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Students, Faculty Recognize Primary Care Week

October 11, 2017

National Primary Care Week (NPCW) is an annual event designed to highlight the importance of primary care, and to bring together healthcare professionals and students across the healthcare spectrum to discuss the important role primary care providers play in the healthcare system.

At PCOM, several student organizations collaborated on a number of events recognizing NPCW, which occurred October 1-7.

"Primary care is the foundation of value-based quality care in our country,” said Michael Becker, DO ’87, MS, professor and vice-chair, family medicine. “Having an excellent relationship with a primary care physician enhances the overall care that a patient receives regardless if it is delivered by a generalist, specialist, or hospital."

On Monday, October 2, Primary Care Progress held a standardized patient (SP) skills workshop, led by Peter Bidey, DO ’08, MEd, assistant professor, family medicine, and family medicine residents. The workshop was designed to teach first- and second-year DO students how to work with SPs. Also, students in the Student Association of American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (SAACOFP) and Primary Care Progress volunteered at MANNA, a nonprofit in Philadelphia that delivers nourishment to those battling life-threatening illnesses, as a part of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians’ national service project.

On Tuesday, the Internal Medicine Club, along with the Medicine Pediatrics Club, the Robert Berger Pediatric Society, the Obstetrics and Gynecology (Ob/Gyn) Club, the Student American Academy of Osteopathy and Primary Care Progress, held a panel discussion with several of PCOM’s primary care physicians. The doctors shared their experiences on the front lines of healthcare.

On Wednesday, students held a bake sale to raise funds for hurricane relief, and the SAACOFP hosted a panel discussion with several family medicine physicians discussing various career opportunities in that field.    

A bake sale for hurricane relief was also held on Thursday, followed by a session on how to perform osteopathic manipulative techniques on pediatric patients with Meghna Shah, DO, MPH, assistant professor, osteopathic medicine.

“Primary care is the central hub for all aspects of healthcare,” said Brisha Bhikadiya (DO ’20), chair of the Student Organizations Council. “These are the physicians that continuously follow their patient’s lives. They put together lab reports, physical exam findings, and information from various specialists into actually managing patient care. To treat one of their patients successfully, they really have to incorporate various pieces of the puzzle and decide what fits best.”

Roughly 60 percent of PCOM DO graduates go on to practice in primary care. Stormie Wagner (DO ’20), president of Primary Care Progress, said she was strongly considering practicing in primary care after graduation. “You are able to do so much more in a primary care career beyond what society normally portrays,” she said. “For example, if you go into family medicine, you can then do a fellowship in fields like geriatrics, psychiatry, sports medicine, emergency medicine and Ob/Gyn.”

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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 or call 215-871-6100.

For more information, contact:
Daniel McCunney
Associate Director, News and Media Relations
Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: 267-449-1360

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