For the past year, several DO students at PCOM have been participating in Health Career Academy (HCA), a mentoring program designed to promote an interest in health careers among high school students.
This year, more than 30 PCOM students visited local high schools to teach concepts related to emergency medicine and community health. They discussed ER cases with 10th graders; held interactive activities on topics such as spinal cord injury, hypertension and cancer with 11th graders; and helped train 12th graders to become health ambassadors within their communities, educating others about health and wellness issues.
Health Care Academy was founded by Barry Mann, MD, chief academic officer at Main Line Health, and has chapters at several local medical schools. It is offered to students in 10th-12th grades from schools that do not have the technology or staff to provide science programs. The goal is to provide those resources to students so that any interest in health and medicine can be nurtured and encouraged.
PCOM co-chairs Odessa Pulido (DO ’17), Julie Qiu (DO ’17) and Michaela Seigo (DO ’17) brought the program to the College last year, after Dr. Mann gave a presentation on campus about HCA. Ms. Pulido said she was so inspired after his talk that she spoke to Ms. Qiu and Ms. Seigo about involving other PCOM students as mentors.
“The response from our current mentors was amazing,” says Ms. Pulido. “We successfully [worked with] 10th grade students at Overbrook High School and helped them with their final presentation at Lankenau Medical Center, and we also started working with 10th graders at West Catholic Prep. The PCOM branch of Health Care Academy is now an integral part of the Mainline HCA network.”
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has trained more than 15,000 highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach, treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM offers the doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of pharmacy and doctor of psychology degrees and graduate programs in mental health counseling, school psychology, physician assistant studies, forensic medicine, organizational development and leadership, and biomedical sciences. Our students learn the importance of health promotion, education and service to the community and, through PCOM’s Healthcare Centers, provide care to the medically underserved populations in inner city and rural locations.
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