Trauma Day – 'The Best Experience in Med School' | November 2018
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Trauma Day – 'The Best Experience in Med School'

November 16, 2018

Twenty-four student doctors from GA-PCOM worked alongside nursing and EMT students as Georgia Gwinnett College staged Trauma Day.

Twenty-four student doctors from Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM) worked alongside nursing and EMT students recently as Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) in Lawrenceville, Georgia, staged Trauma Day.

“With medicine being a team sport, it is vital to have all the players learn to work together,” Michael Sampson, DO, FAOASM, explained.

According to Dr. Sampson, the associate dean of clinical integration at GA-PCOM (and the recently named chief academic officer for PCOM South Georgia), “Witnessing students’ knowledge grow from textbook to reality is quite amazing.”

He explained that second year osteopathic medical students competed in ‘Sim Battles,’ held at the GA-PCOM Simulation Center, for the opportunity to represent GA-PCOM in this interprofessional education exercise. The top four medical teams, made up of six students per team, spent the day working through a variety of scenarios with their fellow GGC and Gwinnett Technical College students.

GA-PCOM students were extremely positive about the experience. “As second year medical students, it was the first time we experienced the true team dynamic, working alongside nursing and EMT students,” Brandon Quintana (DO ’21) said. “We get so bogged down in our science classes that we often forget that caring for patients in scenarios like that is entirely a team effort.” He related that in an emergency setting, “doctors, nurses and EMTS are all absolutely and equally necessary and through our necessity we built camaraderie.”

Teamwork was the key, according to Thom Drew (DO ’21), who called the experience “invaluable.” He said, “During weekly Sim Battles leading up to Trauma Day, my team experienced a few cases where the “ABC’s” became paramount to saving the patient, but our skills were lacking and coordination wasn’t there. Trauma Day helped solidify the concept of maintaining an airway, breathing and circulation while not getting distracted by open fractures, fevers, etc. He added, “That strong coordination with your team got the job done.”

Clinical faculty members including Donald Penney, MD, FACEP, clinical professor of emergency medicine, James Hogue, DO, FAAEM, FACEP, clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine, and Gary Freed, DO, FAAP, FACOP, clinical professor of pediatrics, instructed the students as they worked. “Faculty members let us work through the scenarios talking us through important clinical pearls along the way,” Quintana said. They were there “to grill us on the spot,” Drew added.

Student Robert Snyder (DO ’21) called Trauma Day one of the best experiences he has had since entering medical school. “It went beyond simply taking prior knowledge about a patient presentation and applying treatment. It truly hammered home just what happens with some of the more critical patients, and the basics of keeping them alive.”

He added, “It definitely emphasized how much I have yet to learn, but gives me great hope for what I will do in the future, and even greater appreciation for the efforts of the faculty in how far they have taken us.” The only downside – “it was too short,” according to Snyder.

Annie Phung (DO ’21) agreed with Snyder calling Trauma Day an empowering experience “putting textbooks to the bedside, but definitely I have a long way to go.”

Sampson said, “The bottom line of this day is patient-focused care resulting in better outcomes – medical education in the 21st century.”

Class of 2021 students who participated in Trauma Day, in addition to Drew, Phung, Snyder and Quintana, included: Keith Blankenship, Paul Carpenter, Nicole Castro, Kyle Dajac, Chris Flores, Joe Freyre, Amna Jamshad, Ricky Ju, Tyler Kimball, Zach McConnell, Rebekah Muthalaly, Neha Mylarapu, Zac Owens, Sagar Patel, Akila Raja, Alex Santos, Eddie Tan, Joaquin Torello, William Woolfolk and Varun Yarabarla.

Other participants included GA-PCOM Director of Simulation Jeff Adams, Simulation Manager Moriah Newman, and the masters in biomedical sciences students who are earning a concentration in medical simulation. Members of the class of 2019 master’s students built the cases, vetted by clinical faculty members, that the EMT, nursing and medical students experienced.

They include: Jasmin Adams, Jessica Akinduro, Adenike Bademosi, Rebecca Boucard, Christopher Brown, Kathryn DiVincenzo, Nicole Forte, Dominique James, Kanza Kabir, Nea Krpo, Chiagoziem Onyegbule, Nazia Rahman, Abdullah Sufi and Tasheve Walters.

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About PCOM Georgia

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 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

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Barbara Myers
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Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell: 770-309-0613

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