Claire Dorcent, DO '21 May 21, 2021
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Claire Dorcent, DO ’21, is once again preparing to uproot her life and move north
where she will begin residency training as an OB/GYN at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester,
Only a few years ago, she arrived at PCOM Georgia ready to begin a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Public Health
at the University of South Florida, Tampa.
After only three months in the master’s program, Dorcent was accepted into the College’s
osteopathic medicine program. With hard work, self-motivation, and foregoing her summer break, she voluntarily
earned a master’s degree instead of accepting the suggested certificate of completion
during her second year of medical school.
Dorcent is the first college graduate in her family. With a lifelong dream of becoming
a physician, she researched options and discovered the benefits of a master’s program
to strengthen her candidacy for medical school. “I was accepted into three programs
and ultimately decided that PCOM Georgia had the best curriculum to prepare me for
medical school,” she said.
“After I started the program, I immediately fell in love with the community and support
that PCOM had to offer. It was a no brainer when they accepted me into medical school
that I would be attending their program,” she added.
Dorcent said she was specifically interested in osteopathic medicine because of its
holistic approach to medicine. Raised in a Haitian-American household, she recalls witnessing first-hand “the Haitian
community’s appreciation that the body naturally can find disease, the use of alternative
medicine, and holistic considerations to overcoming health problems.”
While traveling to her family’s native county, she noted that osteopathic medicine
“was more in alignment with things I saw within my own culture. The option to treat
patients as a whole and not just their present illness rendered my decision to pursue
a career in osteopathic medicine.”
Dorcent said her aspirations to become a physician stemmed from three factors – her
love of science, an exposure to the health field at a young age, and her awareness
of the lack of African American doctors, especially black females.
Although she considered becoming a teacher or a lawyer, Dorcent said she “quickly
realized that medicine encompassed all of those professional duties and was the one
field that would allow me to nurture my desire to educate, advocate, and provide care
for my patients.”
Her future plans include training to become a general OB/GYN who serves the underserved
and underrepresented communities. She said, “As a future OB/GYN of color, I am committed
to bridging the gap of disparities in maternal and infant mortality, improving women’s
health, and decreasing chronic non-reproductive health issues all while educating,
uplifting, and inspiring the future of medicine.”
A former osteopathic manipulative medicine clinical teaching scholar at PCOM Georgia, Dorcent is passionate about medical education and envisions herself
one day becoming a program director or a clerkship director at a medical school. She
said, “I have learned many life lessons from a variety of people. I hold on to those
teaching moments in hopes that I can become an inspirational role model for others.”
Dorcent credits PCOM Georgia with providing her the necessary foundation and support that helped her become a
student leader. She said, “I have grown personally and professionally to become the
best version of myself, which in turn, allowed me to help make a difference in the
lives of my peers, my community and the campus.
She has been inspired by many people throughout her life, especially her parents.
“They have gone above and beyond to provide a happy, well balanced life for me and
my sister,” Dorcent said.
Her parents found ways to enhance her education, including placing her in a medical
magnet program for high school, “because they knew my educational experience would
influence my future opportunities. They have done everything humanly possible to support
and help me and my sister achieve a life that most people only dream of,” she said.
Dorcent is also inspired by her many schoolteachers and professors who challenged
her to reach her full potential. Her mentors and peers “who share both their failures
and successes in their own life journey, showing me that anything we desire to achieve
is possible” also greatly influence her.
Dorcent advises future medical students to “enjoy the process and journey and try
not to compare your own journey to anyone else’s.”
She said, “Medical school is not for the faint hearted. It will be tough. It will
challenge and test you beyond measure. In the end, you will come out stronger, smarter,
and a better version of yourself. And it will all be worth it.”