Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it often takes a team of healthcare professionals
to treat a patient. Students preparing to work in the medical field must also be prepared
to work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals for the benefit of their
patients. Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM)’s Interprofessional Education (IPE) program seeks to teach future physicians,
pharmacists, and physician assistants the importance of effectively communicating
and working together to manage their patients’ condition.
Required for students in the College’s osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and physician assistant studies programs, the IPE curriculum assigns students to teams where they must work together
across disciplines and even campuses to complete assignments and participate in activities.
The group dynamic encourages communication so students learn to perform in various
team roles to effectively administer patient centered-care.
An elderly woman who breaks a hip and needs replacement surgery, for example, will
likely receive care from physician assistants and nurse practitioners, therapy from
physical and occupational therapists, and medications from a pharmacist, in addition
to treatment from her physician or surgeon. This is the scenario that the panel of
healthcare professionals led students through recently, which kicked off a group exercise
and this year’s IPE program for first year DO, PharmD and PA students.
The panelists included Shaun Brennan, PT, from Benchmark Physical Therapy; Mark Darrow,
MD, from Gwinnett Medical Center; Juli Dyer, BSN, MS, APRN, NP-C, from The Longstreet
Clinic, PC; Edo-Abasi McGee, PharmD, BCPS, and Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice in the PCOM School of Pharmacy; Michael
Sampson, DO, FAOASM, Interim Assistant Dean for Clinical Integration and Associate
Professor of Family Medicine at GA-PCOM; Rebekah Thomas, PharmD, PA-C, BCPS, BC-ADM, and Interim Assistant Program Director for the Department of Physician Assistant
Studies at GA-PCOM; Melissa Thurlow, OTR/L, CHT, MBA and Director of Occupational
Therapy at Peachtree Orthopedic Physical Therapy; and Julie Wickman, PharmD, Assistant Dean for Experiential Education and Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice
in the PCOM School of Pharmacy..
Each member of the panel discussed their respective role when treating a patient in
the scenario above, giving students a perspective on interprofessional approaches
to patient care. The panel stressed that collaborating on treatments with other healthcare
professionals minimizes the consequences of miscommunication and maximizes effective
patient care. By working within their IPE groups and discussing professional, ethical,
and cultural issues in healthcare, students will be better prepared to work within
team environments after graduation.
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.
For more information, contact: Barbara Myers Senior Public Relations Manager Email: BarbaraMy@pcom.edu Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell: