PCOM South Georgia promotes FIRE Program for Medical Students

PCOM FIRE is a pre-orientation program for students wanting to go into medical school.
Published: Jul. 18, 2023 at 7:29 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - Students at PCOM South Georgia are getting the unique experience of being a part of a pre-orientation program this fall semester called FIRE.

FIRE stands for Fundamental Integration Required for Excellence. Students get a chance to get acclimated to the rigor and nature of medical school.

“Adaptation, students being able to adapt to a new environment, a new family, a new campus, a new curriculum. Just this new modality of life of being in medical school. Medical school is not easy, but somewhat hard. But, being able to accept those challenges and fall into where they want to be,” Jason Walker, assistant dean of transformational learning at PCOM South Georgia, said

Learning how to adapt to different scenarios will make adjusting from undergrad to medical school easier.

“Undergrad life was difficult of course you had to get used to those things. But the pace here is ten times faster, that is probably an understatement. It’s so much faster, it’s a lot of information but it’s not impossible,” Mauricio Soto, first-year Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) student and FIRE participant, said.

Ebony Isagba is a first-year medical student and says part of being a FIRE participant prepares her for the community she will be serving.

“I’m very passionate about dealing with symptoms and illnesses such as arthritis or any type of neurological issues that people have to deal with when they have chronic pain. So being a rural physician would just give me that opportunity to treat those patients who may not have the same access that other people would,” Isagba said.

The need for more doctors in rural areas is an issue across the country. That is why PCOM South Georgia is making sure its students are equipped with what they need as they enter medical school.

“I’m a very hands-on person and to just be able to use your hands to help alleviate people of pain is awesome to me, so I’m excited to use that,” Isagba said.

PCOM South Georgia students are passionate about what they do. That’s why they were selected for the program.

The FIRE program is designed to get students ready for medical school and prepare them to become doctors serving in rural communities.

One key thing they will learn throughout medical school is balance.

“Understanding how they have to balance that not just to be able to perform well in the classroom but be able to perform well as a future physician. So that means balancing their own self-care and wellness but also their academic care,” Walker said.

The program isn’t just about getting more doctors in rural areas. It’s also about making connections.

“We have really seen students bond and create a camaraderie with their peers, also in their performance when they are in the D.O. program. So, it really helps them be exposed to the rigor of the program before they even start at PCOM,” Dana Brooks, executive director of admissions at PCOM South Georgia, said.

“One of our key goals we have is continuation, adaptation and innovation. And we utilize those three because we want to continue to have this every year for our M1 students,” Walker said.