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VCOM-Carolinas Student Organization Hosts Second Annual Leadership Symposium

On Saturday, January 27, the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)–Carolinas campus hosted the 2018 Leadership Symposium. The second annual event of its kind on this campus, this year’s Symposium was an all-day event.

Starting bright and early, the day was focused on empowering the student body by delving into topics such community leadership, advocacy and choosing a medical specialty.

Workshops alternated with panels, beginning with a Leadership Values and Personality workshop, led by Lindsey Ridgeway, PhD. The Class of 2020’s SOMA National Liaison Officer Jessica Frazelle led a Leadership in Medicine panel featuring Jeffrey Cashman, DO, Christopher McCarthy, MD, James Needell, MD, and Michael Tillirson, DO. Former Spartanburg Mayor, Bill Barnet, joined the conversation and presented the keynote address, Leadership in the Community.

After lunch, VCOM–Carolinas faculty members led a workshop exploring the concepts and practices of Professionalism, as it applies to students on rotation. The final panel of the day, on the topic of student leadership, was led appropriately by a student known for possessing exemplary skills in that area, SOMA Vice President Clara Hitchcock, of VCOM–Carolinas Class of 2020.

The day wrapped up with a networking dinner catered by Capris of Boiling Springs. Sponsored by the South Carolina Osteopathic Medical Society (SCOMS), the dinner provided students a chance to network with the community and professional leaders who spoke and taught throughout the day’s events.

As the College’s first-year class is currently preparing to elect student organization leadership teams and the second-year class gets ready for clinical rotations, the event was well-timed. SOMA hopes students left with an awareness of the various forms that leadership can take and with the tools to identify and strengthen their own leadership styles. Equipped with these skills, students will be better prepared to effect change in their profession and in the local community through leadership and advocacy.