Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Students Gain Experience through Rotations at Beebe Medical Center

Beebe Medical Center has stepped into the academic realm of preparing potential doctors for their future professions. In a partnership between Beebe Medical Center and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), third-year medical students participate in four-week clinical clerkships at Beebe Medical Center and learn about surgical procedures, the care of hospitalized and emergency patients, and the day-to-day medical issues that local physicians see in their offices.

The partnership is entering its third year and already has proven so successful that it has expanded into offering clerkship rotations for PCOM physician assistant students.

“It’s been a great experience,” says medical student Anupriya Gover who participated earlier this year. She is interested in pursuing a specialty in family medicine with emphasis on adolescence. “Everyone at Beebe is so welcoming and we are learning so much. We are allowed to see deliveries and to scrub in on any surgery we are interested in learning about.

“Beebe is our best rotation. All the students want to come to Beebe.”
Allen M. McLeod, DO, JD, MBA, Director of Undergraduate Clinical Education at PCOM, says the clinical clerkships at Beebe Medical Center give PCOM students an excellent opportunity to gain training and experience. The partnership is under the auspices of The Delaware Institute of Medical Information and Research (DIMER) project, which was created in 1969 as an alternative to a state-supported medical school. Delaware does not have a medical school. DIMER provides the opportunity for Delaware residents to obtain a high-quality medical education. PCOM reserves at least five spots for Delaware residents, and functions as Delaware’s school of osteopathic medicine.

“We always are looking for opportunities to affiliate with Delaware health care institutions for the provision of quality clinical educational experiences for our medical students,” he said, noting that the opportunities through Beebe Medical Center have been excellent.

Paul Krajewski, PA-C, Clinical Director of PCOM’s Department of Physician Assistant Studies, also emphasized the excellent educational opportunity that the Beebe Medical Center rotations afford the physician assistant students.

“They have made a huge commitment to the student,” Mr. Krajewski said, referring to the physicians, surgeons and other medical providers. “It takes time and a lot of work. And, all the while, they are caring for their patients and running busy practices.”

He added that several surgeons, including Board-Certified general surgeon Clara Higgins, DO, a doctor of osteopathic medicine and PCOM graduate, have helped make the rotations rewarding experiences.

“There is nothing more satisfying for us than when we have a student finally ‘get’ a concept or master a surgical move,” says Vincent B. Killeen, MD, a Beebe Medical Center Obstetrician/gynecologist based in Lewes. “And the patients have told us that they enjoy the extra attention from the students and the benefit from our bedside discussions.”

So far, more than 90 PCOM students have participated in this program. Marilyn A. Hill, DASPR, Director of Physician Services and physician recruiter at Beebe Medical Center, explains how she met PCOM academic leadership at a DIMER gathering in 2009 and through conversations, planted the seeds for the program. Ms. Hill, Program Director, and Laurie Donavan, Coordinator, continue to work closely with PCOM and Beebe Medical Center team members to further develop the long-range relationship.

Beebe Medical Center has about a dozen physicians on the medical staff that are PCOM graduates, so the relationship already is a strong one. In 2010, the partnership started as a pilot with Beebe Medical Center OB/GYNs because the medical school was looking for a clerkship in this area. With 49 members of our medical staff involved in teaching the PCOM students, it has evolved from its pilot status and is now in many departments including the Emergency Department, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Oncology, Orthopaedics, and Internal medicine. This year, it is anticipated at least 73 PCOM students will be participating in the clerkship rotations.

“We have much support and interest from members of the Beebe Medical Staff and Leadership” Ms. Hill says. Many providers have welcomed the opportunity to teach the students. We also look forward to these students practicing at Beebe upon completion of their medical education.”

Mr. Krajewski pointed out that Ms. Hill and Ms. Donavan have worked tirelessly to make the rotations a positive experience for both clinicians and the students.

Captioned: The PCOM affiliation at Beebe Medical Center began in 2010 with participation by the obstetrian/gynecologists. Pictured here are, left to right: OB/GYN Leo H. Eschbach Jr., DO, OB/GYN Vincent B. Killeen, MD, OB/GYN Steven D. Berlin, MD, Allan M. McLeod, DO, JD, MBA, Director of Undergraduate Clinical Education at PCOM, OB/GYN Maxime Moise, MD, and Joseph M. Kaczmarczyk, DO, MPH, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of OB/GYN, Assistant Program Director, OB/GYN, at PCOM.

Beebe Medical Center is a not-for-profit community medical center with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health with the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. For more information, please visit us online at www.beebemed.org

The PCOM affiliation at Beebe Medical Center began in 2010 with participation by the obstetrian/gynecologists. Pictured here are, left to right: OB/GYN Leo H. Eschbach Jr., DO, OB/GYN Vincent B. Killeen, MD, OB/GYN Steven D. Berlin, MD, Allan M. McLeod, DO, JD, MBA, Director of Undergraduate Clinical Education at PCOM, OB/GYN Maxime Moise, MD, and Joseph M. Kaczmarczyk, DO, MPH, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of OB/GYN, Assistant Program Director, OB/GYN, at PCOM.