LUCOM Student Advocate Association hosts Wellness Day in Lynchburg community
Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) Student Advocate Association (SAA) partnered with the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center this past summer to host a Wellness Day in the City of Lynchburg.
LUCOM-SAA had received a grant from the Advocates for the American Osteopathic Association (AAOA) for a medical service project and chose to partner with the pregnancy center. LUCOM-SAA organized the event, recruited student-doctors, and facilitated marketing to the community for patient awareness. The service project benefited pregnant women throughout the community while creating a learning environment for the student-doctors. More importantly, LUCOM-SAA members were able to share the love of Christ with patients. “A project like this is the perfect opportunity to learn how to communicate and coordinate with the community,” said LUCOM-SAA President Raychael Ramos. “Listening to feedback is imperative in the growth process as a leader and I am fortunate enough to serve in an organization that allows me to learn from them and take away more knowledge every time we gather.”
The Wellness Day allowed second and third-year student-doctors to complete vitals and perform Osteopathic Manipulative Treatments (OMT) on the women during their visit to the center. While the student-doctors received hands-on training in OMT and ultrasounds, LUCOM-SAA members focused their efforts on serving the ladies and their guests with food and childcare. Each guest was provided a surprise gift bag filled with hygiene products and fun pampering items.
For LUCOM’s student-doctors a lot of focus was put on record keeping due in part to how essential and time consuming it can be. “Working in an under-served community, there also comes the realization that a lot of people don't have access to preventative health care measures and this is where student-doctors can practice the educating and counseling side of medicine,” said Ramos.
Under the supervision of LUCOM faculty member, Michael D. Lockwood, DO, professor of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, each student-doctor not only received hands-on training but guidance for future patient encounters. “During medical school it is really easy to get tunnel vision, focus only on making it through, and, in the process, become almost unknowingly very selfish,” said student-doctor Mary Bhajjan, Class of 2020. “Serving helps bring your heart back to life, remind you of why you have chosen to be a doctor, which is to serve people with stories like your own, and pull you out of the self-absorbed bubble you have dwelt in for so long.”