Students Welcome 'Buddies' From Special OlympicsMarch 12, 2018
Special Olympics athletes pair with PCOM medical students to learn about physical
fitness, health and wellness.
Students in PCOM AID (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Advocates for Individuals
with Disabilities), the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) Special Olympics Committee,
and the Robert Berger Pediatrics Society recently welcomed more than 50 athletes with
the Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia program for a day dedicated to physical fitness,
arts and crafts and learning about health and wellness.
Dubbed “MedBuddies,” the event paired a Special Olympics athlete with a PCOM student,
providing those students the opportunity to interact with a traditionally underserved
population while also allowing the athletes to learn from the College’s students in
a fun and interactive way. Students played basketball and soccer, listened to their
hearts with stethoscopes and made their very own medical bags and x-rays.
“As future physicians, we noticed that we didn’t get a lot of interaction with the
special needs community,” said Jazmin Garcia (DO ’20) co-chair of the event. “We wanted
to create an event that would allow us to interact with this population, and help
prepare us to better address their unique needs when we one day become health professionals.”
“It is a pleasure to partner with PCOM on an event like this that provides future
health care providers with experience on how to assess and interact with people with
intellectual disabilities,” said Alex Christy, manager of interscholastic partnerships
for Special Olympics PA. “It is our hope that this partnership, and many like it,
will indirectly help to improve the future healthcare provided to our athletes’ that
will also enhance their ability to train and compete in Special Olympics.”
PCOM students are hopeful that the event continues in the coming years. “Our vision
is to create an annual program which allows PCOM students from all tracks to interact
and make a small impact within the lives of this diverse population within our community,”
said Ms. Garcia.
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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.
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