Photo: PCOM medical student Griffin Clyatt (on left) trains with his preceptor Dr. Ellen Courson (on right).
PCOM medical student requests OB-GYN who delivered him to be his preceptor at South Georgia Medical Center.
“Two-point grip. Neck and legs.”
That’s what Griffin Clyatt (DO ‘23) remembers from his first time delivering a baby at South Georgia Medical Center as a medical student with Ellen Courson, MD.
But his memories with Dr. Courson go back a little longer–27 years to be exact–when she delivered him at SGMC.
Clyatt, a Valdosta native, is a third-year medical student at PCOM South Georgia in Moultrie. An important part of his education and training involves rotating with preceptors in health systems. He was preparing to rotate through OB-GYN at SGMC when he requested that Dr. Courson, a board-certified OB-GYN, be his preceptor—the doctor who trains him and oversees his time at the hospital.
Dr. Courson agreed, saying he would be her last medical student.
“When I graduated from medical school in 1987, I took the Hippocratic Oath. In that oath, I promised to teach future doctors,” she said. “I have taught nearly 150 aspiring medical students in 20 years. One of the main reasons I do so is to lure them to stay and live and practice in Valdosta! What better way to attract young doctors than to host them, teach them and expose
them to the quality of life we have.”
During his time with Dr. Courson, Clyatt assisted in countless cesarean sections, deliveries and circumcisions.
“I assisted in my first delivery on my first day of rotations at 7:30am,” he said. “It is extremely rare that a medical student is that hands-on during a rotation, especially OB-GYN, but she trusted me, and I trusted her to have my back.”
Dr. Courson delivered Clyatt in 1994 and then his sister in 2000, just two of the thousands of babies she has delivered in her career. She said she enjoyed her time with Clyatt and being able to teach someone that she delivered when she was just eight years into practicing medicine. Now, she’s been practicing for 35 years, and she’s closing the chapter of teaching
medical students with Clyatt.
“Griffin is a very bright young man,” she said. “He will make an excellent physician. I am happy to have been able to take part in his education.”
Clyatt’s mother, Melissa, said she’s extremely proud of both Dr. Courson, and her son, Griffin.
“Dr. Courson is phenomenal,” she said. “She’s one of the best doctors I’ve ever had. I was tickled to death to learn that Griffin would be working with Dr. Courson. He’s learning from the best. It’s unbelievable that he has this opportunity in South Georgia.”
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. PCOM South Georgia offers both 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 in August 2019, has received accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 229-668-3110.