Congratulations to VCOM-Virginia students, Sean Bowling, Class of 2023, on winning Best Overall for his abstract, "Short-term medical mission students promoting culturally appropriate food intakes to reduce micronutrient deficiencies in Honduras" and Marco Cunicelli, Class of 2021, on winning first place for his essay, "How Does Limited Access to Routine OB-GYN Care Affect a Woman's Health?" Their literature was submitted for the American Osteopathic Association's Bureau of International Osteopathic Medicine (BIOM) 2020 Competition.
Heather Davis, a member of the inaugural class at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)’s Louisiana campus, was selected to receive the 2020 Sherry R. Arnstein Minority Student Scholarship by the American Associate of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM). This recognition includes an award of $8,000 to be used toward her medical education expenses.
The Arnstein Scholarship is awarded each year to at least one new medical student and one continuing medical student. The purpose of the scholarship is to recognize underrepresented minority students who are enrolled in a DO program at an AACOM member college, such as VCOM.
Dr. Randy Aldret had a patent (US Patent #10,675,320) that he submitted through UL Lafayette with his friend Dr. David Bellar from UNC Charlotte that was published on June 9, 2020. The patent is for a novel use for a botanical, nutritional supplement previously utilized to improve VO2 capacity. Drs. Aldret and Bellar discovered that a single dose of the same botanical could provide an enhanced mucosal immune capability for a short time post-exercise.
To commemorate Black History Month 2019, the Student National Medical Association at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)–Carolinas campus hosted a multicultural event on Wednesday, February 27 featuring food, music and movement. A special guest performance was provided by Greenville, South Carolina-based dancer and choreographer Vaughn Newman. The celebration’s capstone event was a free African dance class taught by Arialle Kennedy Smith, a graduate of the Ailey School and owner of AVK Dance Studio in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
With the Appalachian region particularly hard-hit by the opioid epidemic which continues to afflict the United States, knowledge of its origins and history are crucial for the next generation of physicians to combat the crisis. To that end, VCOM–Carolinas Associate Dean for OMS-4 and Graduate Medical Education Jeff Cashman, MS, DO offered an early lecture on March 5 to provide such knowledge to interested students.
The Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)–Carolinas campus hosted its annual gala at the Marriott in Spartanburg, SC on February 2. This year’s theme was “An Evening in Old Hollywood.” Over 300 VCOM students, faculty and staff attended. After a catered dinner, attendees participated in a raffle, awards ceremony and dancing. Proceeds from the raffle were donated to St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic in Spartanburg, which offers quality health care to uninsured Spartanburg County residents, including primary care, physician-ordered medications, pastoral support and patient education.
On Saturday, December 1, the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) the VCOM–Carolinas campus hosted its 3rd Annual Leadership Symposium. Students learned about leadership opportunities as well as development of personal leadership styles. Breakfast and lunch were served, and all attendees received Leadership Development Certificates.
VCOM–Carolinas’ Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) hosted a talk by Rick Donlon, MD on October 8. Dr. Donlon, a 1986 graduate of Texas Christian University, earned his medical degree from The Lousiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine New Orleans. With three of his LSU-NO classmates, he started Christ Community Health Services in Memphis, Tennessee, a health clinic in one of the city’s most underserved neighborhoods, and later went on to found similarly-missioned Resurrection Health. Dr. Donlon’s talk, “Triumph from Weakness, Christian Healthcare in an Age of Fear,” recounted some of his personal history as a Christian doctor with a mission to serve the poor and encouraged CMDA members to begin planning their careers with a similar focus.
On October 1, PRIDE (Promoting Recognition of Identity, Dignity, and Equality) in Healthcare, in partnership with the student chapters of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) and Student National Medical Association (SNMA) at VCOM–Carolinas, presented their first in a series of four workshops on bias in healthcare. The presentation, “General Bias” was intended as an introduction to this complex topic. Wofford College Assistant Professor Rhiannon Leebrick, PhD, presented an examination of the nature of bias and how future physicians may encounter it. She provided the attendees with a framework of the types of bias, basic strategies to use when bias is in ourselves at work, and suggestions for dealing with bias encountered. The workshop was attended by over 60 students, faculty and staff members.
On Wednesday, September 5, the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians (ACOEP) student chapter at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)–Carolinas campus hosted an Ultrasound Clinic. The event focused on ultrasound orientation as well as teaching the FAST exam (Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma). The limited-availability course was taught by SonoSite Ultrasound representatives as well as VCOM’s own Lynn Campbell, DO.
VCOM-Carolinas' Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) and the Mental Health Awareness Task Force (MHATF) partnered to host a stress-relieving break for the new first year students at the end of their first week of medical school. CMDA members served ice cream and mingled with new students as MHATF lead a therapeutic session of succulent planting. It was a relaxing opportunity to unwind and to make connections with these organizations.
On Tuesday, March 13, a Residency Fair was held at the VCOM–Carolinas campus. Representatives from AnMed Health, Charleston (WV) Area Medical Center and more came with information concerning residencies for Class of 2019 students, who were on campus that day for OMM labs. Students came to the Fair looking for programs in their individual specialties.
On March 2, VCOM-Carolinas Admissions hosted a day full of events for prospective and incoming students, with an open house themed as “A Day in the Life of a Medical Student.” Following a welcome by Timothy J. Kowalski, DO, FACN, VCOM-Carolinas Dean and a lecture from Ronald Januchowski, DO, Associate Dean for the Curriculum, several concurrent sessions took place, with students rotating every 15 minutes. Prospective students were treated to “Introduction to Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine,” with Jeff Cashman, DO, Chair of Family Medicine, “Anatomy Lab/Dissection of the Human Body,” with Lance Paulman, PhD, Chair of Anatomical Services, and more, wrapping up with a question and answer period led by Erin Helbling, MEd, Director of Admissions.
The Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) held its annual Gala at the Spartanburg Marriot on February 3. With its “Fire and Ice” theme, the event attracted over 300 students, faculty and staff. The Gala featured a raffle with items donated by the South Carolina Osteopathic Medical Society (SCOMS), 3M, BMW and a variety of other local businesses, with proceeds benefitting St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic in Spartanburg and a free clinic at the Gaffney Senior Center.
Steven Corso, MD, is a specialist in hematology-oncology who practices at a number of Spartanburg area hospitals, including the Gibbs Cancer Center and Research Institute. On January 29, Dr. Corso shared a talk with VCOM-Carolinas students encouraging them to incorporate patients’ faiths into future care plans. This event was hosted by the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) student org.
Dr. Corso asserts that a patient’s beliefs can guide their goals and wishes in treatment. He illustrated the idea with a story of a young cancer patient whose Christian faith brought her peace throughout the treatment process, helped her to set goals such as spending more time with family and living purposefully, and guided her in treatment choices, including hospice care.
Attire can have an impact on whether a candidate is considered for a job, so it is vital that community members embarking on a new journey in their lives have the appropriate clothing. The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) student organization hopes to help provide victims of sexual assault and domestic violence with resources and confidence as they move forward in their new lives.
In January, AMWA held a “New Year, New You” clothing drive. The goal of the drive was to collect professional clothing and accessories for clients of SAFE Homes-Rape Crisis Coalition (SHRCC). All contributions were donated to the SHRCC thrift store, where clients can shop for free!
The ability to suture is a skill that takes a great deal of practice to maintain. The VCOM-Carolinas student chapter of the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians (ACOEP) holds workshops to teach group members the proper technique and give them an opportunity to gain a degree of comfort with the procedure before adding the stress that comes with working on patients.
Chicken parts, pig feet and cadavers are all useful resources that help to simulate what students will encounter out on rotations and eventually working in their own practices.
This Christmas season, VCOM-Carolinas Student Services and SGA worked together to make the holidays special for local children in need. In the weeks leading up to the winter break they collected non-perishable food items for Arcadia Elementary, a nearby school where 100% of the students qualify for free and reduced lunches. The items collected by students, faculty and staff helped to ensure these students had food over the holiday break.
VCOM’s own Hope Tobey, DO, FAAP, FACOP, was recently published on Consultant360 after seeing a rare case of a genetic rash in a baby girl. With few cases of this disease diagnosed in the United States each year, not many doctors will see this in their practices. “With any genetic disorder, the sooner you catch it, the sooner we can put in place treatments to help,” said Dr. Tobey. “Publishing something like this is a reminder that this exists and this is what it looks like, so other doctors might recognize it.”
VCOM-Carolinas Class of 2020 student Kristen McConnell visited Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on October 18 to share her medical school journey with students in the Pre-Health Professions program. She spoke about what osteopathic medicine is all about and what to expect as a med student, focusing primarily on the medical school admissions process. Afterward, McConnell answered questions from students currently in the application cycle. First-hand information is a vital recruitment instrument and we appreciate students like McConnell who express their passion for the College Mission by sharing their experiences with others!