PCOM Brings Clinical Education to Online EnvironmentsMay 6, 2020
PCOM's Dept. of Professional Development and Online Learning recently presented a
webinar series for educators shifting to online education in the wake of COVID-19.
In the wake of COVID-19, students across programs at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) were dismissed from their on-campus classes as well as clinical rotation sites. This
abrupt dismissal prompted PCOM’s Department of Professional Development and Online Learning to mobilize to ensure a continuity of clinical education. In the webinar series titled
“Strategies to Bring Clinical Education to Online Environments,” clinicians and educators
from various programs at PCOM discussed how they made the transition to online learning
and shared eLearning strategies to successfully engage students.
The “Strategies to Bring Clinical Education to Online Environments” webinar series
is open to educators and preceptors in clinical education and is designed to help
participants understand and utilize the resources available to them. It is also an
opportunity for clinicians and educators to share creative solutions to problems they
have solved during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In a little under two weeks, we were able to transition 308 courses, from 25 distinct
academic programs, across three campuses, largely due to the hard work of our faculty
and the existing infrastructure we had in place. For years we have focused on making
online learning accessible and, in many cases, our faculty were already using these
online resources to supplement their in-class teaching,” said Erik Langenau, DO, MS, chief academic technology officer at PCOM.
“In the case of clinical education, there was a need for an entirely new set of courses.
For example, in our Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program, we were able to create 25 new courses for our third-year students that directly
align with the clinical rotations they would have experienced had they not been pulled
from their sites,” Dr. Langenau continued.
In his webinar titled “COVID-19 Internal Medicine: Approach to Online Learning,” Daniel Parenti, DO ‘87, chair, internal medicine, shared his plan for providing a meaningful virtual internal
medicine experience for students using Blackboard as a vehicle. Dr. Parenti highlighted
the topics he would be focusing on and how the course he developed gives each student
an opportunity to clinically explore these topics. One portion of Dr. Parenti’s course
focuses on interpreting clinical situations. As an example from his course, Parenti
shared a recorded clip of a patient’s breathing pattern and explained that students
would then be assigned to listen to the recording, diagnose the problem, and share
how they came to their diagnosis.
When asked what advice he would give educators rapidly transitioning to online learning,
Dr. Langenau shared, “Keep it simple. Focus on the things that will have the biggest
impact. Perfect is the enemy of good, and if you’re always focused on perfection,
you’ll prolong implementing something that will work.”
The courses were free to attend, and each one-hour course was counted for AOA Category
1-A credit for continued medical education.
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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, 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.
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