New PCOM Program Preparing Students for Medical School

Staff Report

Friday, August 5th, 2022

A new two-week program recently provided incoming Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine students with opportunities to learn from PCOM South Georgia professors, meet with current students and get to know members of the community as a way to prepare them for their journey in medical education.

Created by Jason Walker, PhD, associate professor of physiology, the Fundamental Integration Required for Excellence (FIRE) program taught students how to navigate the new and intense volume, pace, and rigor of the curriculum at PCOM South Georgia.

“This program was created to ease the nerves and stress that these students feel as incoming medical students,” Dr. Walker said.

Students in the program participated in exciting experiences—from learning suturing techniques to touring local hospitals.

Local physicians Daryl Crenshaw, MD and Fredrick Powell, MD, provided students with in-depth, behind-the-scenes tours of Colquitt Regional Medical Center and Archbold Medical Center. During each stop, the President and CEO of each hospital, Jim Matney and Darcy Craven, respectively, encouraged the students and provided life advice for their medical education and future careers.

Savannah Finley (DO ‘26) recently moved from Augusta to Moultrie to begin her medical school journey at PCOM South Georgia. She said that meeting professors and students helped her better understand what will be expected of her when she begins the academic year in August.

“We were able to hear lectures from professors who we will be seeing every day beginning in a few weeks,” she said. “That gave me the opportunity to adjust to those learning expectations and learn how to absorb the information in the way that it’s presented.”

She added that hearing from second-year medical students also gave her a realistic view of medical school.

“Hearing from current students, getting their advice, learning their study strategies and how to adjust to the new lifestyle was a huge help in preparing me for medical school,” she said.

H. William Craver III, DO ‘87, FACOS, Dean and Chief Academic Officer, was a big proponent for the program.

He said, “We want to set our students up for success as best we can. Providing them with this opportunity is one way we can do that. They are given the chance to see and experience what they are about to take on full-time, and it better prepares them for the medical school curriculum and learning style that they’ll be facing in August.”