LECOM at Seton Hill students receive their first stethoscopes

Alice J. Zal, D.O., President of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association, presents the first stethoscope to Kai Schlingmann, LECOM at Seton Hill Class of 2014 President.

Greensburg, Pa. – First-year medical students at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Seton Hill marked another milestone in their medical education on Wednesday, Nov. 3, when they received their first stethoscopes. Alice J. Zal, D.O., President of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association, spoke at the special ceremony. POMA donated new stethoscopes to 110 first-year medical students. Dr. Zal presented the first stethoscope to Class of 2014 President Kai Schlingmann.

Dr. Zal explained to the students how the stethoscope is an important tool in osteopathic medicine. She said stethoscopes can be used to listen to the heart, lungs and abdomen for warning signs in the body. But, she said, there are certain things osteopathic physicians must do before using their stethoscopes. “You must listen to your patients and really hear what they are saying,” Dr. Zal said. “You have to observe them coming in and out of your office for clues. You have to use your hands to find signs which might disclose underlying causes of disease.”

“This event is a milestone that marks one of the first steps in our professional career,” said Kai Schlingmann, Class of 2014 President. He noted the stethoscope is an internationally recognized symbol of medicine, and the students were honored to have Dr. Zal take time out of her busy schedule to attend the ceremony. “It’s very inspirational to know that we have the support from an organization like the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association,” Schlingmann said. The POMA Foundation donates stethoscopes to all first-year medical students attending osteopathic medical schools in Pennsylvania.

LECOM at Seton Hill first-year medical students Sheema Samdani and David Andrews proudly display their new stethoscopes.

Dr. Zal said the student physicians clearly have a passion for osteopathic medicine. She told them that POMA can be an important resource for them after they graduate. “As you begin your osteopathic careers, remember POMA is there for you,” Dr. Zal said. She said POMA provides guidance in setting up a practice, legal advice, networking groups for young physicians, and help for those who struggle with the pressures of medical practice.

POMA is also on the forefront of issues affecting today’s physicians, said Dr. Zal. POMA is working to lower the cost of medical malpractice insurance. The organization also wants Pennsylvania to offer student loan forgiveness to physicians who work in inner-city areas. She said the federal government currently has a loan forgiveness program for physicians who work in rural areas. Dr. Zal said she has met with an advisor to Governor-Elect Tom Corbett, whom she said seems receptive to the idea.

Alice J. Zal, D.O., President of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association, checks out one of the OMM tables at LECOM at Seton Hill while Irv Freeman, PhD., J.D., Vice President for LECOM at Seton Hill, gives her a tour of the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Laboratory.

Dr. Zal toured LECOM at Seton Hill classrooms, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) Laboratory and Learning Resource Center with Irv Freeman, Ph.D., J.D., Vice President for LECOM at Seton Hill.
LECOM at Seton Hill first-year students will put their new stethoscopes to practical use in mid-November for their “History and Physical Examination I” course. They will receive their white coats at a separate ceremony in February 2011.

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.

November 4, 2010
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