DWM training new doctors

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, September 2, 2015

This week Brewton became the small town doing big things in the area of medicine as it hosts an inaugural student of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Scott Howard, a third year medical student from Grand Rapids, Mich., is training alongside D.W. McMillan’s Dr. Jimmy Adkisson, Dr. Tommy Boshell and Dr. Anna Fountain as part of the program’s clerkship – or rotation training. From here, Howard will travel to Andalusia.
“Brewton has a great small town feel, and the training here is all encompassing,” Howard said. “In the larger hospitals, you have people who do just pediatrics and other specialties. Here, the patient pool is from zero to 100, so the knowledge needed to treat them is so much larger.
“The skill level of the physicians here is amazing, and I am thankful to be able to learn from them,” he said.
ACOM is a four-year, comprehensive osteopathic medical school located in Dothan. As the academic division of the Houston County Health Care Authority, the private, non-profit college was founded in 2010 to help address the primary care physician shortage in Alabama. ACOM is the third medical school in Alabama and the first osteopathic medical school in the state.
ACOM students spend the first two years of medical school on the college’s campus in Dothan gaining a foundation of medical knowledge and skills before moving to a core clerkship site for third and fourth year. During the third year, students will train in six core disciplines – internal medicine, family medicine, OBGYN, general surgery, pediatrics and behavioral medicine – followed by an emergency medicine clerkship during the fourth year. In addition, students will participate in multiple elective and selective training opportunities, further preparing them for the residency process.
Chris Griffin, CEO and administrator at DWM, said the hospital was excited to chosen as a core site.
“The primary purpose is to support the further medical training of the students; however, it also offers us the opportunity to begin the recruiting process of future physicians to our local community,” Griffin said.
Adkisson serves as the core site director in Brewton – and one of Howard’s three training physicians.
“The excitement is in the air as we begin this partnership with (ACOM),” Adkisson said. “This is the culmination of several years of preparation. With the ever increasing need for primary care in Alabama it is great to know that Brewton and surrounding areas will play a part in training future physicians that hopefully one day will want to come ‘back to their training’ and begin their professional careers.”
Since its inception, ACOM has been working to set the stage for successful clerkship activities. This includes gathering feedback from physician preceptors about best practices, installing video conferencing units at each core site, providing onsite training for physician preceptors and training coordinators to effectively manage student experiences.
Howard said he hopes to pursue a career in rural medicine, OB-GYN or emergency medicine.
“Emergency medicine is my first love,” he said. “I’m just going to have to see where it goes from here.”

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