Local juniors and seniors, members of the Gwinnett Medical Center's Explorers, visited GA-PCOM to experience healthcare careers.
It’s 6:41 p.m. and a local high school football player was brought to the emergency department by emergency medical technicians. He is transferred to a cot from a backboard which he was placed on when he was carried off the football field. The athletic trainer called 911. When the EMTs arrived, they splinted his leg with an air splint. After assessing the patient and ordering labs and imaging, the “physicians” placed a traction splint on the patient to re-establish blood flow. The “doctors” then handed the player off to an orthopedic surgeon for surgery. A pharmacist consulted about medications, while a physical therapist planned rehabilitation.
Seemingly real, this was the scenario played out recently when Gwinnett Medical Center Medical Explorer Post 540 students visited Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM). Titled “When a Broken Leg Becomes Complicated,” the Medical Explorer students, 30 juniors and seniors from local high schools, experienced the situation through a simulation staged in the college’s Anatomy Lab, Simulation Center and Physical Therapy Education Center.
Designed to illustrate how a wide variety of healthcare providers work closely together to treat each patient, the college’s faculty members and students developed and staged the scene, while osteopathic medicine (DO), pharmacy and physician assistant students served as guides for the evening.
The one and a half hour session concluded with a panel where the high school students were able to ask the professional students questions like, “What’s the difference between a DO and an MD?”, “What are your best study tips and how do you manage your time?”, “Did you get into MD programs and why did you choose to attend GA-PCOM?”, “When and how did you know you wanted to become a doctor or pharmacist?”, “Are you able to conduct research while in school?” and “How are you paying for professional school?”
Gwinnett Medical Center Professional Development Specialist Susan Powell, RN, who leads the Medical Explorer post said, “I really liked the case study application. The students were able to see the wide variety of professionals who impact the treatment of the patient, giving the students a broader perspective.”
One high school student, Ananya Dhiljith, a junior at the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology, said, “Previously I only thought of becoming a cardiologist. This visit helped open my eyes to other fields.”
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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