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LUCOM student-doctors provide care during community clinic

Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) student-doctors, faculty, and staff served about 200 patients at a community clinic in Martinsville, Va., last weekend, providing physicals, flu shots, mammograms, and mental health and vision screenings.

Senior Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs Dr. David F. Klink and 12 student-doctors also provided ophthalmological care for patients with more complicated medical and visual histories.

Student-doctors were paired together and provided medical care to their patients under the supervision of LUCOM faculty clinicians. The event was also a chance for third- and fourth-year student-doctors to assist their classmates in providing osteopathic manipulative treatments.

LUCOM student-doctors worked with area nonprofit organizations to help increase residents’ access to various services and connect them to care regardless of insurance or income status.

This is the fourth year the clinic has been held in Martinsville, coordinated by LUCOM’s Office of Clinical Collaborations and Education (LUCOM-OCCE). The clinic is a direct example of LUCOM’s commitment to reaching underserved communities in Southside Virginia.

“The Martinsville outreach is a great event because LUCOM gets to be a part of helping communities provide more access to health care for people that have a lot of issues obtaining it on a regular basis,” said Hannah Jordan, a second-year student-doctor. “We get to meet all these people, help them, and they are very grateful to be seen. These experiences are also great because as a second-year, it’s an opportunity to put into practice what I am learning.”

First-year student-doctor Michaela Gartman said she loved the chance to immerse herself in the community rather than staying in the classroom.

“I really like how we benefit the community and not doing ‘drive-by’ medicine, but doing the connections afterward,” she said. “Being able to set patients up with resources in the community to overall better their health. We really take in the osteopathic model of body, mind, and spirit and we’re really working to develop that in every patient.”

Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine Dr. Kathleen P. Bogacz added that the event provides “a rich educational experience for our students, and is a great inter-professional educational experience.”

“It’s an opportunity for our students to serve, which grows them in both character and skill,” she said. “We want to send forth doctors with exemplary compassion and servant leadership.”

A number of other colleges and universities took part in the clinic, including University of Lynchburg, Averett University School of Nursing, and Patrick Henry Community College. The Danville Community College Dental Hygiene Program set up a dental clinic for oral screenings, teeth cleanings, extractions, and fillings.