PCOM Primary Care Progress and Family Medicine Club DO students recently provided
required summer camp physicals at no charge to underserved boys.
For many first- and second-years students, the opportunity to see patients in a clinical
setting is rare. Several PCOM students not only recently received that opportunity,
but also were able to help send underserved boys to Boy Scout camp, ensuring they
have a fun-filled summer.
Physicals are a must for Scouts to attend camp, but many cannot afford the cost. But
at two events, one in North Philadelphia and one in West Philadelphia, DO students
in PCOM Primary Care Progress and the Family Medicine Club provided free physicals
for Scouts from the Cradle of Liberty Council, Boy Scouts of America.
At each event, students checked the boys’ vitals; measured height and weight; administered
blood pressure, hearing and sight tests; and performed evaluations of the nervous
system and the heart and lungs, all with guidance from PCOM faculty.
Peter Bidey, DO ’08, MEd, assistant professor, family medicine, and faculty advisor for both Primary Care
Progress and the Family Medicine Club, said the event is now in its fourth year, and
the physicians and students are starting to see many of the same Scouts year over
year—and that many are excited to learn from PCOM students about health and medicine.
“We’re doing our best to reach out to a community that is largely underserved,” he
said. “We hold these events in areas that are very close to our Healthcare Centers, so it’s nice for our patient base to see us out in their community, rather than
just in the clinical setting.”
Margot Penn (DO ’21), current president of Primary Care Progress, echoed Dr. Bidey’s
“Transportation is a huge issue for many people in this population,” she said. “These
events allow us to meet them where they are, and make it as easy as possible for them
to get the care they need.”
Stormie Wagner (DO ’20), has participated in these events since her first year, and
says they provide an opportunity for the students to practice skills they just learned
in their Primary Care Skills classes.
“This is the first opportunity we’ve had to interact with real patients who are children,”
she said. “We work with standardized patients but those are all adults, so it gives us another patient base to interact with in
a real-world setting.”
“More than 4,100 youth attend our overnight summer camp each year, including more
than 400 Philadelphia-area Scouts, who attend at no cost, thanks to the generous contributions
of our donors. These Scouts, including many first-time campers, enjoy swimming, archery,
BMX biking, canoeing, STEM activities and so much more,” said Dan Templar, scout executive/CEO,
Cradle of Liberty Council, Boy Scouts of America. “We are so grateful to PCOM for
covering the cost of the required physical exams and helping to make camping possible
for youth who might not otherwise be able to attend summer camp.”
Dr. Bidey noted that the program has grown significantly since its first year, with
the number of Scouts receiving free physicals nearly doubling. He noted that faculty
members including Michael Becker, DO ’87, MS, assistant dean of clerkship education and professor, family medicine; Izola David, DO ’85, assistant professor, pediatrics; Larry Finkelstein, DO ’87, associate professor, family medicine; David Kuo, DO ’96, associate dean of graduate medical education and associate professor, family medicine;
Erik Langenau, DO, chief academic technology officer and associate professor, family medicine; and
Meghna Shah, DO, assistant professor, OMM, and several residents have helped contribute to the program’s
The Cradle of Liberty Council serves more than 16,500 young boys and girls throughout
Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties in nearly 500 Scouting groups chartered
to civic, faith-based, and educational community organizations. It provides youth
with dynamic outdoor programs that build character, foster participating citizenship,
and encourage personal fitness. For more information, visit www.colbsa.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy,
physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences,
forensic medicine, mental health counseling, 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: email@example.com Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: