Taylor Rider Named PCOM's DO Student of the YearJanuary 25, 2023
Surprised. Honored. Bewildered.
Those were just some of the feelings Taylor Rider (DO '23) experienced when she learned
she had been named Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine's (PCOM) selection
for Student DO of the Year by the Osteopathic Student Government Presidents of the
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM). Her name and application
will be submitted for consideration for national honors from among students across
the country. The award is given to osteopathic medical students in recognition of their commitment to the principles of leadership, community
service, dedication and professionalism. “It really is an honor to be recognized among
such successful peers,” Rider said.
Chosen by their peers, Student DO of the Year recipients are selected on the basis
of their service to their college, leadership and research experiences, and dedication
to the osteopathic profession. “Watching and knowing the amazing things that my peers are doing in the community
and for the patient populations that we serve… it's really an honor to be recognized
as a standard for PCOM,” Rider reflected.
Originally from Spencer/Van Etten, New York, a rural area outside of Ithaca, Rider
has spent her time at PCOM focused on giving back to the Philadelphia community. She
is senior director and founder of the HEARTS student-run free clinic at Methodist Services and has received numerous awards and honors, including the
2021 Student Service Award from PCOM's Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) program and the “This We Believe Award” from the Family Medicine Education Consortium. She
is also an inductee into the Gold Humanism Honor Society and the Sigma Sigma Phi Honorary
Service Fraternity. She plans to stay in Pennsylvania upon graduating and is currently
applying to residency programs in family medicine. She hopes to one day bring the
theme of service that has defined her medical school journey back to rural and underserved
communities as a family practice physician. “I'm a product of a rural, underserved
community, so giving back to those populations is really important to me.”
While being recognized as Student DO of the Year is an accomplishment for which she
takes great pride, Rider is most proud of what being an osteopathic physician represents.
“I have an uncanny ability to pick out a DO among attendings without necessarily knowing
they are a DO because when you work with somebody who holds this philosophy dear,
patients become people instead of problems,” said Rider. “It's not ‘This is so and
so. She's a 50-year-old female with fibromyalgia.’ It's ’This is Denise, and she plays
the piano and loves playing with her kids.’ That's the piece that I love.”
“[The osteopathic] philosophy is one that once you adopt and accept it as a student,
it permeates into more than the way you look at your career,” she added. “It's the
way you look at the world.” As she prepares for the next chapter in her journey to
becoming a physician, Rider is generous with her time and wisdom for her peers.
“Grab every opportunity you can by the handlebars and run with it,” she said. “I've
had such amazing opportunities here at PCOM, from opening a new site for our student-run
free clinic to helping with COVID vaccination efforts. While medical school is hard,
and you're in your bubble trying to learn, you can't ignore the fact that there's
a whole community out there that you're still supposed to be serving. Leading with
that servant's heart is such a huge, important piece of being a physician that I hope
we never lose here at PCOM.”
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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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