Open-Air Safe Study Space Built on Philadelphia CampusOctober 19, 2020
Outdoor desks allow PCOM's graduate and medical students to study on-campus while
maintaining COVID-19 safety precautions and social distancing.
Pandemic creates need for outdoor study spaces
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the majority of classes at Philadelphia College
of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) were moved online. Students began learning and studying
in their own homes, leaving some students feeling disconnected and separated. Acknowledging
the need for on-campus study space, PCOM leadership, in collaboration with Library
Services and Facilities Management on the Philadelphia campus, erected two large tents, each equipped with 20 desks, on the lawn beside the Levin
Administration Building. This unique concept allows students to study in the presence
of their peers while maintaining proper health and safety precautions.
“Students miss the comradery of being in the library on campus,” shared Stephanie
Ferretti, MLS, chief library services officer. “These students spend hours studying
and I think they take comfort in knowing that someone else is going through what they’re
going through.” The PCOM Library will manage the scheduling system for the tent.
Biomedical sciences student Annie Kim (MS/Biomed ’22), student manager of the space, shared her thoughts
after the first study session on October 8. “Everyone was super excited about it.
People have been stuck studying in their apartments and many students appreciate the
opportunity to come on campus and study safely. Everyone has been very conscientious
about following the safety rules,” shared Ms. Kim.
Study space amenities and guidelines
In addition to the 20 desks, there are also several osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) tables set up for the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine students to practice their skills. Students are required to follow the guidelines
in place for their in-person OMM labs while practicing inside the tent. These guidelines include wearing an N95 respirator
mask, wiping the tables down with disinfecting wipes after every use and practicing
proper hand hygiene.
Outdoor study schedule
Study space within the tent is limited. Students who wish to reserve space in the
tents can do so via the PCOM Library. Walk-ups are welcome if space is available. The tent is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays
between 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., with a break from 12 - 1 p.m. for deep cleaning.
More Than 500 Graduates Celebrate Commencement at PCOMTurning Loss into Purpose: One Student's Journey with Destigmatizing Mental HealthDr. Peter F. Bidey Appointed Dean of PCOM's Osteopathic Medical Program
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:
Associate Director, News and Media Relations
Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: