Abnormal weight loss research published by LUCOM faculty and student-doctors
Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) faculty member, Raena M. Pettitt, DO, assistant professor of Family Medicine, along with student-doctors Matthew Hadfield, Class of 2018, and Sriharsha V. Kota, Class of 2019, recently had their research on abnormal weight loss published in the April/May issue of the Osteopathic Family Physician Journal.
Hadfield and Kota approached Dr. Pettitt in the fall of 2015 about the potential of co-authoring an article. The group met in December 2015 to discuss it further, and chose the topic of abnormal weight loss, a broad, but important, topic for Family Medicine physicians. They began looking for a review paper to publish. Around that time the editors of the Osteopathic Family Physician Journal were looking for a paper on Abnormal Weight Loss. “Being published in a nationally-recognized Journal is a great introduction for LUCOM to the Osteopathic community,” said Dr. Pettitt. “This was my first publication and the process was new to me, however, it was a great experience.” The research was originally submitted in March 2016, but wasn’t published until a year later. “Research and publications can be a long process, but worth it in the end,” she said.
The collaboration provided an opportunity for LUCOM faculty and students to work together outside of the classroom setting. “It is important for students to start reading journals at this stage in their career because it enables a student-doctor to become familiar with writing formats and the type of stylistic aspects that Journals are expecting,” said Dr. Pettitt. “I encourage student-doctors to write on topics they may not be familiar with, as it forces them to examine the latest research and become an ‘expert’ themselves.”
While LUCOM is still a new school that continues to grow, the publication of such literature demonstrates the productivity and contributions to the greater academic community that LUCOM is already making. “Student-doctors can get involved at the national level in any number ways,” said Hadfield. “Submitting papers or abstracts to national conferences in fields they are interested in is a way to showcase their work and network with other members in the field.”