Rural Medicine and Telehealth Training February 18, 2021
Medical Students Join SOWEGA AHEC Scholars Program
Five students in the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) program at PCOM South Georgia are taking the initiative to learn more about practicing medicine in rural areas
with the help of the Southwest Georgia Area Health Education Center (SOWEGA AHEC).
With a goal of improving the number and distribution of healthcare providers, the
nonprofit organization hosts a two-year multidisciplinary program that gives students
of different health professions the opportunity to practice hands-on training in a
Chizoba Akunwanne (DO ‘23) said that the training she will receive during the program
directly lines up with her passions and professional goals.
“I made it a mission to become a physician who practices in the underserved areas,
to provide service to the underserved and to foster the elimination of health disparities.
When PCOM South Georgia presented me with the opportunity to work with the SOWEGA
AHEC, I decided that this program would give me the opportunity to reach out to the
rural community in South Georgia where I hope to practice medicine. When I found out
this program was going to provide us with telemedicine training, I was impressed.
We are currently in a pandemic, and many physicians have turned to telemedicine to
remain engaged with their patients. This training will enhance my professional growth
The curriculum includes 80 hours of online module course work and 40 hours of hands-on
training. Participants will become certified in telemedicine and complete an Adult
Mental Health First Aid USA training course. Over the two years students will cover
topics such as interprofessional education, behavioral health integration, social
determinants of health, cultural competency, practice transformation, and current
and emerging health issues.
Since beginning the program, the medical students have completed learning modules
on how social determinants of health impact population health outcomes.
Akunwanne said, “I am also looking forward to the farm worker health service project
that I will be working on in October. I will be going to the farm with my team, and
together we will be offering free basic health care to over 2,500 migrant and seasonal
H. William Craver III, DO ‘87, FACOS, PCOM South Georgia Dean and Chief Academic Officer, is proud of the students who
have taken their learning into their own hands and outside of the classroom.
“These students are not only succeeding academically in medical school, but they’re
also taking time to commit to external training that broadens their understanding
of practicing medicine in rural areas,” he said. “I’m extremely proud of our PCOM
South Georgia students.”
Second-year Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine students participating in the SOWEGA AHEC
Scholars Program are Chizoba Akunwanne, Shelby Flowers, Miles McCabe, Shelby McGee
and Julia Patterson.
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About PCOM South Georgia
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) extended its commitment to the
Southeast by establishing PCOM South Georgia, an additional teaching location in Moultrie, Georgia. PCOM South Georgia offers both
a full, four-year medical program leading to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
degree and a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree. PCOM is a private, not-for-profit
institution which trains professionals in the health and behavioral sciences fields.
Joining PCOM Georgia in Suwanee in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state,
PCOM South Georgia focuses on educating physicians for the South Georgia region. The
medical campus, which welcomed its inaugural class of medical students in August 2019,
has received accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association's Commission
on Osteopathic College Accreditation. For more information, visit pcom.edu/southgeorgia or call 229-668-3110.
For more information, contact:
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Office: 229-668-3198 | Cell: 229-873-2003
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