The two week summer program allows Atlanta area high school students to learn about healthcare careers under the guidance of medical and graduate students.
Planning for PCOM Georgia’s Summer Math and Science Academy (SMSA), a two-week enrichment program to be held June 14-25, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., is well underway. The camp provides an opportunity for motivated metro Atlanta high school students to explore the wide variety of healthcare professions available to them.
Up to 50 high school students will have the opportunity to learn from PCOM Georgia’s osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant and biomedical sciences students and faculty members, along with professionals in the field. The program will pair carefully selected PCOM Georgia mentors with the campers who will learn about their mentors’ paths to careers in healthcare.
Thanks to funding from the Office of Diversity and Community Partnerships, in addition to a grant from Hologic, Inc., a medical technology company largely focused on women’s health, SMSA is a free opportunity primarily targeting students of underrepresented communities including Latinx/Hispanic and BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/ People of Color). In the past, participants who have been successful in the program exhibited a passion for science and math, a curiosity about health care, and a calling to care for others.
High school students will have the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of subjects including health care and science-based research through hands-on activities. In addition, topics like high school productivity, college and professional school preparation, career planning, financial management and volunteering are on the agenda. Resume writing and interviewing will also be practiced.
Aisha DeBerry, JD, director of the Office of Diversity and Community Partnerships, said, “We are excited to host a new incoming class of summer academy students. Our team is working tirelessly to create intentional learning and exposure to research-based science and the healthcare professions despite these difficult circumstances.”
As part of summer camp, the student groups, with the assistance of their mentors, study a disease they’ve selected and present the condition to their fellow high school students at a graduation ceremony. Last summer, among the diseases selected were breast cancer, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, H1N1 swine influenza, Ebola disease and cystic fibrosis.
Depending on Gwinnett County’s health status, the summer academy may be held virtually with opportunities for in-person experiences on the college’s Suwanee campus.
Tyler Rollins (DO ’23), a PCOM Georgia student-doctor and one of the summer 2020 mentors, said, “The best part of the camp for me was when I was able to offer my support and advice to our mentees. Many of them are minority students, and, as a minority myself, I know and understand how underrepresented we are in medicine and the higher education fields. By seeing someone who looks like them in medical school, I hope to inspire them and instill in them the will and passion to achieve their dreams.”Register now for the program
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 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/georgia or call 678-225-7500.
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