New medical programs available to students in Southwest Georgia

Published 2:56 pm Friday, May 31, 2019

Thursday afternoon Kiwanis Club hosted Joann Jones from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine to discuss the programs they will offer at their new South Georgia campus in Moultrie.

The campus has approximately 60 days before classes start, with one final accreditation visit left. The first two years of instruction are traditional classroom style teaching, while third and fourth year students work in hospitals or physician’s offices to learn clinical skills.

Students training in Osteopathic Medicine follow the same track as other MD students, however they have one more component that works with Osteopathic manipulatives. Jones said one of the things they learn is how to treat pneumonia in a way that helps the patient get well quicker by using more than just antibiotics.

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Students’ focuses vary from family medicine and internal medicine to vascular surgery and orthopedic surgery. With these focuses, PCOM thought Moultrie would be an ideal location, because they had previously worked with Colquitt Regional Hospital to establish their family medicine residency program and already had a working relationship.

PCOM also believes in not making their students travel further than one hour for rotations, so when they looked at things geographically Moultrie seemed to be a great fit for traveling to Tifton, Thomasville or Albany, Jones explained.

One of the main factors PCOM looked into was how to get primary care physicians to areas that are lacking in that field. What they found was that the majority of students who trained stayed in a 100-mile radius of their training; they didn’t return home.

Jones said she believes this will be the case for the Moultrie campus as well.

With 70 percent of the students focusing in primary care, this should open up positions for fresh-faced physicians upon graduation in the area.

In order to help gain interest and allow students to picture the opportunities available, Jones said PCOM has their Suwanee students host a weeklong mini medical school for high schoolers in the area to show them dissections, sub cultures and other endless possibilities.
Jones is hoping to implement the same program with area high schools in Bainbridge once the Moultrie campus opens up and have the students serve as peer mentors for any high school students who show an interest in Osteopathic Medicine.

Jones finished by saying she hopes to encourage any student that they can be in the medical field. She wants them to understand that their parent did not have to be a doctor or ever show any interest for them to develop their own liking.

She encouraged all students to look on their website and attend their grand opening and upcoming ribbon cutting.