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Student Organizations

Student organizations and committees are a very important part of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM). The service performed by members of student organizations benefit not only the community and the region, but also the members, as they gain valuable knowledge, skills and experience. Students are encouraged to learn about all organizations and committees and to participate in those that will advance their career and personal interests.

American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians (ACOEP)

The American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians (ACOEP) is a student organization designed to support fellow osteopathic medical students interested in pursuing a career in emergency medicine. ACOEP promotes opportunities for students to enhance their knowledge of
basic medical procedures utilized in the emergency room setting. The organization also provides opportunities and resources for students to interact with osteopathic emergency physicians and the national ACOEP student chapter so that students can gain as much as possible from their education and time at VCOM.

  • President: Megan Schlegelmilch
  • Vice President: Sireen Momani
  • Treasurer: Zachary Kegley
  • Secretary: Kyle Tarro
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Stanley

Wilderness Committee

  • Committee Chair: Aaron Burchfield
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Lepera

American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP)

The primary focus of VCOM’s student chapter of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) is to deliver healthcare and education to our surrounding communities, while simultaneously providing students with the opportunity to learn and explore the field of osteopathic family medicine. The organization is committed to providing members with access to local family physicians, information about post-doctoral training programs, as well as additional tools and skills to help them succeed in a future career as an osteopathic family physician.

  • President: Abbie Nistler
  • Vice President: Veronica O'Rourke
  • Treasurer: Mohamed Mohamed
  • Secretary: Sharon Zhao
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Dickens

American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)

The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) at VCOM-Virginia Campus is a committee of the ACOFP organization that fosters and embraces awareness and interest in women in medicine.  As a group, members promote women’s health and support their professional careers and journey in the medical field.  As a goal, AMWA strives to increase the awareness of women’s health issues by helping within the community in addition to educating fellow students about the role women have in healthcare. 

  • Committee Chair: Falen Yohannes
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Dunn


American College of Osteopathic Internists (ACOI)

The American College of Osteopathic Internists (ACOI) focuses on providing the most important resources and opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in internal medicine. By introducing members to VCOM’s internal medicine faculty and numerous guest speakers, members learn first-hand about internal medicine and its various sub-specialties such as endocrinology, cardiology and pulmonology, and radiology. All of the events offered ultimately assure that as an organization they are promoting student learning in the field of internal medicine.

  • President: Arsa Ghazal
  • Vice President: Raakhi Menon
  • Treasurer: Shane Miller
  • Secretary: Viraj Patel
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Thomas

Cardiology Committee

The Cardiology committee cultivates student interest in and exposure to cardiology-related fields. The committee seeks to expand students’ knowledge about cardiovascular diseases and proper procedures related to heart disease and function, as well as develop skills that are necessary to become a competitive applicant and successful cardiologist. As heart disease is one of the top killers in the United States, it is the group’s mission to also educate the community on preventative measures, and seek appropriate screenings and treatment.

  • Committee Chair: Noah Belkhayat
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Thomas

Infectious Disease Committee

The goal of the Infectious Disease Committee is to pique student interest, create awareness, and give exposure to the infectious disease specialty. This specialty is more research-focused and the committee strives to keep members updated on various research and shadowing opportunities that directly correlate to this subject area. In addition to the focus on research, the committee is working to place a greater emphasis on medical outreach in underdeveloped countries.

  • Committee Chair: Annie Barnes
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Thomas

Dermatology Committee

The Dermatology Committee provides opportunities for students to develop a well-rounded dermatological knowledge base, while also preparing them to become successful applicants for a dermatology residency. We target not only those interested in specializing in dermatology but also those interested in primary care, with the understanding that they are usually the first to detect skin lesions or hear about a patient’s skin complaint. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of their lifetime, making it the most common cancer. It is our hope to raise awareness of this issue within the VCOM student body as well as the surrounding community.

  • Committee Chair: Leila Parsa
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Johnston

Radiology Committee

  • Committee Chair: Jay Vora
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Dunn

American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOOG/ACOG)

The American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOOG) student organization works with VCOM’s OB-GYN faculty to foster and develop awareness and interest in the specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology among the medical student population. The organization strives to help our student members develop highly competitive Residency Applications, to increase awareness of women’s health issues, to educate students about sub-specialties in OB-GYN and the services provided by women’s health physicians, and to coordinate service opportunities which promote the health and well-being of women and neonates in the community.

  • President: Morgan Scheffler
  • Vice President: Samantha Giaccio
  • Treasurer: Anthonia George
  • Secretary: Julia Wren
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Champine

American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians (ACOP)

The Student Chapter of the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians (ACOP) at VCOM-Virginia Campus works to provide exposure to the field of pediatrics through both educational events and community service. The student organization has also placed special emphasis on building relationships with various community partners in order to promote both pediatric health as well as osteopathic medicine.

  • President: Kristen Erwin
  • Vice President: Marina Shenouda
  • Treasurer: Swokiya Bhandari
  • Secretary: Adrianna Taweel
  • NLO: Sahithi Konuri
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Abraham-Hardee

American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine (AOASM)

The American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine (AOASM) is a student organization created for student doctors with an interest in Sports Medicine. The organization’s highest priority is to provide student doctors with opportunities to acquire a skill set that could benefit them in their future careers. AOASM strives to provide opportunities in the local community where members may gain useful experience by partnering with sports medicine physicians. The organization has a passion for service in the community, particularly promoting the health benefits of physical activity.

  • President: Jacqueline Strong
  • Vice President: Austin Puchany
  • Treasurer: Kelly McKay
  • Secretary: Carolyn Sayers
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Rogers

Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA)

The Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) at VCOM provides students with opportunities to grow in their faith, connect with Christian physicians locally, participate in service, and develop awareness of Christian resources related to health issues. The CMDA holds Bible studies and meetings in which local Christian doctors share their experiences in medicine and life. All students, regardless of their faith or belief system, are welcome to attend meetings and to participate in events sponsored by the CMDA. The organization exists to serve Christ together and support one another throughout the adventure of medical school. As followers of Christ, CMDA strives to serve and love fellow students, the community, and the world.

  • President: Sarah Bostick
  • Vice President: Isaac Loseke
  • Treasurer: Nicholas Nicchitta
  • Secretary: Brian Kim
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Dickens
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Abraham-Hardee

Hispanic Community Medical Outreach (HCMO)

The Hispanic Community Medical Outreach (HCMO) organization at the Virginia Campus is dedicated to promoting health to the Hispanic community through education and increasing access to care. HCMO’s medical outreach initiatives involve health screenings and osteopathic treatment for Hispanic populations. In addition to community outreach activities, HCMO also works to promote cultural awareness by organizing fun social events. Finally, HCMO is dedicated to improving the Spanish language skills of the VCOM student population, as well as encouraging involvement and preparation for medical mission trips to Spanish speaking countries to increase the capabilities of VCOM’s future physicians.

  • President: Stephanie de la Guarda
  • Vice President: Mary Stern
  • Treasurer: Mary Stern
  • Secretary: Mary Klacik
  • Advisor:  Tanner Bourne

Medical Muslim Student Association (MMSA)


The aim of the Medical Muslim Student Association (MMSA) is to bring awareness to the medical community about healthcare issues unique to Muslim patients, and to connect students with upperclassmen, VCOM alumni, and medical professionals. The organization also provides outreach through health education and provides resources to the local community to enhance the delivery of healthcare.

  • President: Ibtesam Zahid
  • Vice President: Mohamed Mohamed
  • Treasurer/Secretary: Noah Belkhayat
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Haider

Psychiatry Student Organization (PSYCH)


The Psychiatry Student Organization (PSYCH) offers members the opportunity to hear professional clinicians speak about different healthcare experiences, which can help students grow and become better physicians. The organization also stays involved in the community by educating and sharing facts on how and when to seek treatment.

  • President: Razi Antoon
  • Vice President: Harleen Singh
  • Treasurer/Secretary: Brady Tickle
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Wood

Neurology Committee

  • Committee Chair:  William Moles
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Wood

Sigma Sigma Phi (SSP)

Sigma Sigma Phi (SSP) prides itself on academic excellence as well as participating in activities such as: peer tutoring, VCOM Ambassador relations, White Coat and Graduation ceremonies, the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research Day, morale boosting events, and preparing the board question of the day.

  • President: Jordan Saunders
  • Vice President: Minh Doan
  • Treasurer: Razi Antoon
  • Secretary: Victoria Koehler
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Thomas
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Reilly

Student American Academy of Osteopathy (SAAO)

In pursuing a doctor of osteopathy (DO) degree, one learns that Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) truly sets a DO apart as a physician. The Student American Academy of Osteopathy (SAAO) enthusiastically promotes the use and practice of OMM within the student body. As an organization, members primarily focus on helping the student body master OMM techniques and promote its practice.

  • President: Jason Cooper
  • Vice President: Marianne Abadam
  • Treasurer: Katie Salim
  • Secretary: Gianfranco Libonate
  • NLO: Valerie Daniels
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Harden

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) Committee

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) specialty committee at VCOM-Virginia Campus strives to educate students about a field that is not well known. PM&R medicine can be described as the intersection between neurological disease management and musculoskeletal rehabilitation. PM&R physicians, known as Psychiatrists, strive to bring their patients back to maximum ability and health. Students who participate in the PM&R specialty committee have a wide range of interests including focus areas like Sports Medicine, Neurology, Pain Management, and Neuromuscular Medicine.

  • Committee Chair:  Nishil Patel
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. McCrady

Integrative and Complimentary Medicine (ICM) Committee

VCOM’s committee for Integrative and Complimentary Medicine (ICM) was established to promote health and wellness through preventive medicine. This focus is the organization’s main motivation as members explore ways in which exercise, healthy diet, and good mental health practices contribute to overall health. The organization looks to find methods to help VCOM students and faculty in every specialty.

  • Committee Chair:  Rachel Hibberd
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Williams

Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (SAMOPS)

The Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (SAMOPS) is a distinguished organization established to recognize the unique position that osteopathic physicians hold within the United States Armed Forces and in the defense of our nation. The Virginia Campus chapter has many Health Professions Scholarship (HPSP) students who have made a personal commitment to serving our nation as future military physicians. Upon graduation, members will serve a minimum of four years of active duty and reserve in their respective services. Additionally, former members of the military and military spouses are invited to join. The program’s mission is to promote an awareness of the profound impact osteopathic physicians have in the U.S. military and to prepare SAMOPS members for a successful transition into military careers.

  • President: Craig Johnson
  • Vice President: Logan Caldwell
  • Treasurer: Quinn Caslow
  • Secretary: Katherine Kolly
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Schor

Student Government Association (SGA)

The Student Government Association (SGA) is a student-run organization that serves as the governance body for medical students. SGA plans activities that help to involve and excite the students, handles any issues that may arise with the student body to ensure that the students obtain the best school experience possible, and works closely with administrators, professors and clinicians to provide an environment for students to promote learning and discovery while emphasizing community, collaboration, and a spirit of unity and enjoyment for the people that we interact with on a daily basis. SGA is excited to be able to do great things for fellow classmates and join with administration to make medical education a great experience.

  • President: Sarah Lowen
  • Vice President: Samm Chandler
  • Treasurer: Priyanka Nair
  • Secretary: Mai Lam
  • Webmaster: Ankit Soni
  • Advisor:  Whitney Stokes

Student National Medical Association (SNMA)

The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) was started to address the issues and concerns of both minority medical students and minority communities, both of whom are underrepresented in healthcare. While being an underrepresented student is not a requirement for membership, the organization focuses on creating opportunities for VCOM students to engage medical minority populations through community health initiatives.

  • President: Jeanne Nwagwu
  • Vice President: Sumira Stein
  • Treasurer: Tofunmi Akeredolu
  • Secretary: Chiamaka Onaga
  • MAPS: Shaidy Moronta
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Willcox, Whitney Stokes

Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA)

The Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) is the student affiliate organization of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). The organization works to educate future osteopathic physicians about current issues in healthcare and foster dialogue among healthcare professionals to continually improve the quality of our nation’s healthcare. Furthermore, SOMA encourages student-physician networking through events such as regional and national conferences, DO Day on the Hill, and various campus social events.

  • President: Calvin Tran
  • Vice President: Hayley Lawrence
  • Treasurer: Abe-Melek Bekele
  • Secretary: Alyson Schlieper
  • NLO: Alana Castro-Gilliard
  • Advisor:  William King

American Medical Association/Medical Society of Virginia (AMA/MSV) Committee

The American Medical Association/Medical Society of Virginia (AMA/MSV) is a committee focused on informing VCOM students and staff about the current state of healthcare in the country. The committees work with both the American Medical Association and the Medical Society of Virginia to understand the laws and ethical issues that face medical students and physicians, as well as the ways in which we can work with government to improve the health of its citizens.

  • Committee Chair:  Shalini Sakhamuri
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Dunn, Maria Harris

Bioethics and Humanities in Medicine (BAHM) Committee

The focus of the Bioethics and Humanities in Medicine (BAHM) committee is on thinking critically about the culture of medicine and providing a venue for collaborative creative expression for medical students and community members.

  • Committee Chair:  Hannah Depoy
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Magalhaes

Student Osteopathic Surgical Association (SOSA)


The purpose of the Student Osteopathic Surgical Association (SOSA) is to represent and educate future osteopathic surgeons at VCOM. The organization helps students achieve this through many different activities which include: stressing the understanding of osteopathic principles in relationship to disease in the practice of surgery; helping to promote education in the field of surgery, including gowning and gloving, scrubbing, sterile technique, suturing and tying techniques, operating room behavior, instrumentation, universal precautions, osteopathic manipulative management of the surgical patient, pre- and post-operative management of surgical patients, and surgical documentation; and providing a forum for discussion amongst students and surgeons.

  • President: Brandon Nader
  • Vice President: David Newman
  • Treasurer: Erin Cawthorn
  • Secretary: Hetu Patel
  • NLO: Reema Elshaer
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Beiner

Anesthesiology Special Interest Group (ASIG) Committee

The Anesthesia Special Interest Group (ASIG) is a small committee that focuses on providing students with a solid foundation for the field of anesthesia. Because students receive little exposure to the field of anesthesiology during the first two years of medical school, ASIG’s goal is to help students better understand the role of an anesthesiologist, become aware of the available sub-specialty options, and get an early start in practicing procedural skills.

  • Committee Chair:  Tyler Cook


tudent Osteopathic Orthopedic Association (SOOA) Committee

The Student Osteopathic Orthopedic Association (SOOA) is a committee of SOSA and is specifically designed for members with an affinity for orthopedics. It is also is a nationally recognized chapter of the Student American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics (SAOAO). The group focuses to help current members pursue their goals of becoming orthopedic surgeons by providing access and exposure to different areas of the field. In doing so, we hope to best prepare our members for rotations and residencies in orthopedics.

  • Committee Chair:  Dwyer Roche

Virginia Rural Health Association (VRHA)

The VCOM Student Chapter of the Virginia Rural Health Association (VRHA) was established to contribute to the mission of the College by serving locally to improve the health of rural communities through the delivery of healthcare services and health education. Assistance is available to members to promote leadership on rural issues through advocacy, communications, education, and research. The VCOM chapter of the VRHA was the first established medical school chapter in Virginia in representing the state VRHA. Each year the organization meets the needs of many people in Southwest Virginia.

  • President: Rehan Razzaq
  • Vice President: Lindsey Boyd
  • Treasurer: Adam Peton
  • Secretary: Taylor Keiper
  • Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Tobey

Via Wellness at VCOM-Virginia

The purpose of the Via Wellness program is to promote a healthy mind, body, and spirit. The program provides enrichment to campus life through a wide variety of sports, fitness and exercise, as well as social, cultural and spiritual events. Students, faculty, staff and their family members are welcome to participate in all Via Wellness activities.

  • Spiritual: Oluwatomisin Williams
  • Social:  Haley Turany
  • Intellectual: 
  • Physical: Connor Barrand
  • Advisor:  Whitney Stokes