LUCOM student organizations host annual ShaDOw Day, provide inside look in the day of a Liberty medical student
Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) student organizations – American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) and Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) – hosted “ShaDOw Day” this past Wednesday, April 17, at the Center for Medical and Health Sciences. The day in the life of a medical student experience was open to undergraduate students from Liberty University, the University of Lynchburg, and Randolph College.
The event was for medically-interested/medical school bound undergraduate students to experience a mock "day in the life" of a Liberty osteopathic medical student. The event involved lunch with LUCOM students, a tour of the Center for Medical and Health Sciences, an osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) explanation and demonstration, a question-and-answer panel, and an admissions presentation by Gary L. Patton, PhD, assistant dean of admissions and student services. There were over 40 non-medical students in attendance.
“I think getting exposure into what an actual day of medical school is like was something that I never really had as an undergraduate,” said Reid Mitchell, LUCOM-ACOFP representative. “It can be nerve wracking not knowing what is ahead of you and anything that can settle those feelings can be beneficial. Being able to get advice from people who meet all the requirements to get into a medical school is so important and LUCOM can be a great blessing in that way.”
Chris Garnett, LUCOM-SOMA representative, led the planning efforts for the event alongside Mitchell with the hope that shadowing students would be able to learn substantially about what it’s like to be a medical student, while being encouraged and motivated to make a difference in Virginia and around the world through medicine.
“During my undergraduate years, I did not feel as if I received adequate advising from the advisors at my university and I felt unprepared when it came time for me to start the process of applying to medical schools,” said Garnett. “For this reason, after getting to LUCOM, I decided to pursue a position in a club that would allow me to get involved in events like this and provide undergraduate students with information that I wish I had when I was in their shoes. We were able to provide undergraduate students with everything they would need to know if they plan to apply to LUCOM in the future. Both by learning what makes LUCOM stand out from other medical schools and by learning more about what the admission team expects to see in a competitive applicant.”
For Garnett, he is pursuing a career in medicine because of the opportunity to have is a job in the world that combines the aspect of solving exciting, complex problems with the opportunity of being able to help many people on a daily basis. One piece of advice that Garnett often shares with others is that anyone seriously interested in attending medical school should speak with current medical students and ask them how they managed to be successful in gaining acceptance to medical school. “Applying to medical schools is a long and difficult process and current medical students are more familiar with this process than most university advisors. This makes medical students an invaluable source of information when it comes to advising pre-medical undergraduate students,” he said.
For Mitchell, he believes that physicians get to be a part of peoples’ lives like no other profession while using one’s talents to uncover your patient’s issues and build a relationship at the same time. “My advice would be to make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons. It is such a long road just to get into medical school let alone complete it. If you don’t have a passion for hurting, broken, or sick people then you’re not in the right field. If you do have that passion then take every opportunity during school to encounter them,” he said.