Our Programs
Office of Diversity and Community Relations

The Office of Diversity and Community Relations coordinates several community outreach, diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives. Click the links below or visit our PCOM Digital Commons page for additional information about recent events and programs.

Professional Development Programs

Transgender Medicine Video Series

Join Anne Koch, DMD, adjunct assistant professor of endodontics and a member of the board of overseers for the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, as she invites guest speakers to discuss best practices for health care of transgender patients in this five-part series. Dr. Koch, underwent gender affirming surgery, transitioning from male to female, at age 63 and is a trailblazer in transgender medicine.


LGBTQA Inclusive Healthcare Training

PCOM has partnered with the Mazzoni Center, a Philadelphia-based organization, that offers medical trainings on LGBTQA inclusive healthcare. The training is designed for physicians, physical therapists, physician’s assistants, medical students and providers in non-medical settings seeking medical information about LGBTQ communities.

Learning objectives include:

  • Differentiate among the categories of sex at birth, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation;
  • Establish a working knowledge of LGBTQ terminology and identities;
  • Understand the differences between medical, legal and social transitions for transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) individuals;
  • Apply three clinical tools for improving services for TGNC patients using case examples;
  • Identify health disparities among TGNC communities and develop tools to increase LGBTQ access to culturally competent care.

Photograph of PCOM faculty and staff learning an inclusive health care training session.


Diversity and Cultural Sensitivity Workshops

To advance PCOM’s goals to support a culture of open inquiry, pluralism and mutual respect among students, faculty and staff, the Office of Diversity and Community Relations (ODCR) partnered with the Blue Door Group, a Philadelphia-based non-profit to offer a workshop for members of the Diversity and LGBTQIA Councils to participate in a dialogue to:

  • Engage participants in open, honest dialogues about social identities like race, gender and socioeconomic status; and
  • Build the stepping stones of critical self-awareness that is essential to culturally competent practice.

The annual workshop is available to all members of the PCOM community at our Philadelphia, PA and Suwanee, GA locations.

Photograph of faculty and staff engaging at Diversity and Cultural Sensitivity Workshop at PCOM


Community Outreach Programs

Perry Initiative

The Perry Initiative partners with medical centers, universities and high schools to host Perry Outreach Programs for young women in high school, college and medical school. These day-long programs are held at different locations nationwide throughout the year. Participants perform mock orthopaedic surgeries and conduct biomechanical engineering experiments, while also hearing from prominent women engineers and surgeons in the field.


Community and Minority Outreach

The Office of Admissions provides opportunities for young people to learn about the medical professions, scientific inquiry and more through several innovative Community and Minority Outreach programs and events. Read more in select news stories below:


PCOM Science and Math Summer Academy

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) is working to help raise interest in science, technology, engineering and math—plus medicine (STEM+M) at the high school and undergraduate level through its Science and Math Summer Academy (formerly known as the PCOM Opportunities Academy).

Read more:


DLC STEMprep Project Training Program

The DLC STEMprep Project Training Program targets racial groups that have been historically underrepresented in the medical professions for their population size, and who face a health disparities gap. The program supports a pool of gifted students from minority populations with a training model from seventh grade through senior year of college. The students are rotated through basic science labs in academia, the National Institutes of Health and the pharmaceutical industry.

The program is designed to produce candidates for medical degrees and dual medical/PhD programs, with comprehensive training initiatives that span the junior high school, high school and college summers, using an integrated developmental regimen that prepares the students to successfully pursue a research career in medicine. High school students work in a laboratory, learning research skills.

PCOM contributes to the community by partnering with organizations such as The Distance Learning Center. The DLC is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities (African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and mainland Puerto Ricans) in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine (STEMM).


Education Programs and Inclusion Initiatives 

Lectures and Guest Speakers

Women's History Month Lecture

Velma P. Scantlebury, MD, the first African-American female transplant surgeon shared her experiences in medicine to the PCOM community on March 14, 2019.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture Series

Dorothy E. Roberts, University of Pennsylvania School of Law, George A. Weiss University, Professor of Law, visited PCOM on January 17, 2019 to present on "Unconscious Bias in Medicine."

The Diversity Speaker Series at PCOM

The Diversity Speakers Series is intended to provide insight and understanding of multicultural issues to the PCOM community. This series is designed to introduce an essential component of education in helping audiences consider perspectives other than their own, encouraging civil debate, broadening the basis for critical thought and promoting cultural understanding. The Office of Diversity and Community Relations at PCOM strives to provide an avenue to promote ethnic diversity and multicultural awareness through increased interaction with high profile multicultural scholars, dignitaries and personalities on our campus. For more information contact us at 215-871-6185.


Rising Above Expectations
The 21st Century Challenges of Health Equity

Jay Feldstein, DO and David Simon, JD pose with a guest speaker at the Diversity Speakers Series at PCOM


When Cultures Meet

When Cultures Meet is a one-day workshop which blends dynamic merging culture exercises, thought-provoking strategic frameworks and concrete application activities. The workshop answers the question: How do we meet the challenge of combining unique strengths of the parts to create a more powerful and effective whole?

After a day of engaging, thought-provoking exercises where participants are able to get a better understanding of what other people in the organization are facing, they walk away with:

  • A deeper understanding of the human issues involved in the meeting of two or more cultures.
  • More confidence in their ability to function effectively in that process.
  • An appreciation for the value of organizational cultures different from their own.
  • A recognition of the implications of being “dominant” and “other."
  • A concrete framework for developing vibrant communities that maximize the contributions of its members.


LGBTQIA Welcome Reception

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Ally (LGBTQIA) Council, the Office of Diversity and Community Relations, and the LGBTQ Alliance of Students Organized for Health (LASOH) sponsored a welcome reception for all first-year DO and graduate LGBTQIA students.

Group of students posing for the camera and enjoying the LGBTQIA Welcome Reception in August 2018.


Community Outreach Council

PCOM's Community Outreach Council includes faculty, administrators and students who lead community service initiatives and programs in the Philadelphia and the Greater Atlanta communities. The Council meets quarterly to explore opportunities to collaborate across the college and to advance PCOM’s mission to expand its footprint in the community.

The psychology and osteopathic medicine departments collaborated to create a community action program called “Water Your Child’s Brain.” This initiative was created to provide a parent-child education program for underserved communities within the Philadelphia area. It aimed to provide parents with simple tools to promote their child’s brain development and growth. The goal of the program was to provide an environment for caregivers that allowed them to come together to learn about these topics, both from educators in the field and from one another. Parents and caregivers were provided education and tools while also fostering a safe and constructive environment to discuss their concerns, obstacles, challenges and successes of parenthood.

The Summer Academy marks the cornerstone of a partnership that spans the academic year, with PCOM faculty collaborating with faculty from ASPIRA Schools and Esperanza College on professional and curriculum development and the establishment of practicum and research opportunities. During the fall 2017, PCOM co-sponsored a Science Symposium at the high school to provide exposure to health careers through workshops and events to guide students towards careers in healthcare. Dr. Denah Appelt, (Biomedical Sciences) facilitated a workshop on the topic “Unraveling the Biological Mysteries of Alzheimer’s Disease."

Dr. Denah Appelt speaks on the topic “Unraveling the Biological Mysteries of Alzheimer’s Disease."


Additional Programs and Events

The Office of Diversity and Community Relations works with various groups to organize, present or sponsor additional programs of interest to the PCOM community. Examples include:



Event Photos

Women's History Month Lecture

Celebrating Black History Month

Cultural Humility in Medicine Lecture

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture Series

World AIDS Day

Immigrants, Refugees and Medicine

Student National Medical Association Leadership Conference