Student Organizations Host Leadership EventFebruary 17, 2016
The event included interactive sessions, lectures and a team-based experience.
The PCOM chapters of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) and the Student
Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) recently hosted the Primary Care Interprofessional
Leadership Institute (PCILI), sponsored by their respective national headquarters,
to explore how students from different healthcare disciplines can collaborate to improve
the quality of primary care settings.
Medical, pre-medical, dental, physical therapy, biomedical science and health policy
students from schools around the region came together for interactive sessions, lectures
from an array of health professionals, and an interactive, team-based experience designed
to show participants how collaboration across disciplines creates a more efficient
and effective experience for the patient.
Charmaine Chan, DO ’08, instructor, family medicine; and Scott Glassman, PsyD ’13, clinical assistant professor, psychology, and associate director of the MS program in Mental Health Counseling, opened the event with a discussion on the role that interprofessional teams can
play in solving the current problems of the health care industry and improve patient
care. “The healthcare industry is increasingly emphasizing the quality of patient
outcomes and improved self-management of chronic illnesses,” said Dr. Glassman. “That
makes interprofessional care critical from both a patient-centered and cost efficiency
Alaynna Kears, (DO ’18), president of the PCOM chapter of AMSA, says that interprofessionalism
in primary care is incredibly important in areas such as Philadelphia, where a high
number of individuals have chronic health conditions like diabetes, and need to see
more than one health provider. (According to the Southeastern PA Household Health
Survey from the Public Health Management Corporation, about 15 percent of the Philadelphia
population has diabetes, compared to the national average of 12.3 percent.)
Kears shared the example of a diabetic patient who sees a primary care physician to
manage the disease, but must also then see an ophthalmologist, a nephrologist and
a podiatrist to prevent the disease from affecting other parts of their bodies. In
addition, that same patient must also see a nurse for immunizations, and a social
worker to assist them in getting ancillary help—such as transportation and health
care coverage—with managing the disease.
“Managing these patient's conditions requires a joint effort to provide the best healthcare
experience,” she said.
In the spirit of interprofessional collaboration, Kears noted that clinical psychology
student Mark Cassano, MS/Psy ’12 (PsyD ’17), was instrumental in organizing PCILI. Mr. Cassano has organized a similar event
at PCOM called the Integrated Health Care Conference (IHC) for the past two years,
and “his prior experience helped us make this event successful, since the IHC and
PCILI both had similar goals in mind,” she said.
Steven Mosey (DO ’18), president of the PCOM chapter of SOMA, said the Institute shows
how communication and respect among health care providers can lead to more favorable
outcomes. “Hopefully, it will create a lasting impression so that in the future, more
effective collaboration is sought out,” he said.
Dr. Glassman, who also spoke about the interprofessional nature of the College’s shared
medical appointment program, said that PCOM was an ideal site to host the event. “PCOM’s
commitment to interprofessional education increases the likelihood that students from
across healthcare disciplines will be prepared to work within team environments after
graduation, because they will understand that wellness, illness management and health
behavior change are biopsychosocial concepts. “
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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