PCOM South Georgia to Remain Online Through TermApril 23, 2020
The implementation of virtual learning has been successful due to the adaptability
of the College's first-year medical students.
The inaugural class of PCOM South Georgia will finish their first year of medical school virtually. Kenneth J. Veit, DO ’76, provost, senior vice president for academic affairs
and dean announced that all PCOM locations will deliver classes and labs virtually
until further notice.
“The College has confirmed that this will officially affect the duration of the current
academic spring term,” Dr. Veit said in an email to the campus community. “The implementation
of this online environment has been very successful in large part due to the resiliency
and adaptability of you, our students. It is a bit different, but positive academic
achievements, goals and objectives are being obtained across the board.”
The email continued, “The College will continue to use as many resources as required
to maintain high quality instruction and to keep your academic programs on track,
leading to the timely realization of your degree and professional goals.”
Students Adjust to Online Learning
Matthew Powell (DO ‘23), a student at PCOM South Georgia and class chair, feels that
remaining online through the term is necessary.
“From a person going through this pandemic just like everyone else, I think it is
wise to continue with online education for a few reasons,” he said. “It keeps me and
my wife safe from any potential encounter with COVID-19, and we don’t have to make
another transition within this term. The transition from in-person to online lectures
wasn’t easy or fun. Though I miss my classmates, the faculty and our beautiful campus,
I would hate to have to change my approach mid-stream again,” he said.
Students and faculty alike have expressed their longing to return to campus and interact
with their community, but most have adjusted well to the change. Sadie Daugereaux
(DO ‘23), first-year medical student at PCOM South Georgia, says that with time, she
has become used to online classes.
“Medical school is pretty much all about routine and getting a schedule down, so I
believe it takes everyone time to figure out what works best for them,” she said.
“PCOM was already doing a great job of keeping up with virtual learning advances which
has certainly made this transition easier. The faculty could not be better about keeping
in close communication with us. Most are checking their emails about every 30 minutes
during the week and then multiple times over the weekend, so it is very easy to have
your questions answered.”
Faculty Embrace Virtual Instruction
Jennifer Shaw, PhD, associate professor of physiology, makes her availability to students a top priority.
Dr. Shaw, along with the other faculty members, keeps an open line of communication
with students. Teaching through live lectures, chatting with students via educational
software, and having virtual office hours all allow her to connect with the soon-to-be
second-year medical students.
“We’re all deprived of social interaction,” she said. “We’re doing what we can to
recreate the classroom environment. You don’t realize how important those pockets
of time are between classes when students can easily talk with professors and each
other about content or just life. We chat a lot in between classes, and all of the
faculty miss that. So, right before starting our live online lecture I ask them to
tell me something fun that is not directly related to class to foster a small sense
of human interaction.”
Although online teaching and learning have been a major change for faculty and students,
Dr. Shaw says students are performing well. She and Daugereaux say that students are
doing their best to maintain study groups and interact with one another.
“The students are still getting the lecture-based content that they need,” Dr. Shaw
said. “We provide review exercises and practice questions. I want them to study as
if they’re on campus and promote conceptual thinking.”
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About PCOM South Georgia
In 2019, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), a premier osteopathic
medical school with a storied 125-year history, 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. PCOM is a private, not-for-profit
institution that 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 region. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 229-668-3110.
Cindy B. Montgomery
Public Relations and Social Media Manager
Office: 229-668-3198 | Cell: 229-873-2003
Connect with PCOM South Georgia