Military medical students from the region as well as across the country attended the recent Military Medical Student Symposium to make connections with each other and their future leaders in military medicine.
The Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons and the PCOM President’s Subcommittee for Military Members, Veterans/Discharged and Their Families recently presented the fourth annual Military Medical Student Symposium, a two-day event designed as an opportunity for MD and DO military medical students from campuses all across the country to connect with each other and their future leaders in military medicine.
Several active military physicians shared their experiences with nearly 80 student attendees during breakout sessions, and discussed the important role doctors play on the battlefield. Recent medical school graduates, including PCOM alumnus C. Woodworth Parker, MS, DO ’16, discussed their participation in the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), which allows students to have the cost of their medical education paid for by the military in exchange for four years of service as a physician, dentist, pharmacist, or veterinarian. Attendees also took part in hands-on trauma simulations in the Saltzburg Clinical Learning & Assessment Center.
"Military medical students from DO and MD schools across the region—and even some from across the country—attend this event,” said Alex Blau (DO ’17), an ensign in the naval reserve who served as coordinator for the symposium. “It’s apropos that the event is held annually at an osteopathic institution, as DOs make up a significant portion of military physicians, certainly a greater proportion than is found in the civilian sector. The unique skills we learn at our osteopathic institutions are of great benefit to the military, where medicine is often practiced in austere environments where our hands may be the best tools we have to treat our battalion or squadron."
The event is open to any MD, DO or dental student who is currently in the HPSP program or is considering joining the military, and any pre-med or pre-dental student who is interested in learning more about a medical career in the military.
The link between osteopathic medicine and the military goes back to the field’s very founding; the father of osteopathic medicine, A.T. Still, served in the 21th Regiment of the Kansas State Militia during the Civil War. DOs who serve in the military have used their additional training in osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) to relieve pain and treat injuries on the battlefield when medication or other treatments may not be readily available.
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has trained more than 15,000 highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach, treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM offers the doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of pharmacy and doctor of psychology degrees and graduate programs in mental health counseling, school psychology, physician assistant studies, forensic medicine, organizational development and leadership, and biomedical sciences. Our students learn the importance of health promotion, education and service to the community and, through PCOM’s Healthcare Centers, provide care to the medically underserved populations in inner city and rural locations.
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