Students Complete Research on Bifid Xiphoid Process
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Students Complete Research on Bifid Xiphoid Process

August 16, 2022

In addition to their full load of medical curriculum, three PCOM South Georgia students recently conducted research that was published in the Journal of the Federation of American Sciences for Experimental Biology.

The research of Shahrzad Zamani (DO ‘25), Tamryn Van Der Horn (DO ‘25) and Sara Meawad (DO ‘25) focused on the prevalence of the bifid xiphoid process.

“We noticed a variation while studying the osteology of the chest cavity in the anatomy lab, and our curiosity piqued,” Zamani said. “After looking at the literature, we saw the need for a study with a larger population.”

The study aimed to measure the level of variety between the shape and size of the xiphoid process among anatomical donors at PCOM South Georgia. To conduct the research, the group reviewed literature and collected, organized and analyzed the data. Then, they designed visuals and presented their findings at national conferences and PCOM South Georgia’s Inaugural Research Day.

Like many members PCOM South Georgia’s campus community, the students have been involved in research since their undergraduate education. Zamani has worked with epidemiological studies in population health. Van Der Horn has assisted with data collection for Covid-19 vaccination rates in underserved communities and Meawad has participated in cardiovascular disease research as an NIH All of Us Research Scholar.

“Research is fundamental in building a medical student portfolio,” Shahrzad, president of the research and journal club, said. “We’re a small but mighty team, and we’re looking for additional students to join us for the continuation of the project.”

Research can increase preparedness and competitiveness for residency. The correlation between Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) students and research publications is significant for competitive residencies.

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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 or call 229-668-3110.

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