PCOM South Georgia's Science and Math Summer Academy allowed Moultrie area high schoolers
to learn about healthcare careers and college pathways.
Dissections, yoga and CPR were on the agenda for local high schoolers during PCOM
South Georgia’s annual Science and Math Summer Academy.
Cairo and Colquitt County High School students spent two weeks at the local medical school receiving medical lectures from faculty members, spending time with mentors and learning
about the admissions process from college and university representatives.
By giving high school students early exposure to these resources, Stacie Fairley, PhD, faculty leader, hopes it encourages them to pursue their goals of joining the healthcare
“This year the academy was in-person, which I think allowed for a much more rewarding
experience for the participants,” she said. “I was intentional about recruiting students
that could ultimately help to build a more diverse healthcare workforce, which included
underrepresented minorities and females.”
Jeanine Garcia (DO ‘24) is a PCOM South Georgia osteopathic medicine student and one of the lead mentors for the academy. She said having the opportunity
to impact students at a young age was a no-brainer.
“I decided to become a mentor for SMSA because it was a great opportunity to share
my passion for medicine with the local high school students and potentially make a
difference in their lives,” she said. “I had the opportunity to participate in a STEM
program when I was in high school, and it changed the trajectory of my life. I was
exposed to science in a new light and fell in love with it.”
While at the academy, students heard from faculty members about subjects like pathology,
physiology, genetics, microbiology, pharmacology and anatomy in the mornings. After
the lecture, they played knowledge recall games then performed a hands-on activity
to solidify their understanding. Then, they worked on clinical cases alongside PCOM
South Georgia students.
Ogechukwu Ariwodo (DO ‘24) served as a mentor during the summer academy, working closely
with the high school students.
“The attendees have the opportunity to learn diverse leadership and professional skills
while fostering camaraderie through different team-building exercises. The academy
provides these students with first-hand exposure and advice on the intricacies of
life as health professional students," he said.
Each afternoon, representatives from regional colleges and universities spoke to the
students about how to prepare for college applications. Afterward, local healthcare
employees spoke to the students about their profession and the process it takes to
get there. Students also received CPR certification and HIPAA training by the Southwest
Georgia Area Health Education Center.
“SMSA’s ultimate goal is to help the participants discover their interest, think critically
and educate them on how to one day serve their patients in the best ways possible...
And to have fun,” said Dr. Fairley.
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: Jordan Roberts Public Relations and Social Media Specialist Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Office:229-668-3198 | Cell:229-873-2003