The DO Council at PCOM Georgia is organizing fundraiser and webinar activities to honor the osteopathic profession.
With the theme, “We Are Osteopathic Medicine,” National Osteopathic Medicine (NOM) Week is taking place April 19-25. The DO Council has taken the lead at PCOM Georgia to recognize and honor DOs nationwide, especially at this time.
To jump start activities, the DO Council held a fundraiser for the student-led cause Medical Students for Masks – Atlanta, raising $530 on the first day to purchase Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for Georgia’s healthcare workers on the front lines. The council’s goal is to raise $1,000 for PPE during NOM Week.
In all, the 50-volunteer Medical Students for Masks – Atlanta organization has surpassed its initial goal of raising $10,000 and is working to supply hospitals in Albany, Atlanta, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Moultrie, Thomasville and Tifton with needed PPE.
On Tuesday, James Hogue, DO ‘80, FAAEM, assistant professor of emergency medicine at PCOM Georgia, was featured in a webinar discussing his decision to become a DO after serving as a helicopter gunship pilot in the Marine Corps. He also outlined the advent of emergency medicine as a specialty and the growth of the osteopathic medicine profession. He advised the student audience that “what matters is not the initials after your name, but how you present yourself and that you know your business.”
DO Council leaders also weighed in on their decision to become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO).
According to Caleb Jerris (DO ’23), class chair and president of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association, he didn’t have a “light bulb moment” when he decided to become a physician. During all four years of college, he worked as a medical scribe in an emergency department and decided he wanted to “become someone who could help people the way I saw those physicians help their patients.”
Jerris chose osteopathic medicine because of those same physicians who were DOs. “I always admired their desire to go the extra mile for their patients in such a busy environment and they made me excited to work hard to become their colleague.”
DO Council president Jaymi Bautista-Whitaker (DO ’23) followed in the footsteps of her mother when she chose to earn her medical degree at PCOM Georgia. “I really appreciate the osteopathic principles that she applies to her field. I take a lot of pride in becoming a second generation DO,” she said.
“Serving the people in my community” inspired Aarushi Kalra (DO ’23), the DO Council’s public relations representative, to pursue a DO degree, noting that osteopathic principles which promote connecting with patients on a deeper level align with her personal views of medicine.
All three campus leaders offered advice to students considering a medical profession. Jerris advised students that the transition into medical school may bring days “when you feel like an impostor or that you weren’t cut out for it.” He said, “Believe in your commitment, be someone who you would want to work with and have fun along the way.”
Kalra advised students to participate in activities outside school and on campus to “open your mind to new experiences.” Bautista-Whitaker said, “Take moments to appreciate the difficulty and praise yourself for how far you’ve come.”
Jerris offered words of wisdom to the students who haven’t been accepted into medical school yet. Drawing on his experience, he said, “There is always a way to get into medical school if that is what you are passionate about. Sometimes you have to do a lot of work, reinvent yourself and improve some grades, but don’t let anyone say you can’t do it... Working a little harder to earn the acceptance will make you all the better once you are in.”
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 which has a storied history as a premier osteopathic medical school. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences 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. 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 pcom.edu or call 678-225-7500.
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