Student-doctors educate public about blood pressure at Halifax event

Shelley Andrews :: LUCOM Marketing and PR | May 4, 2016

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about one out of every three adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure.

LUCOM student-doctors at Sentara Health ExpoOn Saturday, April 30, a group of student-doctors from Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) traveled to Halifax, Va., to help community members learn more about their own blood pressure readings and how to maintain healthy levels.

The LUCOM team was a part of the Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital “2016 Healthy Living Expo” at Halifax County High School.

“Being at the expo gave me the chance to hear from people of various ages who were handling an assortment of health issues. Not only did I hone my blood pressure-taking skills, but I grew more confident and comfortable talking with community members about their health,” said student-doctor Gabrielle Anderson, class of 2019.

“It was nice to be able to get out of the classroom or the library and interact with real patients in the community,” said student-doctor Jasmine Jackson, class of 2018.

The student-doctors’ involvement in the event reinforces their commitment to serving patients in rural and underserved areas and also reflects LUCOM’s passion for community outreach both locally and beyond.

LUCOM student-doctor Erika Thomas writes down healthy tips for older woman.“Serving the underserved is my passion, and I was humbled to have had the opportunity to attend. It was very invigorating and further confirmed my desire to pursue a career in medicine, making the grueling hours of studying worth every minute,” said student-doctor Erika Thomas, class of 2019.

Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital is also a core affiliate site for LUCOM. Some student-doctors will start their rotations at the hospital in August.

“Not only did the student-doctors do a great job at helping the community members with their blood pressure readings, LUCOM’s attendance at the event was a way to get the college’s name out in the Halifax community, ahead of rotations. We also had a chance to educate everyone on what an osteopathic physician is,” said Sigmund Seiler, M.D., associate professor, Department of Family Medicine.

An osteopathic physician doesn’t just treat a person’s symptoms, but encompasses their mind, body and spirit. The student-doctors hope the individuals they assisted walked away feeling as though they had a thorough, patient-centered screening.

“I hope they had a positive experience interacting with us so that they feel confident about approaching their primary care providers with any questions or concerns about their blood pressure in the future,” said Anderson.