PCOM Celebrates Hispanic Heritage MonthNovember 6, 2019
Pictured from left on top row: Madison Hill (DO '22), Nathalie Torres (DO '22), Jacob
Valvis (DO '22) and Gabriella Mamo (DO '22). Bottom row: Yajaira Hasset, senior medical
assistant Esperanza Health and Sarah Wilson, DO '08.
From September 15 to October 15, community members from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) came together to recognize and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. This year, the
Office of Diversity and Community Relations, in collaboration with the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) and the Student
Government Association hosted a series of events for the PCOM community to educate
and celebrate the impact and opportunities for Hispanic and Latino healthcare professionals.
After a community-wide kick-off lunch on September 16, the first speaking event titled
“Serving the Latinx Community: Language and Cultural Barriers” was held on October
7. PCOM alumna Sarah Wilson, DO ’04, was invited to campus to speak on her experience
as a non-Hispanic physician working in a majority Hispanic community.
Dr. Wilson, who currently serves as a primary care physician at Esperanza Health in
North Philadelphia, identified obstacles to patient care such as a language barrier,
and advised physicians to overcome such obstacles to better serve their patients.
During her talk, Dr. Wilson also presented a series of possible office scenarios and
invited the audience to interact and ask questions.
Fellow PCOM alumnus, Julio Gomez, DO ’12, was also invited back to campus to speak
during Hispanic Heritage Month. Dr. Gomez currently serves as chief resident in the
Temple University Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and a Major in
the United States Air Force. He shared his experience as both a Hispanic man in medical
school and in the military. Dr. Gomez concluded his talk by opening the dialogue to
questions from the audience.
In reflecting on the month, Nathalie Torres (DO ’22), president of LMSA said, “This
month is a great opportunity for students to gain insight into the careers of the
various speakers. We are better able to understand the personal and professional obstacles
they have overcome to get to where they are now.”
Ms. Torres also noted these events are an opportunity for new students to get a better
understanding of the diverse medical landscape in Philadelphia. “For many first- and
second-year students, still doing didactic work, these events were a great way to
gather advice about future patients as they transition into clinical work.”
To learn more about PCOM’s on-going efforts to support diversity and inclusion on
campus visit the Office of Diversity and Community Relations.
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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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