around atlanta

Today on the Around Atlanta edition of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio, Barbara Myers, marketing and public relations manager with the Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM), and Julie Wickman, assistant dean for experiential education and an associate professor of pharmacy practice at GA-PCOM, join our hosts Bryan Nonni and Todd Schnick in studio.

The Georgia campus of Georgia Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is the only branch campus of The Philadelphia College, which is more than 100 years old. The Georgia campus of the college is located just north of Atlanta in Suwanee and offers three degree programs: a Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine, a Doctorate in Pharmacy (Pharm-D) and a Masters in Biomedical Sciences. In addition, Pre-Physician Assistant studies programs are offered through Brenau University in Gainesville and Thomas University in Thomasville. The college hopes to expand its programs and currently has around 1,000 students in its various degree programs.

For those unfamiliar with osteopathic medicine, doctors holding this degree are fully licensed, just like Medical Doctors (M.D.’s) and can practice in any specialty. Osteopathic doctors have additional training in relation to diagnosing and treating with their hands and have a philosophy of wellness.

The pharmacy program is one of the most popular offered by the college, which came about due to a shortage of pharmacists in the southeast. Planning for the course of study began to take shape around 2008. The current dean of the schools, Mark Okamoto, had become known for developing two pharmacy programs from scratch in his past, which led to him being tapped to develop a program for GA-PCOM. Since its inception, GA-PCOM has graduated two Pharm-D classes.

With the rise of healthcare in the news and the increasingly complex search for quality health care, osteopathic medicine is having a larger role in the future. Barbara adds, “One thing we’ve found with osteopathic medicine is a number of our physicians have chosen to practice primary care and there is a big shortage of primary care physicians in Georgia, in the southeast, across the nation. So we feel that yes, our graduates will play a big role in filling those shortages.” Julie Wickman adds, “GA-PCOM has former graduates currently practicing at locations such as The Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration, within the pharmaceutical industry and more.”

GA-PCOM stands out from other schools offering similar programs of study because of the history of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. In addition, the fact that the Georgia campus is new – just 10 years old – gives students the opportunity to have input in their classes and offer suggestions on new things to include in the course of study.

GA-PCOM has a few upcoming events that the Atlanta community may be interested in participating in or find out more information about. Those events include the GA-PCOM Eighth Annual Old Peachtree 5k, which will be held on Aug. 22 at 8 a.m. All proceeds from the race will go to the For a Day Foundation, which helps children with cancer. The college will also hold an open house on Friday, Oct. 2 from 5:30 until 8 p.m. This will be an opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about the college to come and hear from faculty and tour the campus.

For additional information about the Eighth Annual Old Peachtree 5k and the Open House event, visit www.PCOM.edu. You can also follow GA-PCOM on social media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

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The “Around Atlanta” segment is designed to showcase the best of metro Atlanta – the communities, attractions and special events that make this city great. To submit your event, community or attraction to the Around Atlanta edition of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio, contact mRELEVANCE at 770-383-3360.

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