Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) is holding a Tenth Anniversary Gala on December 6, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. The Gala is celebrating the building of the school and the contributions of its founders, who opened it in 2007 with a mission to educate underrepresented minorities (URMs) and serve the underserved. The festive occasion will honor TouroCOM’s founders and founding members of its Community Advisory Board (CAB). The CAB has provided guidance to the school and served as a liaison between the Harlem community and the College to help TouroCOM meet its goals. Among its key accomplishments are the establishment of a scholarship fund, which has raised more than $170,000 and resulted in 15 student scholarships. All proceeds from the Gala will benefit the TouroCOM Underrepresented Minority Fund, to give these students the opportunity for a medical school education.
Dr. Hazel Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference, is among the founding CAB members to be honored. A Harlem resident who chaired the local Community Board when the school was founded, Dr. Dukes was well aware of the health disparities in the community and the need for a successful medical school in Harlem to address them.
The idea that opposites attract isn’t entirely true. People prefer to hang out with people who are like-minded, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While this makes for easy-going relationships and conversations, it doesn’t help to broaden your perspective or open your mind. To do those things, you have to purposefully take other actions.
“Becoming more open-minded is actually a counterintuitive mental task,” says John Brown, psychologist and organizational development consultant for EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants. “Our brains think in whole ideas, the famous cognitive psychologist Jean Piaget taught us. These whole ideas are called ‘schema.'”
Schema includes our life experiences, beliefs, social reinforcements, and physiological reactions. “To visualize schema, think of Venn diagrams,” he explains. “When new information comes into our consciousness, we have to either fit it to our existing schema, or adjust our existing schema to fit the new information.”
When something fits, it’s called “assimilation,” says Brown. “Assimilation is easy, because the new information fits all of our other existing experiences and preconceived ideas; it doesn’t challenge any existing ideas,” he says. “But when new information doesn’t fit into our existing ideas about things, the new information might challenge your feelings, your beliefs, and your own past experiences.”
Piaget called this phenomenon “accommodation.” “Accommodation requires the mental, or cognitive, ability to suspend judgment temporarily, to weigh information, and a willingness to recognize parts of your own existing beliefs as incorrect or in need of new frames of reference,” says Brown. “People become very defensive when their existing ideas are challenged. When we can’t wrap our heads around a new idea, that’s an example of how hard it is to accommodate.”
Warwick – Local ovarian cancer survivor Kathy Colquhoun and 23 Horizon Family Medical Group/Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine students “turned the town teal”® on Aug. 31 to raise awareness of ovarian cancer.
Yes, you’ve heard of cholesterol and understand the importance of keeping it in check—but as for the nitty gritty of how to do so, that’s where things may start to get fuzzy.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone: An April 2017 survey by the American Heart Association (AHA) found that most people who have high cholesterol aren’t sure how to manage their condition and don’t feel confident that they can. And 47% of the respondents with a history of or risk factors for heart disease or stroke hadn't gotten their cholesterol checked in over a year.
“With all the conflicting data among the scientific community about cholesterol, it’s hard for patients to know exactly what their cholesterol level should be and what to do to get it there,” says Jennifer Haythe, MD, leading cardiologist and internist at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York.
Since even modestly elevated cholesterol levels can lead to heart disease later in life, here’s everything you need to know (and do) to get a grip on your cholesterol:
Cholesterol tends to get a bad rap.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in every cell of the body, and plays an important role in many bodily functions, such as making hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. It travels through your bloodstream in tiny packets called lipoproteins, which are made of fat on the inside and proteins on the outside.
There are two types of lipoproteins that deliver cholesterol throughout your body—low-density (LDL) and high-density (HDL)—and having healthy levels of both is super-important to your overall health.
LDL cholesterol (Bad): Your body uses LDL lipoproteins to build cells—but when you have too much it becomes a “bad” cholesterol, building up in the walls of your arteries and causing them to narrow, says Niket Sonpal, MD, assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York.
HDL cholesterol (Good): Known as “good” cholesterol, HDL lipoproteins protect against heart disease by sending “bad” cholesterol to your liver, where it’s processed and removed from your body.
On its own, high blood cholesterol doesn’t cause any symptoms, hence the importance of finding out what your numbers are. The higher the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood, the higher your risk of heart disease. The higher the level of HDL cholesterol, the lower your risk.
WARWICK — Local ovarian cancer survivor Kathy Colquhoun and 23 Horizon Family Medical Group/Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine students “turned the town teal” on Thursday, Aug. 31, to raise awareness of ovarian cancer.
TOWN OF WARWICK - Horses have their own way of talking back.
They can be stubborn, uncooperative or dismissive, just like people.
That’s why they are the perfect patient substitutes for first-year students at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Middletown who are learning about bedside manner, according to Deirdre Hamling.
Touro is one of a handful of medical schools nationwide offering the Medicine and Horsemanship program.
Payal Aggarwal was born and raised in Queens. She attended Bronx High School of Science and pursued an undergraduate degree in economics and chemistry at New York University. During her time at NYU, Aggarwal was a resident hall assistant and actively involved in the community service organization, NYU Alternative Breaks. She went on week-long service trips every year of college and helped train leaders of these trips as well. She enrolled in the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and pursued her doctorate there. She was elected as the Student Body Vice President and represented the school nationally at AACOM’s Council of Osteopathic Government Presidents. She was then elected to the E-board of COSGP and served as the organization’s Global Health Representative advocating on behalf of 26,000 osteopathic medical students nationally and internationally.
Payal recently graduated medical school, is starting her pediatrics residency at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, and hopes to pursue pediatric oncology as her specialty in the future.
America will soon face a shortage of as many as 90,000 doctors.
CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reports a combination of retiring doctors and increasing demand will lead to a significant need for primary care physicians. But some medical schools are working to ease the problem.
Dr. Katelyn Norman just started her internal medicine residency at Waterbury Hospital in Connecticut. It’s one of the final steps to achieving her lifelong dream of becoming a doctor.
“The work you do has such consequences for people and their lives and their health,” she said.
The U.S. is in need of more primary care doctors, partly because many older physicians are retiring, citing increased paperwork and decreased time with patients.
Norman is part of the first graduating class at Quinnipiac University’s new medical school that is tackling the shortage in internal medicine, OBGYN, pediatrics and psychiatry.
Other medical schools like the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine are also prioritizing primary care applicants.
The Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine announced July 11 that Payal Aggarwal was honored in recognition for her service, leadership, research and dedication.
The Indian American physician, who graduated with a doctor of osteopathic medicine, or DO, degree from the college last month and recently began her residency at Brooklyn Hospital’s pediatrics division, grew up wanting to become a doctor after seeing her grandfather in India suffering from cancer.
When she turned 10, she began volunteering for the American Cancer Society, according to a Touro COM news release.
Now, working in pediatrics, she said in the news release she is “thrilled” and “can’t wait to see what the future has in store.”
Aggarwal hopes to pursue pediatric oncology, which she aspired to after volunteering at a camp for kids diagnosed with cancer, Camp Happy Days, an experience that she wrote about in The DO magazine, according to the Touro release.
Aggarwal’s contributions have been so substantial, along with her achievements, that the college of medicine recognized her with its highest honor, ‘Student DO of the Year’.
When Dr. Payal Aggarwal, DO, was just six years old, she visited her grandfather in India in the hospital. He had cancer and she told him the experience of their visits made her want to become a doctor when she grew up. “He said nothing would make him happier,” Aggarwal recalled in a recent interview.
She began volunteering at age 10 for the American Cancer Society. Fast forward to last month, when her dream became reality – she donned a cap and gown at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and joined the graduating class of Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM). Last Saturday she began her residency at Brooklyn Hospital in pediatrics.
“I hope to pursue pediatric oncology, so I was thrilled to match into pediatrics! I can’t wait to see what the future has in store,” she said.
Pediatric oncology entered the picture for Aggarwal after volunteering at a camp for children diagnosed with cancer, Camp Happy Days, an experience that she wrote about in The DO magazine.
The camp would be one on a long list of challenging volunteer experiences the young doctor would take on during her journey to earning her doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree.
Dr. Aggarwal’s contributions were so numerous and achievements so exceptional that TouroCOM awarded her its highest honor at commencement, “Student DO of the Year,” for her outstanding service to the school, her leadership, research and dedication to the profession.
When Payal Aggarwal was just 6 years old, she visited her grandfather in India in the hospital. He had cancer, and she told him the experience of their visits made her want to become a doctor when she grew up. “He said nothing would make him happier,” Aggarwal recalled in a recent interview.
She began volunteering at age 10 for the American Cancer Society. Fast forward to last month when her dream became reality. She donned a cap and gown at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and joined the graduating class of Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. Last Saturday she began her residency at Brooklyn Hospital in pediatrics.
“I hope to pursue pediatric oncology, so I was thrilled to match into pediatrics!” she said. “I can’t wait to see what the future has in store.”
Pediatric oncology entered the picture for Aggarwal after she volunteered at a camp for kids diagnosed with cancer, Camp Happy Days, an experience that she wrote about in The DO magazine.
The camp would be one on a long list of challenging volunteer experiences she would take on during her journey to earning her doctor of osteopathic medicine degree.
One is a graduating medical student and the other is a decorated nurse with years of experience, but both Queens health professionals are also award winners.
One of Pekle’s newest colleagues in the medical field is Kew Gardens resident Dr. Payal Aggarwal, who graduated from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Manhattan late last month with the school’s highest honor, Student Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine of the Year.
Aggarwal earned the award for supplementing her studies with numerous volunteer efforts for a number of medical and social groups, including the American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity.
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine Awards Top Honor to Queens Resident Payal Aggarwal for Service, Leadership, Research, and Dedication
When Payal Aggarwal, DO, (pictured) was just six years old she visited her grandfather in India in the hospital. He had cancer and she told him the experience of their visits made her want to become a doctor when she grew up. “He said nothing would make him happier,” Aggarwal recalled in a recent interview.
She began volunteering at age 10 for the American Cancer Society. Fast forward to last month when her dream became reality—she donned a cap and gown at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and joined the graduating class of Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM-NY). Last Saturday she began her residency at Brooklyn Hospital in pediatrics.
When Payal Aggarwal, DO, was just six years old she visited her grandfather in India in the hospital. He had cancer and she told him the experience of their visits made her want to become a doctor when she grew up. “He said nothing would make him happier,” Aggarwal recalled in a recent interview.
She began volunteering at age 10 for the American Cancer Society. Fast forward to last month when her dream became reality—she donned a cap and gown at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and joined the graduating class of Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM). Last Saturday she began her residency at Brooklyn Hospital in pediatrics.
“I hope to pursue pediatric oncology, so I was thrilled to match into pediatrics! I can’t wait to see what the future has in store,” she said.
She was not supposed to be working on Friday at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, making afternoon rounds on the 17th floor. Dr. Tracy Sin-Yee Tam usually worked in a ground-level family medicine clinic, where she would treat patients from the hospital’s South Bronx neighborhood.
But those who knew Dr. Tam were not surprised to learn what she was doing inside the hospital when the authorities said a gunman, a disgruntled former doctor there, opened fire, killing Dr. Tam and wounding six others before killing himself.
Another doctor had needed his shift covered. Dr. Tam volunteered.
“She would never say no,” Jude Beckles-Ross, 46, a friend of Dr. Tam’s, said through tears on Sunday outside the doctor’s home in Queens.
She was early in her career, but Dr. Tam, 32, had already established a reputation for being caring and conscientious in a way that those around her found remarkable, even in a field built on caring for others that requires intense commitment.
Dr. Tam, whose father drives a taxi in Queens, had struggled to make it into medical school, but mentors and colleagues said she had plenty of options when she graduated. Again and again, she chose to work in demanding environments in neighborhoods of New York City where people had limited access to medical care, places that few young doctors enthusiastically pursue.
At Bronx-Lebanon, about 70 percent of the patients are on Medicaid, and physicians regularly assume a role that goes beyond physical care, helping patients address family disputes or emotional issues, said Dr. Sridhar Chilimuri, Bronx-Lebanon’s physician in chief. The atmosphere can chip away at a young doctor’s idealism, he said, yet he was impressed by how strongly Dr. Tam, who had been an attending doctor at the hospital for a year, held fast to hers.
“Training young physicians to be doctors is an extraordinarily difficult thing,” Dr. Chilimuri said. “Making them idealistic, and also do exactly what we’re doing, is just impossible.” He added, “To lose somebody like that now is really a monumental loss for us.”
Dr. Tam was in one of the earliest classes to enroll at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, a medical school that had its first graduating class in 2011. The school occupies an old department store building in Harlem, across 125th Street from the Apollo Theater. Much of the student body comes from New York City, said Martin Diamond, the college’s founding dean, and its mission is to recruit minorities into medicine and to train and encourage students to work in locations that were historically underserved.
Dr. Tam started at Touro in a master’s degree program, which provided a one-year window to make it into medical school, but required students to maintain a high grade-point average. “This was a good avenue for us,” said Jennifer Dorcé-Medard, a friend who practices family medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “A better chance and a second chance for us to achieve our dreams.”
Corey Ballaera of Bergen County, NJ, studied physics for his undergraduate degree in the College of New Jersey. But a major in physics he said, didn’t compare to the volume and intensity of Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences Program.
“The was one of the toughest years of school for me,” said Ballaera who attended the program at TouroCOM Harlem’s campus. But he had no regrets. “It was everything I wanted.”
Ballaera, along with more than 100 students, celebrated their matriculation from the TouroCOM Harlem and Middletown programs on May 8, 2017. The ceremony for TouroCOM Harlem students took place at the Al Hambra Ballroom in Harlem; the ceremony for TouroCOM Middletown took place at the Paramount Theater in Middletown.
Patients who have struggled in the past with medical and mental health challenges, and who live in the Harlem community, came to Touro on Wednesday, May 3rd 2017, to speak with medical and pharmacy students about their experiences being treated in nursing homes, prisons and other facilities. The interactive exchange was part of an annual course event organized by Dr. Jeffrey Gardere, an assistant professor at Touro Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine in cooperation with Touro College of Pharmacy, aimed at helping Touro’s future physicians and pharmacists become empathic, respectful practitioners who put patient needs first. “Make sure you check the meds and know what [condition] the patient has,” said Biener Liranzo, seated far left, who lived seven years in a nursing home. “It’s about saving someone’s life,” said David Gonzalez, seated far right, who was incarcerated in jails and prisons for over 30 years, but who has successfully rehabilitated himself. “The medical units in jails are often substandard,” said Gonzales. The students listened attentively. “They said that ultimately they know the most about themselves, which is true,” observed second year pharm student Sheba Ajmal. Fellow pharm student, Adriana Burbridge, added: “People have preconceived notions. ‘You’re a prisoner so you did something horrible.’ You have to treat them as another human being, equal to you not less than you.”
Two physicians and 21 members of the Class of 2018 at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Middletown were recently inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society at the school.