME Accreditation System, applying for residencies, interview and rotation etiquette, and choosing a specialty. The students also benefited from the expertise of a panel of current residents.

DMU-COM Students Volunteer at Annual Fundraiser, Homeless Community Outreach Program

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On November 17, a group of students from Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM) helped staff the medical team for the 40th annual Living History Farms Off-Road Race. The event acts as a fundraiser for the 500-acre central Iowa outdoor attraction, which tells the 300-year story of Midwest farming.

Later in the same afternoon, another group of students gathered in the Student Education Center on campus as members of Des Moines University's Homeless Community Outreach (HCO). The organization provides friendship to individuals who are experiencing homelessness in central Iowa.  Read more.

LECOM Hosts World AIDS Day Ceremony

LECOM_CR_12132018The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) held its annual World AIDS Day Commemoration on November 30 at the school’s 1858 West Grandview Boulevard facility.

LECOM students, faculty, and staff gathered in the college’s West Grandview atrium to form a human red ribbon, demonstrating their support for those living with HIV/AIDS and honoring those who have died from the virus. Additionally, individual ribbons were available to place on a Tree of Remembrance and Hope. This year’s LECOM AIDS Memorial Quilt Panel, created by students, faculty, and staff, was also on display, along with quilt panels from previous commemorations.

“Commemorating World AIDS Day is important to guarantee there is still awareness of this pandemic,” said Richard Ortoski, DO, LECOM Regional Dean, Professor, and Chair of Primary Care Education, Clinical Director of the Primary Care Scholars Pathway and HIV/AIDS specialist/educator since 1993. “There’s less and less in the news about HIV/AIDS because we now have excellent treatment, but we need to create more public awareness of the disease.”

LMU Kenley Project Expands to Covenant Health in Morristown

The Kenley Project is an initiative led by students at the Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) that has donated six care boxes for parents of stillborn or premature babies to Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System (MHHS), a Covenant Health affiliate. The students assembled and delivered the care boxes to MHHS in time for Thanksgiving as a way to give back to the community.

The Kenley Project is a charitable organization founded by LMU-DCOM third-year medical students James Dolbow and Mandy Alhajj. Dolbow and Alhajj are both members of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) chapter at LMU-DCOM, and were inspired to create the project during their second year of medical school when Rebecca Wood, a mother and author of “A Letter to My Doctor,” spoke to their class. Read more.

AOA Paper Sheds Light on Osteopathic Emergency Medicine Residents’ Lifestyle Challenges

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From left to right: Bill Hughes, Mary Hughes, DO, Kate Hughes, DO, Dave Hughes, and Patrick Hughes, DO.

Three DOs examined the topic of resident lifestyles in a paper recently published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. Lead author Kate Hughes, DO, is a Clinical Associate Professor and Assistant Director of Emergency Medicine Simulation for the University of Arizona Department of Emergency Medicine. Her co-authors are her brother, Patrick Hughes, DO, Director of Emergency Medicine Simulation and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Florida Atlantic University at Boca Raton, and her mother, Mary Hughes, DO, Chair of the Michigan State University Department of Osteopathic Medical Specialties and Osteopathic Program Director for Emergency Medicine at Sparrow Health System.

While some of their findings might be expected, others illuminated the importance of wellness and resiliency education among young physicians. Nearly two-thirds of the 128 respondents (63 percent) had a weight change during residency—one of several poor lifestyle issues that included poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Daytime sleepiness, as measured by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, was especially prevalent and nearly half (42 percent) of respondents scored in a range that clinical intervention is recommended. The study also showed that those who reported a lack of sleep were more likely to have experienced a work-related motor vehicle incident. Read more.

The paper, “Sleep and Lifestyle Habits of Osteopathic Emergency Medicine Residents During Training,” can be found here.

NSU-KPCOM Students Provide Tobacco Cessation/Prevention Training

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As part of a fellowship program created by Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-KPCOM) in 2017, high school students from NSU’s University School Upper School spent the day with first-year osteopathic medical students at Sawgrass Springs Middle School in Coral Springs, FL. Participants discussed how to avoid, reduce, or end tobacco use.

During the November 2 event, the group provided training related to the AHEC Tobacco Cessation Program. Both the NSU-KPCOM and high school students underwent a complete program training on campus to prepare for their meeting with middle school students.

PCOM Faculty Explore Gun Ownership Among the Elderly in New Study

The national conversation around gun safety rarely focuses on those aged 65 and older—the population with the highest rates of gun ownership, says Katherine Galluzzi, DO, Professor and Chair of Geriatrics at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM). To that end, she and Ilene Warner-Maron, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychology, recently co-authored an article in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association that explores gun safety among baby boomers and older adults.

Existing research shows that roughly 27 percent of people 65 and older own one or more firearms, and 37 percent live in a home with a firearm present. In addition to high rates of gun ownership, this group is also at increased risk for age-related dementia, and Drs. Galluzzi and Warner-Maron say this combination could be deadly for an elderly person or their loved one. Read more.

PNWU to Host Roots to Wings Celebration in Honor of Native American Month

On Thursday, November 29, Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (PNWU) hosted a Roots to Wings event to celebrate Native American Month. The celebration included a sharing of cultures through dance, and included dancers from multiple Native American Tribes, including Yakama, Puyallup, and Aztec. Honorary guests from the Puyallup Tribe were in attendance, and PNWU osteopathic medical students hosted a DNA extraction lab to demonstrate how Native American values and traditions integrate with science.

A health sciences education pathway program, Roots to Wings, was started in September 2014 to serve Native American and Hispanic students between grades seven and twelve attending the Mt. Adams School District (MASD) and the Yakama Nation Tribal School (YNTS). MASD, YNTS, Heritage University and PNWU students all collaborate with Roots to Wings students, exploring learning, learning about cultures and embracing bright futures.

RVUCOM Hosts Global Medicine Open House

RVUCOM_CR_12132018On November 12, Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) hosted a Global Medicine Open House at the Frank Ritchel Ames Memorial Library, celebrating the Global Medicine Program and its successful training of student doctors in providing quality health care for rural and underserved communities worldwide. Guest speaker Camille Z. Bentley, DO, MPH, FACOFP, Chair of Tracks and Special Programs, gave a presentation on the accomplishments of the program and the future of health care abroad, then shared her personal experiences in global medicine.

Merging her teaching and clinical experience, Dr. Bentley has developed and expanded RVU’s global health curriculum to include numerous international clinical opportunities for students, such as outreach trips to Kenya and Nicaragua. Guests at the Global Medicine Open House also had the opportunity to explore the National Library of Medicine’s traveling banner exhibition “Against the Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health”, which showcased the collaborative work of physicians, scientists, communities, and international organizations to prevent disease and to improve quality of life for all.

TouroCOM-NY Becomes First DO School to Host Physicians for Human Rights National Student Conference

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The Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine—New York (TouroCOM-NY) became the first DO school to host the annual “Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) National Student Conference” when the college welcomed participants to the Harlem campus November 17-18. The 2018 Conference, “At the Intersection of Power: Communities in Crossfire,” drew dozens of socially conscious medical students from around the country and speakers from around the globe.

Keynote speaker and PHR Director of International Policy Susannah Siskin set the stage by opening with individual students reading aloud each of the 30 articles of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human rights, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary. Other speakers included Sheri Fink, MD, PhD, and Michelle Morse, MD, MPH. Dr. Fink is author of The New York Times bestseller, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, a book about choices made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

TUNCOM Welcomes AOA President Dr. William Mayo to Campus

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The Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine (TUNCOM) was honored to welcome William S. Mayo, DO, President of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). Dr. Mayo accepted the campus invitation sent by the university’s Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA).

During his visit Dr. Mayo met with students and faculty and had the opportunity to attend the annual “Golden Spike,” a volleyball game between Touro University Nevada and Touro University California.

Vehicle Extrication Teaches WVSOM Students Emergency Techniques

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Students at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) had the opportunity to learn firsthand about what happens before an accident victim reaches doctors. On November 2, WVSOM’s Rural Health Initiative, Emergency Medicine Club, and Wilderness Medicine Club presented a vehicle extrication demonstration in which a mock accident scene was constructed to give students a close-up view of first responders in action.

 “It was a great experience,” said first-year osteopathic medical student Kaitlyn Belanger after the event. “It gave us an appreciation for the other teams we’ll be working with. Unless you’ve worked in this field before, you don’t really know what happens before the doctor sees the patient.”

VCOM-Auburn Students Conduct Day of Service to Benefit Community

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Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Auburn (VCOM-Auburn) students conducted a “Day of Service” on Thursday, November 29 to benefit the Auburn-Opelika community. As part of the day’s events, students conducted volunteer efforts at the Food Bank of East Alabama.

In less than two hours, 3,198 pounds of food donations were sorted into boxes for distribution. Other volunteer efforts throughout the day included a blood drive at the VCOM-Auburn campus, gifts and visitation at a local nursing home, efforts to assist shelter animals, and volunteering with children at a child center and the Boys & Girls Club.

VCOM-Carolinas Hosts Third Annual Leadership Symposium

VCOMCarolinas_CR_12132018On Saturday, December 1, the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Carolinas (VCOM-Carolinas) campus hosted its Third Annual Leadership Symposium. The event was planned for medical students interested in learning about leadership opportunities available in their field, as well as developing their personal leadership styles.

Attendees were treated to a variety of talks from VCOM faculty and medical community leaders on topics such as “leadership in residency” and “meeting needs in rural and underserved communities.” Breakfast and lunch were served, and all attendees received Leadership Development Certificates.

VCOMVirginia_CR_12132018VCOM-Virginia Congratulates Student Doctor of the Year

Toria Knox, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Virginia (VCOM-Virginia) Class of 2019, was honored as the 2019 Student Doctor of the Year (SDOY). Demonstrating leadership, professionalism, community service and dedication, Toria was chosen by a committee as the best representative of the Class of 2019.