Students Helping Students at LMU-DCOM
Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) students are meeting virtually through Zoom to encourage one another during the global pandemic.
The Students Helping Students initiative began in January 2020 as an in-person peer support group for medical students to meet and discuss academic and personal issues they might be facing. The group includes first-year and second-year medical students that would normally be taking classes on campus.
“It is rare that medical students take time to talk about issues they are facing in their life which ultimately influences how they perform in medical school,” said Omari Baines, a first-year osteopathic medical student at LMU-DCOM. “With the help of DCOM Strong, a student-led and student services-supported wellness initiative, I was able to get the group up and going in January.”
The feedback from students has been positive. Students find it helpful to hear how their peers are handling certain situations such as time management, self-care, and strategies for physical and mental wellness. The COVID-19 pandemic has created additional stress and changes to students’ routines, and with stay-at-home orders, students have not been able to connect in person as usual.
“Before the pandemic, it was easy to talk with other students after class, during lunch, or at club meetings and have a connection socially. Now, we obviously don't have that luxury,” said Baines. “I felt that continuing our meetings [online] was important because there are some students who are in their apartments alone, or some who went back to their homes and don't have that social connection anymore. Of course, we can talk to anybody about how the pandemic is affecting their life, but it's different when you talk to a fellow medical student at your school.”
Once students are back on campus, Baines hopes to continue the Students Helping Students program with in-person meetings.
The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. LMU-DCOM is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community, and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of osteopathic physicians to provide health care in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU-DCOM, call 1.800.325.0900, ext. 7082, email [email protected], or visit us online at http://med.LMUnet.edu.