PCOM Community Shows Support for White Coats for Black Lives
June 15, 2020
PCOM students, faculty and staff joined medical students and health professionals
nationwide in solidarity with White Coats for Black Lives.
On Friday, June 5, students, faculty and staff from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) joined together along City Avenue to take a knee for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
Organized by PCOM alumna, Karla Curet, DO ’13, this event was one of hundreds of demonstrations
happening worldwide in response to the killing on May 25, 2020, of George Floyd, a
black man, by a white Minneapolis police officer. The length of time signified the
amount of time Floyd was held to the ground by the officer. The gathering was specifically
organized to demonstrate solidarity with White Coats for Black Lives, an organization that works to eliminate racism in medicine as a threat to the health
and well-being of people of color, and Black Lives Matter, an organization whose central
mission is eradicating white supremacy and building local power to intervene in violence
inflicted on black communities.
One PCOM student, Chantel Thompson (DO ’22), joined her fellow students and shared
her experience. Ms. Thompson, recently named President-Elect of the Student National
Medical Association (SNMA), the nation's oldest and largest student-run organization
focused on the needs and concerns of medical students of color, and a member of the
PCOM chapter of SNMA, is a Philadelphia-native, growing up just a few minutes from
“As PCOM medical students, we wanted to show solidarity with the healthcare workers
who are currently practicing and advocate for White Coats for Black Lives,” shared
Ms. Thompson. “We also wanted to make it known to our future patients that we will
not ‘stay in our lane.’ We will be vocal about the systems in place that adversely
affect communities of color and we will be supportive of changes that will improve
their quality of care,” she continued.
Ms. Thompson also shared, “the most impactful moment [for me] was when everyone in
attendance kneeled. Kneeling for more than eight minutes was overwhelming. We were
mentally, physically and spiritually connecting with what we were doing and why we
In addition to this show of support, PCOM’s Office of Diversity joined SNMA to host an open forum for the PCOM community. This forum focused on healing
and conversations about culture. The SNMA has also been in frequent conversations
with senior leadership about incorporating curriculum that addresses these cultural
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: Daniel McCunney Associate Director, News and Media Relations Email: email@example.com Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: