5 Questions to Ask the New Dean of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Peter F. Bidey is the new Dean of Medicine on the Main Campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

But he is by no means a newcomer.

Bidi, 41, graduated from medical school in 2008 and was a resident in a PCOM-related program at what is now called Suburban Community Hospital in East Norrington. She worked as a staff member at the hospital for a year before she joined PCOM.While practicing family medicine in PCOM’s outpatient clinic and Lankenau Medical Centre, he has held academic positions of increasing responsibility.

A native of Philadelphia and a graduate of Bensalem’s Holy Spirit Preparatory School, Biddy also has a personal bond with the 124-year-old medical school. He met his wife, a psychiatrist, Deanna Biddy, there when they were first-year medical students.

Physicians who practice osteopathic medicine (called DOs) are trained to focus on prevention and treatment for the whole patient. Compared to doctors, they have special training in how muscles, bones and joints work together.

The Inquirer spoke with Mr. Biddy the week before June 1, the date he would assume his new position. This is an edited summary of our conversation.

The Philadelphia area has seven medical schools, more than almost anywhere else. How does PCOM stand out?

I believe that all medical schools produce excellent doctors. But I think the great thing about PCOM is first and foremost that we are an osteopathic practice. And because we are his third oldest osteopathic medical school, we have a legacy, connections, and a great faculty, staff, administration, student base, and alumni to help develop aspiring osteopathic physicians. To do.

Many PCOM graduates enter primary care specialties known for low wages and burnout. What do you tell your students about those challenges?

This is your career. I would like to do something that interests me. Our students are ready to pursue any field of their choice. If you want to become a surgeon, you will have the necessary training. If you want to be in emergency medicine, you will have to undergo training. However, we have a holistic perspective and approach to training that makes it very suitable for primary care.

You are a family medicine specialist. In short, we provide primary care for all ages. What drives people to leave the field?

It’s hard work. We see a lot of patients, we deal with a lot of problems that are desperately needed and understaffed to begin with. But I think it’s a vocation. If you are interested in what you are interested in, you will face the challenges in front of you.

What are the most common misconceptions people have about osteopathic medicine?

The important thing is just misinformation. When people hear that we do hands-on therapy, some people wonder, “Do we just do that, or can we also administer antibiotics?” In the case of pneumonia, request a chest X-ray. I will give you antibiotics. That’s what every doctor in America is trying to do.

But in addition to these things, I have other techniques you can implement to give you some comfort or fix some of the malfunctions. Suppose you have pneumonia and have trouble breathing. Maybe your ribs aren’t moving in and out as easily as you thought. We have the technology to help mobilize and mitigate that dysfunction. They may ask you to blow on me while I apply pressure. It’s a slightly different approach, but I think that’s what makes us unique.

When osteopath Sean Conley treated President Donald Trump for COVID-19, some critics questioned his expertise. Doctors and DOs alike rushed to his defense. What do you think?

He is a trained doctor and I trust doctors. I believe there will always be misinformation, whether in the physician realm, the political realm, or the patient realm. It is our job to let you know if there is any incorrect information.

In many ways, PCOM is like family to you.

I owe PCOM a lot. I want to return my debt to the school.

My father is a former police officer in Philadelphia. My mother was a secretary. Before going to PCOM, I didn’t have many connections with doctors. I spent my life here. I was trained here as a medical student. I came back and worked here. I owe most of my medical career to his PCOM and even to meeting his wife. I am proud to help you in your new role.

It sounds like teaching has been an important part of your career almost from the beginning.

That’s why I came back. Patients always come first. But it’s nice to give back. It would be great if you could help us with the future training of our profession. I am paying in advance.

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