Students Host First-Generation Celebration, Take a Culinary Medicine Elective and More

Published October 30, 2022

Campus Roundup Inside OME

PCOM Hosts Cross-Campus First-Generation Celebration

PCOM students pose on campusOn November 8, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM)'s Office of Diversity and Community Relations hosted its “First-Generation Celebration” for students, faculty and staff from across the college's three campuses. In partnership with the Student Government Association's First-Generation Student Committee, the event highlighted the important contributions of first-generation PCOM community members.

“First-generation students face a number of barriers in college and, unlike their legacy peers, may not have access to a support system to guide them through the process. Those barriers are magnified once first-generation students attend graduate and medical school. With first-generation students having a 92 percent higher dropout rate than their legacy peers on a national level, it is important to acknowledge and celebrate our first-generation students who survive and thrive at PCOM,” shared Christy Y. Finley, EdD, program coordinator, diversity and inclusion, who was the primary organizer of the event. Read more about the event and the history of the First-Generation Celebration at PCOM.

WVSOM Celebrates 50 Years with Golden Jubile

Collage of party photosAfter a year filled with activities throughout the state to mark the 50th anniversary of West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM)’s founding, WVSOM hosted its Golden Jubilee Weekend and All-School Reunion. The weekend’s highlight was a dinner and dance that brought alumni from the past half-century together with sponsors, WVSOM community members and school supporters as a fundraiser for student scholarships.

Dante Mattioli, a Class of 2025 student who is president of the school’s Student Government Association, said it was heartening to see that physicians educated at WVSOM are eager to play a role in the success of their alma mater’s current students.

“Seeing so many alumni come back to show their love for our school was terrific,” Mattioli said. “It was humbling to meet alumni two generations older than me who have been practicing medicine longer than I’ve been alive, and it was eye-opening to discuss how things have changed over the years. Events like these are important not only to raise money, but to exemplify WVSOM’s network that exists across the country. The support from alumni leads me to believe that when I enter residency, that network will still be there. It’s great to know there are 50 years of graduates willing to lend a hand.” Read more about the event and hear from WVSOM alumni who attended.

UNTHSC/TCOM Announces Fully Funded Scholarship for Military Veterans

Dr. Albert Yurvati piloting a planePhoto: Dr. Albert Yurvati serving in the military.

On Veterans Day, the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC/TCOM) announced a new fully funded veterans scholarship dedicated to those who bravely served our nation. This scholarship will support first-year students who are veterans of any branch of the military pursuing their doctorate at UNTHSC/TCOM.

“I am so grateful to those who have made this scholarship possible for our veterans who have served and protected our nation,” said Frank Filipetto, DO, dean of UNTHSC/TCOM and Everett Endowed Professor. “We have so many veterans that are part of TCOM and this scholarship will enable us to provide them with support.” Read more about the gift and its generous donor, Albert Yurvati, DO (’86).

CCOM Students Encourage Interest in Healthcare at Mini Medical School

Group of CCOM studentsPhoto: CCOM students organized a Mini Medical School for high school and college students on the Downers Grove Campus of Midwestern University

Students at Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) presented a unique learning opportunity designed to introduce nearly 100 high school and college students from underrepresented communities to the many aspects of health science careers through lectures, interactive demonstrations and scientific exploration. The CCOM students along with students from other academic programs at Midwestern University presented a free, hands-on Mini Medical School on five consecutive Saturdays in October and November.

The participants learned about a variety of healthcare specialties and received an introduction to musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological systems as well as tips for applying to graduate-level healthcare programs. Read more about the event and hear what it meant for the student organizers.

Nutrition Meets Health in ICOM's Culinary Medicine Elective

Three ICOM students pose in chef's hatsPhoto (from left to right): Student doctors Dylan Cooper, OMS-II; Catalina O'Toole, OMS-II; and Hayden Pastorini, OMS-II

From the classroom to the kitchen, a new course at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) is giving medical students an opportunity to learn about the interplay between nutrition, medicine and patient care. The college’s Culinary Medicine course made its debut in late October and provides in-the-kitchen instruction to guide medical students in improving health with food.

This six-lesson elective course is open to ICOM’s second-year students and is directed by Sarah Davis, DO, and co-directed by Gary Brandecker, MD. A combination of didactics and hands-on culinary sessions—which take place at Boise Urban Garden School—provide students with a unique combination of nutrition and culinary knowledge to assist patients in achieving and maintaining optimal health. Read more about the elective and hear from Dr. Davis and students about the course’s impact on medical education.

UP-KYCOM Students Provide Relief Following Devastating Floods in Eastern Kentucky

UP-KYCOM students clear debrisThe Monday following devastating flooding in Eastern Kentucky, University of Pikeville - Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (UP-KYCOM)’s classes were canceled so students could become intentionally active in service. On that day alone, 170 UP-KYCOM students pitched in to aid in clean-up efforts in the community. For UP-KYCOM Dean Joe Kingery, DO (’06) MBA (’18), second-year medical student Kasey Williams was a stand-out.

“Kasey was phenomenal with organizing relief efforts for the flood victims and has shown himself to be a true leader. Not only did he coordinate students going to different places, working with local officials and clinic managers, but he was also in the mud helping clean up,” said Kingery. “KYCOM students really stepped up to the challenges the community faced, and I am very proud of them. They helped exemplify what it means to be a physician - putting others in need first.”

Collectively, UP-KYCOM students and faculty spent more than 770 hours in disaster relief efforts across approximately nine cities and counties. Williams worked with administration and staff at Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation in Whitesburg, Kentucky, organizing students to clean the flooded facility and preparing it to continue providing emergency healthcare treatments and necessities to the public. He and his fellow classmates also worked with the American Red Cross providing first aid and helping with vaccination efforts. Medical students also volunteered to cook and serve meals and assist people in cleaning their properties. In addition, several students worked on clean-up efforts at the Hindman Settlement School. The school, founded in 1902, has a deep history, and students were able to help ensure its preservation.

“I am very thankful to be part of the UPIKE family,” said Williams. “Our institution and its members are dedicated to helping the community, which is especially unique about this school.”

In the Eye of the Storm

Utah native and Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCU-COM) third-year osteopathic medical student Winston Sorhaitz and his family relocated to Fort Myers, Florida, in the summer of 2022 for his clinical clerkship rotations. They quickly fell in love with the beachfront community and felt at home as they explored the amenities it had to offer. Little did they know they would find themselves in the eye of Hurricane Ian, a catastrophic Category 4 storm that killed more than 100 people and left a path of destruction in its wake. As the storm began to pick up speed, residents were encouraged to evacuate—particularly those, like Winston and his family, who lived in Zone A, the area most vulnerable to the effects of the hurricane.

“Since we live on the third floor of our apartment complex, had made the appropriate preparations and stocked up on supplies, my wife and I decided to ride it out. We didn’t really have anywhere else to go. But then the hurricane changed course and we learned it was headed straight for Fort Myers,” said Winston. “We decided it was best to go further inland to a middle school that had been designated as an emergency shelter. We spent the next 18 hours taking cover in a classroom with our three-year-old daughter.” Read more about the Sorhaitz’ story and the KCU-COM students’ efforts to clean up after the hurricane.