Educating the Frontlines of Health January 24, 2022
Training Physicians in South Georgia
Christian Edwards (DO ‘23) and many of his classmates hope to become physicians in
rural and underserved areas. (Note: Photos were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic
and campus mask mandates.)
Born at Colquitt Regional in 1995, Xavia Taylor (DO ‘23) is now walking into that
same hospital as a third-year osteopathic medical student completing her clerkship rotations.
But her ties to Moultrie and its healthcare system go even deeper. Her grandfather,
Verdell Bull Blount, served on the hospital board for many years while running his
local business, Blounts and Sons Concrete. It was during that time that Xavia joined
him on retreats and had the opportunity to be in the midst of so many local healthcare
professionals. Combine that relationship to the healthcare industry with her fierce
passion for serving her community, and it’s easy to understand why Xavia aspired to
become a physician.
“I have always known that I wanted to become a physician, but I never thought I’d
be pursuing that journey in my hometown,” she said. “It all seemed to line up perfectly
for me. PCOM South Georgia was taking its first class of students the same year that I was due to apply to medical school. Having the college in my hometown was definitely a determining factor for me. I
am able to be close to my family and have the support I need during this time as a
medical student. All the education and training that I have has come from my hometown.”
Staying close to home for her education has been a top priority for Xavia. She attended
Thomas County Central High School and then received her bachelor’s degree in biotechnology
at Fort Valley State University. She’s maintained that yearn to stay in South Georgia
even throughout her medical training.
“Having PCOM South Georgia in Moultrie has allowed me to continue on my path to medicine
and learn amongst the very people I have been blessed to share a community with. It
is a wonderful feeling, and a very personal one. I don’t think my support system and
community quite understand what their encouragement means to me, ” she said.
Xavia is set to graduate from PCOM South Georgia in the summer of 2023. Afterward,
she’ll complete a residency, which is possible to do in Moultrie through the Georgia
South Residency Program at Colquitt Regional Medical Center.
“I get questions all the time from local members of our community asking me, ‘Will
you practice medicine in Moultrie?’ I don’t like to jinx the future, so I say, ‘I
guess we will see soon!’”
Much like Xavia, Christian Edwards (DO ‘23) has a heart for Moultrie. It’s where he
and his wife, Anna, have opened a business, where his parents and grandparents have
opened businesses, where he has spent his entire life, where he has raised his own
family and where he is training to become a physician.
“I went off to college with the world in front of me,” Edwards said. “There were so
many things to see and do out there, but when it came down to it, there was nothing
out there that was enough to overcome the comfort and community of home.”
Christian said that the birth of his first son in 2017 was a defining moment in his
life for many reasons. One of them being the start of his pursuit of a medical career.
Two years later, he began his education and training in his hometown at PCOM South
“The timing was quite providential,” he said. “Shortly after I made the decision to
pursue medical school, I heard news that PCOM South Georgia was coming to Moultrie. The school being here was life changing for me and my family. We were able to stay
here in Moultrie. My kids were able to stay around their friends and grandparents,
and we were able to stay in the community that we grew up in.”
Now in his third year of medical school, Christian is completing his clerkship rotations at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. Not only is he doing so in his hometown, but
with his ideal future patient population.
“I’m seeing the exact patient population that I hope to practice with one day,” he
said. “I know many of them personally and hope to care for them in the future. There
are also doctors here who have mentored me from a young age. I grew up attending church
with them, so it's very special to be learning from them in the medical field. I wouldn't
choose anywhere else to be.”
Like many South Georgians, Christian has had a front-row seat to the growth of the
He said, “It is incredible the difference that has been made over the past 10 years.
PCOM South Georgia, Colquitt Regional Medical Center and the Georgia South Residency
program have created an incredible pipeline that will produce outstanding medical
care to South Georgia and the rural and underserved communities.”
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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:
Public Relations and Social Media Specialist
Office: 229-668-3198 | Cell: 229-873-2003
Connect with PCOM South Georgia