The PCOM Georgia medical student will lead the committee in several projects such as identifying the demographic of osteopathic researchers in the U.S. and promoting racial justice awareness in medical research.
PCOM Georgia student-doctor Christian Pruitt (DO ’22) was recently appointed to the executive board of the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP) as the national research representative. Noting that his background and current research endeavors aligned well with the role, he said, “I am dedicated to advancing osteopathic student research at both the lab bench and the patient bedside.”
“My mission is to promote and advocate for osteopathic student research,” he said, “as well as to provide guidance and resources that facilitate creative, original and impactful medical research. I want to give all osteopathic medical students the tools and opportunities that empower them to pursue medical research and the platform to share their work with the medical community and the world around them.”
COSGP is comprised of student government presidents and vice presidents from all of the osteopathic medical schools in the nation. The official student leadership organization of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, it is the only national organization that represents more than 30,000 DO students across the country.
According to Pruitt, during his tenure as PCOM Georgia’s DO Council president last year, “My work with COSGP was immensely rewarding. I saw such a genuine spirit of collaboration between school leaders that, when unified, brought about tangible change that touched every student across the nation, even if they did not know it. I knew that if I had anything to give that would help to facilitate this large-scale student advocacy, I had to.”
Pruitt is uniquely qualified for this role. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in biologic sciences from Georgia State University in Atlanta where he also taught applied medical physiology to pre-medical students.
He has an interest in not only the scientific and clinical approach to improving healthcare, but also the socioeconomic and environmental factors influencing the health of communities and individuals.
“I am curious how such influences impact our behavior, mental health and relation with the world around us. I am fascinated by our understanding of science, its connection to our everyday life, and how it can be used to improve how we live and connect,” he said.
His research experience has focused on orthopedic trauma, as well as on using nanotechnology and microfluidics to target therapeutic delivery across the blood brain barrier.
Pruitt shared the five goals he would like to achieve during his year as national research representative.
“I am leading the COSGP Research Committee (which I chair) in our own research project that will identify the demographic make-up of researchers around the country. We want to know who is conducting medical research and if they are representative of the population they are studying. We want to identify inequities in the research world and pinpoint what barriers may exist for particular groups of students.”
“We will work to promote awareness of racial injustice in medical research to educate future and current healthcare providers in order to create a more equitable understanding and delivery of healthcare for all individuals.”
“We plan to create an immersive educational platform for medical students with lessons on everything from how to get into research with no experience to writing abstracts and applying for grants.”
“We will make our COSGP Annual Research Symposium available to all students through a virtual platform. Traditionally this has been a platform for osteopathic students to present their original research to only those who are able to attend the symposium in person. I believe that seeing fellow peers conduct innovative and creative research inspires and empowers students to pursue their own research interests.”
“Our final goal is to expand our digital channels of communication with medical students. We are currently setting up an Instagram account that will highlight the research of osteopathic medical students from across the nation that will also serve as a launch pad for original content that highlights tips, tricks and exciting happenings in medical research.”
Pruitt said, “I am humbled by the group of leaders that I get to work with on a daily basis. Our COSGP executive board is unparalleled in creativity, professionalism and passion. I am truly lucky to serve alongside such a wonderful group of individuals and hope to adequately represent the osteopathic medical students across the country.”
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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