Students from CA Gray Junior High School in Moultrie spent the morning virtually speaking with students and faculty from PCOM South Georgia during the second annual SPARK program.
Students Progressing in Academics from Readiness and Knowledge (SPARK) is a pathway program that introduces students in underserved communities to osteopathic medicine, while fostering confidence in them as they consider healthcare careers.
“We aim to promote leadership, boost interest in the sciences and improve college and career readiness knowledge,” Dana Brooks, assistant director of admissions said.
Brooks added, “It is very rewarding to our student ambassadors, faculty and admissions team to have the opportunity to share the pathway to becoming an osteopathic physician. Our goal is to create interest and a realization that becoming a physician can be a reality right here in Moultrie!”
After learning about the working mechanics of the heart from Jennifer Shaw, PhD, and Jason Walker, PhD, associate professors of physiology, the ninth-graders heard from osteopathic medicine and graduate students at PCOM South Georgia.
Allison Tresner (DO ‘23), Shelby Flowers (DO ‘23), Son Nguyen (DO ‘23) and Destiny Sciuva (MS ‘22) spoke with students about the tenets of osteopathic medicine and the process of becoming a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). The speakers focused on grades needed to get into college, how to find financial assistance and tips for getting experience in the medical field at a young age.
“It is so important to reach out to younger students and help them with their journey and remind them that they have an incredible amount of potential and an incredible amount of opportunity,” Flowers, a Moultrie native, said. “It was a very special thing to be able to help coordinate this program at one of my former schools, for students from my own hometown.”
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.
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