Diverse Professional Healthcare Panel

Ryan Giacobbi

On Oct. 14, Pre-Med Club held a panel with medics from all over Pittsburgh and beyond titled ‘The Health Professionals Panel of Pittsburgh: Finding Your Niche in Medicine.’ These professionals gave their backgrounds on what they do and what knowledge the medical students could take with them when they get internships or their first professional job.

The first medical professional interviewed was Anthony Robins who has a Ph. D. in Epidemiology and is also an associate professor in science at RMU. He was very firm on what a dynamic healthcare system means to him.

“A dynamic healthcare industry is a diverse healthcare industry where you’re not only looking at differences across ethnicity, across gender, across expertise, but also those capabilities bringing in people with different disciplines to come together to work as one,” said Robins.

Anthony Cocciolone is a third year LECOM (Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine) at Seton Hill University. LECOM is a “pre-professional 4+4” program. He used to major in biology.

Cocciolone mentions how reinforcing the idea of communication seems to be a key to a good healthcare system. Cocciolone said a good healthcare system is “one where communication is put first, a lot of times there’s disconnect like primary providers, specialists, nurses, etc., and the closer we get to being on the same page coming to plan together, things just run smoothly, and it trickles down from there.”

Both Robins and Cocciolone are highly trained professionals where Cocciolone makes rounds at the Allegheny Health Network, Forbes, Allegheny General, and West Penn hospitals.

Chet Thompson, director of student support and community outreach programs, was asked on what transpired him to put together the panel.

“So two years ago, I took it upon myself to really engage students and to expose them to healthcare professionals, it was really successful, we had over 50 students attend, 11 physicians, and as a result, at the beginning of the fall semester we met with pre-med students asked me to do it again,” said Thompson.

There was also input from the audience on what they thought of the panel. Students Tyler Axelson and Nick Benjamin are very passionate about their futures and talked about what the panel meant to them.

“Yeah, absolutely, it was really good to hear all the people and they showed it is a rewarding field to go into,” said Axelson.

“It was really good, there was one also in freshman year that really got me into it and really elaborated on that,” said Benjamin.

After the main discussion was over, students got to talk to the professionals themselves to see what it is like for them to work.