PCOM and DIMER recently celebrated their relationship, and the 50th anniversary of
DIMER, with a dinner honoring Sherman Townsend, board chair of DIMER and honorary
degree recipient from PCOM; alumnus and PCOM Board Member Vincent Lobo, DO ’65, who was instrumental in facilitating the partnership between DIMER and PCOM; and
Omar Khan, MD, MHS, president and CEO of the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance—of which PCOM is a member institution.
“By partnering with DIMER for these many years, PCOM has been able to provide high-quality
medical education for individuals with a passion for healthcare, who may not have
otherwise been able to receive it,” said Deborah Benvenger, chief admissions officer
at PCOM. “It is our hope that these caring, competent students will return to their
home state to serve their hometown communities.”
According to the American Osteopathic Association, there are currently 394 osteopathic
physicians (DOs) practicing in Delaware. More than 170 of those are PCOM alumni, and
of those, roughly half practice primary care.
Additionally, more than 30 percent of DO alumni practice in Sussex and Kent counties,
which have been federally designated as health care provider shortage areas. While
the College has been contractually obligated by DIMER to provide five slots in each
incoming class to Delaware residents, it has consistently exceeded that goal since
2007—more than 10 percent of the class of 2023 come from the First State.
Next year that requirement doubles to 10 students with additional funding, and the
Office of Admissions says it plans to implement several new initiatives to not only
recruit even more students from Delaware, but also to increase medical students’ exposure
to underserved communities throughout the state.
According to a study by the University of Delaware and the Delaware Department of
Health and Services, there has been a 6 percent decline in the number of primary care
doctors in the state since 2013, and with the rise in the state’s aging population,
health officials highlight the need for more physicians.
By providing medical education to Delaware residents, PCOM and DIMER are working to
meet this need, and where they train is important; a 2013 study published in American
Family Physician found that more than half of family medicine residents stay within
100 miles of where they complete their residencies.
In addition to its partnership with DIMER, the College is also working to turn out
a larger physician workforce through its Core Clinical Campuses at the Christiana
Care Health System, and most recently, Bayhealth—which operates in the state’s underserved
areas. Through these partnerships, PCOM’s DO students can perform all of their clerkship
rotations at one site beginning in their third year. Upon graduating medical school,
PCOM students may later apply for one of Bayhealth’s residency programs.
Frank Mayer (DO ’20), of Newark, Delaware, came to PCOM through DIMER and has spent his last two years
of medical school at Christiana Care. After graduation, he hopes to return to his
home state to practice emergency medicine.
“There are a lot of benefits for residents of Delaware to have a preferred status
when applying to medical school, and PCOM’s partnership with Christiana is a huge
opportunity [for students from Delaware] to spend our entire third and fourth year
there,” he said.
About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Founded in 1899, 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 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, and graduate degrees in
applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic
medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership
and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician
assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration.
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.
For more information, contact: Daniel McCunney Associate Director, News and Media Relations Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: