Thirty-five juniors and seniors from James I. O’Neill High School in Highland Falls, New York took a break from their AP Biology and AP Chemistry classes last week to visit the new medical college that recently opened approximately thirty-five miles from their school—Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM)-Middletown.
In August 2009, Robert Stern, MD, joined the faculty of Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) in Harlem as a professor of pathology.
After slewing through midterms and OSCEs, students at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine-Middletown finally had a chance to relax during Student Wellness Day. Organized by a committee comprised of members of student services, the afternoon provided a range of fun and stress-relieving activities for the students, including massage therapy, yoga, Zumba classes, Reiki therapy, and games. In another room, students played with and petted certified therapy Bernese mountain dogs and puppies. En route to the different activities, students could also grab a healthy snack from the table of apples and bananas. The event ended with a raffle drawing, in which three lucky students won wellness baskets.
Two years ago, Dr. Robert Goldberg, executive dean of Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM)–Harlem, held a small fundraiser for friends in New Jersey, raising approximately $27,000 for the TouroCOM Fund for Underrepresented Minority Students. But members of TouroCOM’s voluntary Community Advisory Board said that the sum wasn’t enough to make a dent in financial obligations of students at the medical school, and asked if Dr. Goldberg could find a way to increase the amount of scholarships to really “make a difference.”
The students who spearheaded the endeavor, Neomal Muthumala and Sam Sirotnikov, said that they wanted to do something that would help Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine remember their inaugural class. A tree, they said, would be perfect.
If you walked into Lecture Hall-1 at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) on November 10th, you probably wouldn’t recognize anything out of the ordinary. Students sat in their lecture seats, listening attentively to a detailed PowerPoint presentation on the musculoskeletal system, which was followed by lectures on the nervous and circulatory systems. Occasionally, someone raised his or her hand to ask a question, give a comment, or clarify an idea. Yet what was different about this particular scene was that the students weren’t actually in medical school—they were in high school.
“Free flu shots! Free blood tests! Come get your free health screenings!” called out Touro College of Medicine (TouroCOM) students Krystle Garcia, Eun Kim, and Hillary Ramroop to passersby on Harlem’s W. 125th Street as they held signs promoting the community-wide “Fall Into Health” fair. Across the street and a block over, students sitting under white tents in front of the State Office Building were doing the same thing.
Dressed as skeletons in the spirit of Halloween, a group of three student physicians—Anthony Bonzagni, Daniel Lee, and Dhaatri Kuchipudi—delivered a fun, interactive lesson about bones to the first-grade class of New Beginnings Montessori School. Two TouroCOM-Middletown faculty members joined the students in the presentation: Professor Leah Labranche, anatomy instructor, and Dr. Martin Torrents, Associate Chair of the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Department. The TouroCOM presenters taught the children different ways of keeping their bones strong, such as eating healthy foods like vegetables and calcium-rich dairy products, and emphasized the importance of physical exercise in maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle. They engaged the children in the lesson by performing a short skit about an “ailing skeleton” and having the first-graders dance, jump, and run in place to “revive” him.
In June 2014, Jeffrey Karpen came over from the West Coast—where he’d studied, researched and taught for nearly three decades—and joined the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine as its Associate Chair of Basic Biomedical Sciences and Associate Course Director of Physiology, in addition to conducting classes as a Professor of Physiology. His full-time transition to teaching and administration comes on the heels of countless papers and publications dedicated to better understanding and exploiting cell signaling, i.e. how our cells process and interact with their environment—or, at times, fail to—and dictate our basic sensory and biological function.
There are so many reasons why certain diseases go under-diagnosed and, consequently, under-treated. But in the minds of doctors and professors who took part in the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (TouroCOM) “Bridging the Gap” forum on Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) this past August, a bright spotlight was aimed at this insidious condition.