PCOM Hosts Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee for Event Honoring Meta Christy, DO ‘21October 26, 2020
“Would it surprise you to know I wasn’t aware it had never been done before?”
Barbara Ross-Lee, DO, a nationally-recognized expert on health policy and the first
African American woman to serve as dean of a U.S. medical school, began her conversation
with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) students, faculty, staff
and alumni on September 24 with this reflection on the historic nature of her achievement.
Dr. Ross-Lee was invited for a virtual fireside chat titled “Celebrating Dr. Meta
Christy: An Interview with Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee” honoring Meta Christy, DO, a PCOM graduate and the nation’s first African American osteopathic physician.
To commemorate the anniversary of Dr. Christy’s graduation, PCOM is embarking on a
year-long celebration of her life and the College’s steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion for over a century with programs such as the one with Dr. Ross-Lee. In the hour-long discussion with Dr. Ross-Lee, led by PCOM student and national president of the Student National
Medical Association Chantel Thompson, DO ’22, the two discussed the challenges faced
by early pioneers in the field such as Dr. Christy and what the future of medical
education might look like.
Watch the recorded event
“It took 50 years from the time that Dr. Christy graduated until we had the next black
female osteopathic physician,” said Dr. Ross-Lee, citing the slow history of progress
for women and minorities in the field. She was, however, hopeful that change would
come through the next generation of physicians at PCOM and other osteopathic medical
schools in the country, offering this advice: “You absolutely have to own the space
where you are and make the changes in that space. And when you go to a new space,
own that space. And when you go to the next space, own that space.”
“Own your piece of the solution,” she added.
In addition to programming honoring Dr. Christy, PCOM’s Board of Trustees recently
voted to rename Overmont House, currently being converted into an apartment complex, as the Meta Christy House. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at the completion
of the building’s renovation. PCOM will also unveil a portrait of Dr. Christy which
will be displayed at the entrance of the Meta Christy House. Duplicate copies of this
portrait will be displayed on the PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia campuses.
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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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