Research
PCOM South Georgia

Research at PCOM South Georgia will focus 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. As part of this mission, we will mentor students in investigative methods and information retrieval, appraisal and dissemination.

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 from day one 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; and
  • 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

Research at PCOM South Georgia will focus on education, community impact and healthcare delivery and outcomes.

Education Research

  • Comparison of content mastery from lectures, active learning groups and team-based learning exercises.
  • 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 the home
  • Promote collaborations between faculty, students, healthcare providers, community leaders and patients.
  • Improve and promote health.

Community-Based Research

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 community.
  • High school and undergraduate students' choices of majors and career paths in the biomedical sciences.
  • 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 phases.

Phase I: Create the Research Environment

Goals

  • 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 research
  • 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.
  • Topics:
    • introduction to types of research
    • human studies research
    • information retrieval and utilization
    • informed consent
    • medical ethics
    • study design
    • responsible conduct of research
    • biostatistics
  • 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

Goals

  • 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.

 

 

Research standards

COCA

  • 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.


AOA

  • Standard 7.1: A functioning research program would include infrastructure elements, including IRB, IACUC, facilities, start- up funding, grants officer and management, and publications.
  • 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.