GA-PCOM Sim Center Provides Med Students with Hands-On Training
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Center Provides Students with Hands-On Training

November 13, 2017

Simulation 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 (DO), physician assistant studies (PA) and pharmacy programs (PharmD) receive hands-on training and clinical skills experience before treating actual patients.

DO, PA and PharmD students learn to react to high-pressure challenges they may encounter in the field through patient actors and high fidelity mannequins, a fully equipped surgery suite, an emergency room, mock patient exam rooms, laparoscopic trainers, virtual reality simulators and more.

GA-PCOM students who are earning the master’s degree in biomedical sciences with a concentration in medical simulation are tasked with designing medical scenarios to challenge their peers with the assistance and oversight of faculty members.

These scenarios are sometimes taken “on the road” to partnering colleges who also train their students through simulation. Just last week, Trauma Day took place at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) and DO, nursing and EMT students from three Gwinnett colleges joined forces to hone their skills in a chaotic “emergency department.”

Dr. Sharon Grason, the director of nursing at GGC said, “Collaboration and communication were our two objectives. Through this collaboration, a lot of respect between and among the groups occurred.”

Michael J. Sampson, DO, FAOASM, associate dean for clinical integration, said, “Jeff Adams, director of simulation, the biomedical sciences, DO, nursing, and EMT students did an amazing job collaborating and learning what ‘team medical’ is all about…to get the best patient outcome.“

He added, “GA-PCOM clinical faculty members were on hand to debrief the students following the scenarios. Much appreciation is due to Jim Hogue, DO, Gary Freed, DO, Frank Jones, MD, Don Penney, MD, and Lauren Ball, DO for their expertise and guidance to the Trauma Day participants.”

Earlier in the week, the GA-PCOM Sim Center was used to train EMT students from Gwinnett Technical College with 12 realistic scenarios designed by the GA-PCOM biomedical sciences students. Cases included patients experiencing a motor vehicle accident while pregnant, multiple stab wounds, a stroke, a gunshot wound, mental health issues and even human trafficking.

In addition, 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,” Dr. Sampson said.

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About PCOM Georgia

Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a branch campus of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), a private, not-for-profit, accredited institution of higher education with a storied 125-year history dedicated to the healthcare professions. Located in Suwanee (Gwinnett County), PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and physical therapy. Graduate degrees are offered in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science and physician assistant studies. The campus joins PCOM South Georgia in Moultrie in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state. Emphasizing "a whole person" approach to care, PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the community. For more information, visit or call 678-225-7500. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit

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Jamesia Harrison, MS
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