Photo: Dana Brooks, assistant director of admissions at PCOM South Georgia, is leading the school in online interviews for prospective Osteopathic Medicine students.
Students hoping to begin their medical education at PCOM South Georgia are interviewing virtually this year.
In July 2020, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine encouraged colleges to provide applicants with a virtual interview throughout the entire 2020-2021 application cycle. AACOM advised that virtual interviews will ensure safety and lower interview costs for prospective students.
Dana Brooks, assistant director of admissions at PCOM South Georgia, said that the guidelines encouraged by AACOM are a change for all parties involved, but there are benefits to virtual interviews.
“Most candidates feel more relaxed in their own space, so they may interview better,” she said. “Virtual interviews are more affordable for the candidates, but unfortunately we’re not able to show off our amazing campus and the culture of our close-knit campus community.”
Prospective students are interviewed, as normal, by faculty and staff, but interviews are conducted through a video meeting platform instead of in person. Before the interview, candidates receive a virtual tour of PCOM South Georgia, as well as a financial aid presentation from the admissions team. On interview day, candidates are given an admissions overview from Brooks’ team and also participate in a question and answer session with student ambassadors.
Leslie McIntosh, PhD, assistant professor of anatomy and histology, serves as a virtual interviewer for potential students.
“I have found the candidates to be more comfortable, and the conversation can feel very natural in a virtual setting,” Dr. McIntosh said. “The major con of interviewing virtually is that the students are not able to realize how conducive our campus is for learning. The virtual tour available on our website works hard to overcome this and to familiarize our prospective students with our wonderful learning environment.”
Once the interviews are completed, the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Faculty Committee on Admissions meets and renders decisions on each candidate. The admissions team then informs the candidates of their decision via email. The process usually takes four to six weeks from start to finish.
“The interview season is the same timeframe with around the same number of interviews as last year, just in a different space,” Brooks said. “This is a big decision for candidates as they will be investing a lot of time in PCOM South Georgia and the region. We want to ensure that we are doing everything possible to assist our candidates in making the right decision for their future professions.”
About PCOM South Georgia
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) extended its commitment to the Southeast by establishing PCOM South Georgia, an additional teaching location in Moultrie, Georgia, which offers a full four-year medical program leading to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree and a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree. PCOM is a private, not-for-profit institution which trains professionals in the health and behavioral sciences fields. Joining PCOM Georgia in Suwanee in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state, PCOM South Georgia focuses on educating physicians for the South Georgia region. The medical campus, which welcomed its inaugural class of medical students on August 12, 2019, has received accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. For more information, visit www.pcom.edu or call 229-798-4710.