Dean Holds Listening Sessions with Medical StudentsOctober 26, 2021
Andrea P. Mann, DO, FAAP, dean of the osteopathic medicine program at PCOM Georgia, disclosed to a group of ten second-year Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) students that one of her former colleagues told her she wouldn’t like being a dean.
“You can’t teach, and you can’t have relationships with students,” she was told.
“Watch me,” she said.
To get to know the student-doctors in the program better, Dean Mann holds small group
listening sessions over lunch. She feels it’s important to understand her students’
viewpoints to give them the best learning experience possible.
She started the hour by asking the students to share a fun fact about themselves.
One student speaks Ukrainian and Russian; another student raised baby ducks in her
basement while growing up and transitioned them to her backyard pond. Still, another
student scratched out a living doing stand-up comedy before medical school.
Dr. Mann shared a few personal facts about herself. She said, aside from having three
black Goldendoodles, she is “addicted to CrossFit” and can do a handstand pushup and
climb a rope. She said the sport gives her confidence, especially when she conquers
a new skill.
In response to student questions, Dr. Mann spoke about new faculty members who have
accepted positions, and procedures that the students will learn in the Simulation Center, like inserting a Foley catheter, lumbar puncture, intubation, suturing and IV skills.
When asked about a medical school “prom,” Dr. Mann said she is “all for you planning
and hosting safe activities that allow you to engage with one another and the community.”
In a previous listening session, Dr. Mann learned that the students were overwhelmed
with extended hours in the classroom. She worked with the PCOM Georgia team to develop
a newly revised schedule allowing students more time for board exam preparation. The
students remarked that they were pleased with the modification.
“How does one get more involved in procedures while on rotations?“ a student inquired.
She advised, “Be assertive, read a lot, come early and stay late, be kind and humble,
volunteer, clean up after yourself, give everyone respect, be a good person. It will
Dr. Mann is working with the team to establish more core clinical campuses in Georgia
for third and fourth-year students as a means to keep medical students in the state
When asked, Dr. Mann advised students to choose a specialty that would fit their desired
lifestyles. She suggested they first narrow down their choices by considering aspects
like medical or surgical, then select if they want their patients to be adults, children
or both. Lastly, she said, “Decide if you would prefer to practice primary, acute,
hospital or specialty care.”
She told the students that PCOM Georgia is preparing them to be rural physicians to practice anywhere without all the benefits that a major metropolitan area may
provide. “Clinical reasoning comes into play when you don’t have all the resources,”
she said. “We teach you how to think through the problem to determine which diagnostic
tests are appropriate and necessary.”
“I ultimately want you all to have confidence in what you know and how you treat patients,”
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About PCOM Georgia
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated
to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied
history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and
physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science,
and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM
Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service
to the wider community. For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia 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 pcomgeorgiahealth.org.
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