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Students Take Learning to the Kitchen


July 27, 2020
Table spread of various Mexican food dishes including four different tacos and two salads.
Table spread of various asian-inspired dishes prepared by a PCOM South Georgia medical student.
Table spread of a few different mediterranean appetizers and desserts cooked by a DO student taking a culinary medicine course.

By learning about healthy diets and cooking techniques, PCOM South Georgia medical students will be able to better advise their patients.


Homemade tacos, shrimp pasta and honey mustard tenderloin were on the syllabus for PCOM South Georgia’s first Culinary Medicine course.

The second-year Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) students joined PCOM faculty members Joanne Kakaty-Monzo, DO ‘97, clinical associate professor and chair, obstetrics and gynecology, and Dennis Peffley, PhD, JD, assistant professor, physiology and pharmacology, to learn firsthand about special diets, nutritional value, the makeup of food and how to advise future patients on healthy lifestyles.

“It’s tremendously important that physicians teach their patients about lifestyle modifications,” Dr. Kakaty-Monzo said. “What we eat is important to our overall health because nutrition and eating habits help prevent chronic diseases throughout our lifetime.”

Because the course was hosted virtually, McKay Morrow (DO ‘23) enjoyed cooking at home alongside his family and learning how to apply this knowledge to his future as a physician.

“One of the biggest benefits was establishing a basic knowledge of nutrition,” he said. “It’s not a huge part of the medical school curriculum, but it is a big part of medicine, so it was nice to start to build that foundation.”

As a vegetarian, Allison Tresner (DO ‘23) said the course gave her new ideas and a better understanding of how to adhere to a specific diet.

“I have always been interested in nutrition since I need to be more vigilant in maintaining proper amounts of protein and balancing my diet,” she said. “I was so eager to take this course to learn for myself and also to be able to relay nutritional information to my patients in a way that is applicable and relatable. I feel far more confident in my ability to educate my future patients and encourage them to take charge of their own health through the ultimate form of medicine—food!”

The course was inspired by the “Health Meets Food” course offered by The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University. The primary goal is to teach future physicians about how diet and nutrition play a part in the prevention and treatment of diseases and how to discuss this important topic with their patients.

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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, which offers a full four-year medical program leading to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. In addition, a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences will be offered beginning in August 2020. 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 on August 12, 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: jordanro1@pcom.edu
    Office: 229-668-3198 | Cell: 229-873-2003

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