Bird Represents the South Carolina Osteopathic Medical Society as Student Trustee
Spartanburg, S.C. — Ashley Bird, a second-year medical student at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM-Carolinas) in Spartanburg, S.C., serves as a student trustee for the South Carolina Osteopathic Medical Society (SCOMS).
SCOMS is dedicated to improving and promoting public health in the state of South Carolina by the advancement of the science and profession of osteopathic medicine. Membership is open to osteopathic physicians practicing in the state of South Carolina who are graduates of an osteopathic college of medicine that is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and who hold a license from the Board of Medicine of South Carolina to practice as an osteopathic physician.
In her role as student trustee, Bird serves as a liaison between the SCOMS Board and South Carolina osteopathic medical students and communicates with them regarding SCOMS events in an effort to engage medical students in the activities of the state-wide medical society.
Bird has recently represented SCOMS at several state, regional and national meetings. She attended the AOA House of Delegates as the South Carolina student representative where she represented South Carolina and VCOM – Carolinas along with a few of her fellow students and faculty. Bird attended the South Carolina Medical Association (SCMA) Leadership Symposium in Columbia where a candidate for lieutenant governor and other medical professionals from a variety of different interest areas spoke to the attendees.
Dr. Timothy Kowalski, Dean for the VCOM – Carolinas Campus, invited Bird and other student leaders to attend College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) Day on the Hill in Washington, D.C. This annual event provides opportunities for AOA leadership, osteopathic physicians and osteopathic medical students to lobby legislators about issues important to the osteopathic profession. The Carolinas group spoke with their legislators and representatives to advocate for the expansion of graduate medical education and discussed the importance of saving Grad Plus Loan and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
“It has been such an honor to have these opportunities and I always try to represent the South Carolina osteopathic profession to the best of my abilities,” said Bird, who is from Florence, S.C. “I have been able to network with many people and hope to continue being a strong representative for SCOMS.”
In October, Bird was inducted into the Omega Beta Iota (OBI) National Osteopathic Advocacy Honor Society in San Diego at the Osteopathic Medical Education Conference (OMED) 2018. OBI was founded in 2007 to emphasize the importance of the work medical students do for the political system. Induction into OBI is an honorary recognition for politically active medical students and professional mentors who demonstrate excellence in healthcare politics.
I was humbled with pride to represent SCOMS as I sat there with many national organization leaders being inducted into the OBI Honor Society,” said Bird. “I was born and raised in South Carolina and have been very fortunate to attend medical school in South Carolina. It feels as though I have found my niche since being the student representative for SCOMS and I intend for these experiences throughout the past year to fire my passions moving forward.”
For more information, contact Tammy E. Whaley, executive director of the South Carolina Osteopathic Medical Society, at 864-327-9995.