PCOM South Georgia
Research at PCOM South Georgia is focused on developing more effective approaches
to prevent and treat disease. Our research mission is to promote health through basic,
translational, clinical, behavioral, education and community research. Mentoring students
in investigative methods and information retrieval, appraisal and dissemination is
part of this mission.
At PCOM South Georgia, our goal is to create a climate of scholars, observers and
participators that contribute to improving healthcare delivery and outcomes. We will
conduct research that creates partnerships between students, faculty, healthcare providers,
patients and community leaders and foster a sense of connectedness that promotes long-term
commitment to the region.
Why research is important
Participation in research benefits students by:
- enhancing curiosity and creativity;
- developing disciplined thinking;
- improving communication skills;
- developing an appreciation of evidence-based medicine;
- increasing students' sense of responsibility to their patients, profession and community;
- creating pride in their accomplishments.
Additionally, research can increase preparedness and competitiveness for residency. The correlation between doctor of
osteopathic (DO) medicine students and research publications is significant for competitive
residencies. Successfully matched MD candidates had more abstracts, presentations
and publications than matched DO candidates in the combined match.
Research focus areas
PCOM South Georgia's research focus is on education, community impact and healthcare
delivery and outcomes.
- Comparison of content mastery from lectures, active learning groups and team-based
- Development and testing of innovative approaches to medical education and training.
(Ex. Assessment of direct versus indirect supervision.)
- Utilize the clinical learning and assessment and gross anatomy labs for research purposes.
(Examples: 1. Assessment of a program that uses standardized patients for the informed
consent process and 2. Characterization of anomalies.)
Healthcare Delivery and Outcomes Research
- Assessments of healthcare delivery and patient education in Colquitt County.
- Development and testing of novel approaches for:
- increasing patient compliance;
- enhancing community outreach;
- reducing disparities in and barriers to access to care; and
- improving methods of healthcare delivery within hospitals, outpatient centers and
- Promote collaborations between faculty, students, healthcare providers, community
leaders and patients.
- Improve and promote health.
Assessments of PCOM's impact on:
- Patients' attitudes and commitment to care.
- Promotion of health and disease prevention through student run educational programs.
- Mentoring and research activities on campus and within healthcare centers and the
- High school and undergraduate students' choices of majors and career paths in the
- Recruitment of local undergraduates student to PCOM.
- Retaining PCOM graduates in the region.
Strategic research plan
Our plan to develop research on campus and within the community includes multiple
Phase I: Create the Research Environment
- Recruit qualified faculty to educate students in the process and practice of research.
- Establish an infrastructure for research.
- Develop and initiate research studies.
Administrators, faculty and support staff to include:
- Research officer and educator with background in public/population health and community-based
- Basic science and clinical faculty that serve as facilitators of team-based and active
learning groups, and mentors for student research projects
- Course director for the Principles and Practice of Evidence-Based Medicine course
- Library Sciences faculty and staff biostatistician consultant
- IRB committee members
Educating medical students in the principles and practice of research will be done
through the Evidence-Based Medicine course.
- Format: Independent study via online modules followed by active learning group sessions,
team-based learning exercises and lectures.
- introduction to types of research
- human studies research
- information retrieval and utilization
- informed consent
- medical ethics
- study design
- responsible conduct of research
- Capstone project: students develop a research study.
Phase II: Integrating PCOM Research into the Healthcare Community
The goal is for PCOM's South Georgia campus to serve as a hub and engine that elevates
the level of excitement for and commitment to research within the healthcare community. Efforts
in this phase will include:
- Assessing current research activities within Colquitt Regional Medical Center, Miller
County Medical Center, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and outpatient healthcare centers.
- Determining current mechanisms for IRB approval of human studies research.
- Recruiting clinicians, including PCOM alumni, fellows, residents, other healthcare
practitioners and members of the community to participate in research studies.
- Providing IRB support for projects in which:
- full-time PCOM faculty are PIs or co-investigators.
- affiliated faculty's studies are exempt from informed consent.
Phase III: Forming Collaborative Research Initiatives Within a Broader Academic Environment
- Establish research collaborations with faculty and students at undergraduate institutions
in south Georgia.
- Increase enrollment of students to PCOM's DO program.
- Retain PCOM graduates within the community.
- Assess ongoing research activities at the 11 colleges and universities within a 50-mile
radius of Moultrie.
- Identify their key faculty and administrators.
- Determine their level of research support.
- Invite faculty and students to campus for research related events, including speakers,
poster sessions and capstone project presentations.
- Form research collaborations with neighboring institutions.
- Standard 8.1: Research and Scholarly Activity
- Provide research and scholarly activity plan.
- Document faculty research accomplishments.
- Standard 8.2: Student Participation
- Provide research and scholarly activity policies.
- Document student research accomplishments.
- Standard 7.1: A functioning research program would include infrastructure elements,
including IRB, IACUC, facilities, start- up funding, grants officer and management,
- Standard 7.2: Growth and development of research is linked to resources and student
education, as evidenced by an expectation of research in culture and productivity,
protected time, etc.