Bringing the Magic of Reading to Waiting Rooms | PCOM
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Bringing the Magic of Reading to Waiting Rooms


January 5, 2024

Parent reads book to child while seated in medical office waiting areaBooks hold an infinite number of stories. Some are meant to thrill, others to entertain. Almost all provide some level of support or an educational opportunity.

Reading to babies and toddlers early on and continuing to encourage reading to and for children is important in terms of brain development and providing a child with the knowledge that reading is fun.

For PCOM’s Office of Clinical Education, it’s important to provide these experiences to children, especially those who might find themselves in stressful situations.

“Going to the doctor can be scary for a child,” said Chelsea Cornwell, a coordinator in the Clinical Education Department.

“Books have a special power to give comfort and pride to children learning to read. Pairing these feelings with a visit to the doctor can alleviate anxiety in children and parents visiting a healthcare facility.”

To mark PCOM’s 125th anniversary, the Clinical Education team is celebrating the college’s history of giving back to the larger community by hosting a children’s book drive.

From January 25 to May 29, students, faculty, and staff can drop off new or gently used books in the donation boxes located in the lobbies of Evans and Rowland Hall.

“The idea of bringing books into doctor’s offices is not novel, but it is an important way to welcome the children and young adults that come into our healthcare centers,” shared Katie Garson, Supervisor of the Clinical Education Department.

According to Garson, this special milestone means 125 years of physicians learning, growing, and going out into the world as PCOM graduates, bringing with them a strong commitment to advocacy, diversity, and seeing the whole person. In honor of the anniversary, the Office of Clinical Education aims to collect 125 books.

“Books have a unique ability to represent positive values that kids are able to relate to,” said Cornwell. “Donating a children’s book that highlights an underrepresented identity supports the growth of our commitment to DEI.”

All donations will be placed in the waiting room of the PCOM Lancaster Avenue Division Healthcare Center for pediatric patients to enjoy.

“We hope this will bring a little light to what can sometimes be a stressful doctor’s visit,” said Garson.

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  • About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

    For the past 125 years, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM, a private, not-for-profit accredited institution of higher education, operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, and school psychology. The college also offers graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, physician assistant studies, and school psychology. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.

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    Liandra Larsen
    Public Relations Manager
    Email: liandrala@pcom.edu
    Office: 215-871-6325 | Cell: 267-964-0199

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