LEWISBURG, WV (WVNS) — Congresswoman Carol Miller was in Greenbrier County, hoping to find out how students are coping during the COVID-19 pandemic. She visited the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine on Wednesday, October 14, 2020.
One of the goals of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine is to produce physicians prepared to work in rural communities. While COVID-19 changed the way classes are taught in different schools across the country, Hailey Craig, a student at WVSOM, said she felt prepared to transition into online learning since the beginning of the pandemic.
“So we are in small groups and limiting exposure that way. So, a lot of our classes and labs are virtual,” Craig said.
Craig was born and raised in Raleigh County. She said the holistic style of medicine the school teaches always interested her. She said originally she did not plan on practicing medicine in West Virginia after graduation, but during her time at WVSOM she learned how much of an impact quality healthcare can have on a rural area.
“Working with the standardized patients and talking more with the guest speakers that they have had in the school has really sparked a passion in rural medicine for me, and I think it really has for a lot of my peers as well,” said Craig.
This passion to provide rural health care brought Congresswoman Miller to WVSOM. Miller said she made it her mission to try to boost the economy and living conditions in areas potentially damaged by COVID-19. She believes the healthcare system in the state needs to be improved in order to achieve these goals.
“They are our leaders of tomorrow and tomorrow is just around the corner, and what they are learning is just so important, and the fact that they are willing to give their lives to healthcare and helping this area it means so much,” said Congresswoman Miller.
During a time when working in healthcare can be one of the most stressful jobs, students and staff said they feel confident their voices are heard all the way in Washington D.C.
“It’s really important for us to know that we have representatives that are fighting for us,” said Craig.