On Sunday, January 14, 2024, Drexel University College of Medicine’s Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) chapter hosted its inaugural health fair at Phat Bao Temple in North Philadelphia. It was a dedicated effort to organize vital health screenings and health education for the underrepresented and marginalized Vietnamese community in the area. We provided routine vitals checks, comprehensive optometry exams and extensive health care and social services resources and referrals to nearly 100 community members. Read more.
Drexel University College of Medicine’s Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) chapter takes great pride in the dedicated efforts we took in 2023 to advance the mission of LMSA within our academic sphere and the surrounding Latino community. We wish to highlight a few initiatives that encapsulate our dedication. Read more.
The 7th Annual Minorities in Health Sciences Symposium took place at Esperanza College on October 13, 2023. The symposium aims to immerse local high school students in the health sciences through a day filled with speakers, panelists and hands-on exposure to various health care fields. Faculty and students from health professional schools and organizations throughout Philadelphia participated. Read more.
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As a lead coordinator for the Alliance of Minority Physicians' "Cracking the Clerkships" series, I've had the privilege of playing a pivotal role in forging connections between Drexel and UPenn students. This pioneering collaboration marks the first year Drexel students have participated in this enriching series. Read more.
The College of Medicine’s Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA), in partnership with other APAMSA chapters in the northeast area, came together on September 16, 2023, for the annual regional conference, held this year at Temple University. Attendees included pre-health students, medical students and residents from Temple, Drexel, the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, Cooper, Georgetown, Sidney Kimmel, Penn State and more. Read more.
On October 21, 2023, Drexel University College of Medicine’s Student National Medical Association (SNMA) had the honor of hosting Region VIII’s Leadership Institute (RLI). RLI was originated by our very own Dr. Leon McCrea during his tenure as the SNMA Region VIII director while attending the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. This conference was established to enhance the leadership skills of SNMA and MAPS (Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students) leaders and general members through educational seminars. Read more.
"My journey as a medical student and my aspirations to become a doctor have always been centered around giving back to my Latino community. To me, "giving back" encompasses a multifaceted approach that involves healing, educating, mentoring, supporting, providing comfort and understanding, and most importantly, representing my culture in the health care field, where diversity is desperately needed." Read more.
Conversations That Matter, a podcast from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, is back for season 2! Host Leon McCrea II, MD, MPH, speaks with Seema Baranwal, MD, FACP, senior associate dean for student affairs, an associate professor of medicine, and a physician at Drexel Internal Medicine. Read more.
Gender identity is often fluid, and individuals who identify as transmasculine can still have the desire to chestfeed and carry their own child in their uteruses. Birthing parents who do not identify as a woman exist and they may not resonate with terms like "breastfeeding" or "mom." Language is powerful, as it can cause harm people and trigger feelings of gender dysphoria. But on the other hand, it can empower and help people feel more included. (Women's Health Education Program Blog) Read more.
The Orthopedic Enrichment Program (OEP), a new educational opportunity made available to medical students across the Philadelphia region, held a launch event on Saturday, December 3, 2022. The OEP was created to address racial, ethnic and gender disparities that exist broadly in medicine and specifically in the field of orthopedic surgery. Read more.
In cardiology, women comprise only 18% of fellows, less than 15% of practicing general cardiologists, and less than 5% of interventional cardiologists. This is a stark difference to the patients they serve, with recent estimates indicating that more than 50% of women in the United States above 40 years old suffer from cardiovascular disease. (Women's Health Education Program Blog) Read more.
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"What is great about DPMS is that it eliminates the tension and competition between students who are enrolled in the program. After being accepted into the DPMS program, there is a guaranteed seat waiting for you in the following year’s College of Medicine class, provided you meet the GPA and MCAT requirements. My peers and I developed a close-knit relationship that was similar to family. Everyone wanted their peers to succeed, so there was no hesitation in lending a hand to those that needed help understanding the material or sharing strategies that may be helpful when it came to exam time." Read more.
On our way to the anatomy lab that first day we passed by the alabaster filaments of tissue comprising “Harriet,” the intact nervous system of Harriet Cole, a Black Philadelphia woman who, according to our tour guide, purportedly donated her body to one of Drexel’s predecessor institutions over 100 years ago. Her display hangs 5 feet from the fridge where students keep their lunches, just past the gym and the ping-pong tables of the student center on the Queen Lane medical campus. Harriet’s presence is a meaningful part of our school’s history, and yet her introduction to the student body was paltry at best. Read more.
September 1, 2021, just a typical Wednesday morning, I woke up doing my usual routine and preparing to head into work to see patients in my general OB-GYN clinic in Texas. I later learned of the devastating news of Senate Bill 8. I was immediately angered and concerned about my patients’ well-being. Not only was this law taking away our personal rights, but it was placing many patients in danger for various reasons. Thoughts and questions raced through my head: “How can I appropriately counsel my patients without putting myself or my license at risk?” “What about my patients that have a medical indication for an abortion?” Read more.
Being a woman in medicine means different things to different people. For some, it means finding their own niche in a historically male-dominated field. For others, it means providing comfort and care to other women in their most desperate times of need. For most, it means being able to inspire future generations to pursue whatever they dream of, free of the shackles of labels, discouragement and doubt. (WHEP Blog) Read more.
You may have heard about the current monkeypox outbreak in the United States and around the globe. This current outbreak is hitting the LGBTQ+ community particularly hard. It is important to stress that this is not a “gay” disease; though the outbreak is primarily affecting LGBTQ+ populations, anyone can become infected with monkeypox. We have already seen monkeypox infections in multiple children. Read more.
In this interview, Dr. McCrea talks with Darrell Pone, MD, a retired physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Read on to get to know Dr. Pone, and learn even more about his life and career in the latest episode of the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion's podcast "Conversations That Matter." Read more.
In this interview, Dr. McCrea talks with Maryssa Lyons, MD, a PGY-2 general psychiatry resident at Tower Health – Phoenixville Hospital, and with Becks Wilson, the academic coordinator for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s Women’s Health Education Program (WHEP). Read more.
In this blog post, Dr. Ronan speaks with Nancy Spector, MD, the executive director of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program. Dr. Spector also serves as senior vice dean, Office of Faculty at Drexel University College of Medicine and is a professor of pediatrics. Read more.
In this blog post, Dr. Ronan speaks with Bradford Jameson, PhD, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and co-director of the Interdepartmental Medical Science (IMS) program. He is the course director for Molecules to Organs and the thread director for Biochemistry for first-year medical students. Dr. Jameson is also the course director for Medical Biochemistry for the post-baccalaureate program. Read more.
On Wednesday, May 11, College of Medicine students, alumni, faculty and staff gathered at the Germantown Cricket Club for the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion's James A. Batts Jr. Diversity Dinner. The 6 – 10 p.m. event celebrated the achievements of the graduating students who are from groups that are underrepresented in medicine, and raised $13,500 to support underrepresented students’ success. Read more.
In this interview, Dr. McCrea talks with Rita Guevara, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics and assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion at Drexel University College of Medicine. Read on to get to know Dr. Guevara, and learn even more about her life and career in the latest episode of the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion's podcast "Conversations That Matter." Read more.
Prior to the recent 2022 Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) National Conference, which Drexel University College of Medicine sponsored and co-hosted, LMSA co-presidents Justin M. Camacho, MBA, MD Program Class of 2025, and Julianna Kinsolving, MS, MD Program Class of 2025, provided insight into their paths to becoming physicians and the organization. Read more.
Prior to the recent 2022 Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) National Conference, which Drexel University College of Medicine sponsored and co-hosted, former LMSA co-presidents David Marulanda, MD Program Class of 2024, and Edeline Sanchez, MS, MD Program Class of 2024, provided insight into their paths to becoming physicians and the organization. Read more.
Drexel University College of Medicine was proud to be one of four Philadelphia-based medical schools co-hosting the 2022 Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) National & Northeast Regional Conference, along with the College’s LMSA chapter. The conference marked LMSA’s 50th year working to connect current and future physicians to help increase opportunity for physicians from communities historically underrepresented in medicine, and to help serve and decrease health disparities for underserved communities. Read more.
Diversity Week 2022, the College of Medicine’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s annual event promoting diversity in medical education and in the health care field, had a variety of offerings that provided education and championed equity and inclusion. MD Program student leaders came together to help organize a week’s worth of events in late February, with gatherings taking place online and in person on both the Queen Lane and West Reading campuses. Read more.
In this interview, Dr. McCrea talks with Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, MD, MEd, MPPM, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Drexel University College of Medicine. As the chief clinical diversity, equity and inclusion officer for Allegheny Health Network, a College of Medicine regional medical campus, she helps create an inclusive work environment and ensure that all patients receive equitable care. Read more.
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Diversity Week 2021 marked the first fully-virtual iteration of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s annual event promoting diversity in medical education and in the health care field. MD Program students from different student organizations came together to ensure that the week’s events – from trivia to panel discussions – provided education on diversity and championed equity and inclusion, even without the benefits of in-person participation and conversation. Read more.
"In the months leading up to this phone call, I read headlines about the COVID crisis in India: the rapid increase in cases, conversion of hotels and stadiums into makeshift hospitals, dwindling numbers of beds, lack of vaccinations, hesitancy to get vaccinated when supplied … the list goes on. Then, more headlines came: India running out of oxygen, people traveling from hospital to hospital across the country, and crematoriums struggling to keep up with mortality." Read more.
"As a fourth-year medical student applying to psychiatry programs, I knew my attendings felt justified in giving me every 'difficult' patient. Difficult could mean anything from emotional to experiencing deep psychosis, from withdrawn and offering little information to experiencing advanced dementia. So, I was unsurprised to be assigned a patient who was an otherwise healthy 65-year-old woman who had been snapping at and demanding of other ER employees." Read more.
Drexel University community members are invited to attend Drexel University College of Medicine and Tower Health’s LGBTQ+ Symposium, an all-day virtual event on Wednesday, June 30. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., presenters from the Philadelphia region and across the U.S. will share their perspectives as patients or as health care professionals, educating attendees about providing quality, equitable health care for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Read more.
Maryssa Lyons is a PGY-1 psychiatry resident at Tower Health – Brandywine Hospital. They are one of the lead organizers of Drexel University College of Medicine and Tower Health’s virtual LGBTQ+ Health Symposium, a virtual professional development and educational event that will take place on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Read more.
As the successor of Hahnemann Medical College and the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Drexel University College of Medicine is rooted in the commitment to providing a medical education to people who were otherwise barred from obtaining one. The Medical College of Pennsylvania was established in 1850 as the first medical school in the United States for women. The belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to become a physician is tied to the belief that everyone deserves quality health care. Read more.
On Wednesday, June 30, College of Medicine community members came together to learn best practices for providing health care to LGBTQ+ patients during a virtual event organized by the College of Medicine and Tower Health. Read more.
The question “Are you sure about that?” is one that I became all too familiar with. As an Indian girl with dreams of becoming a physician, I was constantly asked this question, and with each additional time, the words became heavier and scarier. At one point in my life, I was sure about my decision – when I used to dress up in my dad’s white button-down and use my play stethoscope to diagnose my family members, my decision was unwavering and resistant to any doubts. Read more.
This year Drexel has its first club focused solely on promoting health literacy throughout the community. This club, Health Literacy & Community Partners, is founded on the idea of bridging the gaps in patient-doctor communication. Through studies and patient encounters it has been shown that health literacy is a social determinant of health and a major foundation in preventive health. Thus, at this year’s Community Health Fair we are launching our “Let’s Talk” campaign. We aim to spread knowledge through easy-to-navigate resources focused on preparing for doctor’s visits and “things to tell your doctor.” Read more.
LGBTQ+ History Month provides ample opportunity to celebrate the many strides queer folks have made, and to continue honoring those triumphs. It wasn’t until 1982 that the City of Philadelphia amended the Fair Practices Act1, the city’s anti-discrimination policy, to include LGBTQ+ folks. Although the queer community has made vast progress over the years, queer health disparities continue to persist. For example, in a national survey, about 50% of respondents reported having to teach their own medical providers about queer health2. In another survey, one out of three respondents has had at least one negative experience related to being transgender, such as being verbally harassed or refused treatment because of their gender identity3. LGBTQ+ youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness, which directly relates to health disparities they face later down the line4. Health care professionals are given the privilege and responsibility of upholding equity in practice, and this includes advocating for the safety and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients. Read more.
In recognition of Filipino American History Month, we focus on Honoria Acosta-Sison, a Filipina who studied to become a physician at one of Drexel’s predecessor schools, Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, and then returned to the Philippines to practice. Her story speaks to the impact and effect of being born and living under colonial rule and how cultural assimilation can echo for decades. An avid researcher, teacher and physician, Honoria Acosta-Sison had a long and varied career caring for and advocating for Filipina women. Read more.
Annette Gadegbeku, MD, is an associate professor in the Department of Family, Community & Preventive Medicine, and assistant dean of community health within the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Drexel University College of Medicine. Her academic interests include urban and underserved community medicine, adolescent medicine, women’s health and global health. Read more.
In this interview, Dr. McCrea talks with Nathalie May, MD, an associate professor and sub-internship director in the Division of General Internal Medicine. Read on to get to know Dr. May and learn even more about her life and career in the latest episode of the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion's podcast "Conversations That Matter." Read more.
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For Raidizon Mercedes, MD Program Class of 2023, being named a 2020 Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship winner was something of a full-circle moment. Read more.
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Can you believe it is 2019? I can't tell you how grateful I am that Drexel gives us the gift of time during the holiday season. The entire University shuts down between Christmas and New Year's Day, allowing us to enjoy time with our family. When I return to work, I'm rested, rejuvenated and energized for all that the New Year has to offer. Until I dive into my email… Read more.
It was 1963. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, 250,000 marchers stood. They were there to address economic and civil rights, and to demand an end racism. "I have a dream," Dr. King began. Read more.
The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion addresses pressing challenges, and fulfills the College of Medicine's goal of becoming a leader in developing the next generation of a diverse workforce. Dr. Ana Núñez, associate dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, has focused her efforts on enhancing the core missions of educational excellence, research innovation and outstanding clinical care. Recently she took the time to answer some questions about the office. Read more.
Although exams moved our celebrations back a bit, our Asian Pacific Medical Student Association decided to commemorate the Lunar New year with a dumpling wrapping (and eating) event. Although dumplings are a staple menu item during Chinese New Year as they represent wealth and prosperity, an old wives' tale shares their medicinal history. Read more.
When we returned from the Winter Holiday Break, I received some sad news from Joanne Murray, a colleague from our Legacy Center, about the passing of a former faculty member, Dr. Bernice "Bunny" Sandler. I didn't know Dr. Sandler and to be honest, I wasn't familiar with her work at all, but was intrigued by her distinction as the "Godmother of Title IX." I followed some of the links that Joanne included in her message and was inspired by Dr. Sandler's work and the role she played in our Women's Health Education Program (WHEP), which is now part of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Read more.
I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but somehow my weekend has shifted focus from quiet days of reflection and rejuvenation after a long work week to shuttling my kids back and forth between science fairs, soccer games, birthday parties and play dates, and this past weekend was no different. As I was unloading the car, a large poster board tumbled out of the backseat. As I tried to pick it up without dropping anything else, I realized it was my 11-year old step-daughter's science project. Read more.
Have you ever come home from a conference feeling deflated and overwhelmed, instead of invigorated and inspired? If so, you're not alone. Greetings from 30,000 feet in the air! Thanks to the power of technology, I'm actually writing this blog on my plane ride back from the Program Director Workshop and Residency Program Solutions conference in Kansas City, Missouri. As I scrolled through my phone, it was clear that I had an amazing time learning from and connecting with my colleagues. However, it wasn't always like that. I used to come home from conferences feeling deflated and overwhelmed rather than invigorated and inspired. So how did that all change? Here are my "Top 5 Ways to Maximize Your Next Professional Development Opportunity." Read more.
Many of you know that I just joined the College of Medicine family in September, so it took me a while to get used to the campus and find my way through Queen Lane. And while I could almost always never find a colleague's office, I never failed to stumble into the cadaver lab by accident. Frustrated, I would backtrack my way out and try to find the office I was looking for. That was the only thought I had ever gave to the cadaver lab—that is, until my mom passed away in early January and my siblings and I had to talk about organ donation. Unfortunately, my mom battled with a lot of infections in her last days, so her organs were rendered unusable. However, it made me think back to my stumbles through the cadaver lab. Read more.
The month of May was a time of celebration and bittersweet transitions. The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion began Senior Week with our Senior Diversity Dinner, an annual dinner for underrepresented graduating seniors in the College of Medicine and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies. Faculty, staff and alumni gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of these amazing MDs and PhDs and to wish them well on the next phase of their career. Read more.
As we celebrate PRIDE Month, I took the opportunity to sit down with current LGBTQ-PM president Adam Dykie to learn more about him and the organization. Read more.
Last month I introduced you to our LGBTQ-PM Student Group and their president, Adam Dykie. For this installment of "Meet Our Student Organizations," I'm featuring our Health Outreach Project or HOP Clinics. HOP is a Drexel student-run organization that helps provide care for underserved communities in Philadelphia through free health clinics and related services. HOP co-chairs Ryan Godinez and Elizabeth Centurion sat down to tell me more about themselves and the organization. Read more.
As we celebrate PRIDE Month, we took the opportunity to sit down with current LGBTQ-PM president Til Kus to learn more about them and the organization. Read more.
"To me, the physicians who are coming next are incredibly important in determining what the future will be. If I can contribute even a little bit to somebody in terms of their insight, their caring about a patient's experience and things like that, then that feels like contributing. If my former students walk over the threshold and the patient is glad to see them, we've done good. I think that's an important thing, and it's a privilege to be in that role." Read more.
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we took the opportunity to sit down with current Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) co-presidents Gabrielle Allred and Diana Hanif Garces to learn more about the MD candidates and their organization. Read more.
In recognition of Native American Heritage Month, we focus on two women who graduated from our school over 120 years ago, Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte and Dr. Lillie Rosa Minoka-Hill. Their stories bring historical perspective to two aspects of present-day American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) health care concerns: health disparities in AI/AN communities and the need to create opportunities for medical careers among AI/AN people. Read more.
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When we think about science, we think of innovation, transformation and enrichment. Today, we benefit from the possibilities that have stemmed from technology, from Uber rides to Facetiming with medical providers, all with a tap of a finger. Who are these originators, the great innovative minds and pioneers of science? We celebrate the legacy of the black men and women who were fundamental in the advancement of science and medicine. Read more.
Women. We are strong, empowering and determined; we have not been easily shaken by the mercurial social climate. We instead remain steadfast and resilient. Women. We are mothers, daughters, sisters, physicians, astronauts, scientists, healers, CEOs and more. Read more.
I was at the Philadelphia airport just a few days ago getting ready to board a plane to head to a conference. After more than 23 years of traveling, I rarely pay attention to the boarding announcements anymore, but I knew that my "zone" would be called right after families and active duty military, so I began gathering my things as the gate agent invited members of the armed forces to board and looked up to see a young woman in uniform disappear into the jet bridge. I can't explain why, but I was filled with a sense of awe and gratitude. And then it hit me, Veterans Day is only a few days away and this year marks the centennial of the signing of the Armistice between the Allies and Germany. It was at the 11th hour on the 11th of November 1918 that the ceasefire would go into effect and end World War I. I couldn't help but wonder who were the women that played such a pivotal role in changing our US Armed Forces. Read more.
The first Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) happened in 1999. It was created in an effort to remember those whose lives were violently lost at the hands of those trying to erase the transgender and gender non-conforming population. The movement has grown immensely, and what began as an online tribute is now an internationally recognized event. On Nov. 20th, many will observe the day by raising the transgender flag, reading victims' names and reflecting with a moment of silence. Read more.
After months of planning, DUCOM's Diversity Week 2018 went off without a hitch! I can't even begin to express how proud I am of the students and all of the thought and effort they put into this week-long celebration. From panels on refugee health, first-generation med students and doctors, and culture and medicine, to a milk and cookie movie screening of MILK, to our signature event, "Around the World," which allowed everyone to showcase how diverse our DUCOM world really is, there wasn't a shortage of activity. Here are some highlights from the week. Read more.
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This year, we welcome Black History Month during a time of divisiveness and for most of us confusion, driven by the shift in political power and differences in societal views. Nonetheless, we cannot ignore the long line of historical events that continue to shape us all today: the resilience and determination of our ancestors and the diversity and richness of our culture. Not only who we are, but where we came from. In the midst of our uncertainty, let's take a moment to reflect on the legends of our time and the great pioneers of the past. Read more.
Today we celebrate ourselves, women and all gender-oppressed people of every background, race, nationality, immigration status, age or disability, religion, sexual identity, gender expression and economic status. Read more.
On March 30, Drexel University College of Medicine celebrated one of our very own legends, Dr. Maurice Clifford, who joined the faculty of the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1955. Read more.
Thank you for joining us in celebrating one of our very own legends in medicine. We have provided a special compilation of reflections from our attendees. Read more.
Physicians are supposed to be good at handling suffering. Building the capacity to witness; to be steadfast in the face of it; to aid during grief and healing. This ability is a unique and challenging skill. No physician would say otherwise. We have to “be there” and endure. (Our private grief and the secondary trauma that we face as a result are important for us to address — with colleagues, family and supportive helpers.) Read more.
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