NYITCOM’s student takes first in national poster competition

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NYITCOM’s Byrd Takes First Place in Poster Competition at National Convention

JONESBORO, AR – Katherine Byrd, a third-year medical student at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine-Arkansas, won first place in the research student poster competition at the national Osteopathic Medical Education Conference (OMED) held last week in Baltimore, MD.

Byrd’s poster was titled, “”Developing a ‘Migraneous’ Rat Model to Evaluate the Efficacy and Mechanisms of OMT on Migraine Relief.” The poster detailed Byrd’s current research involving Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) to treat migraines in rats. Byrd is studying the effects of OMM on migraine sufferers and examining how the treatment works. OMM is the therapeutic application of manual pressure or force that osteopathic physicians use to treat structural or functional issues in the bones, joints, tissues and muscles of the body.

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Byrd’s first-place finish came in a competition featured approximately 100 entries from osteopathic medical students from across the United States. OMED, which hosted the competition, is the American Osteopathic Association’s annual conference that thousands of osteopathic physicians and medical students attend.

“This is an incredible honor and we couldn’t be prouder of Student Doctor Byrd,” said Shane Speights, D.O., Dean of NYITCOM-Arkansas. “Medical research is an important tenant of our college, and we’re very honored to see one of our students receive such prestigious recognition for their tremendous work.”

Byrd, who is from Athens, TN, is currently participating in NYITCOM’s Academic Medicine Scholars program. Academic Scholars step away from their clinical education for one year during medical school to gain supervised research and teaching experience. NYITCOM’s Academic Scholars spend five years in medical school as opposed to the traditional four, and they graduate with a Master’s degree in Neuromusculoskeletal Sciences in addition to their Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree.

Academic Scholars are required to complete research as part of the program. Byrd, who is working with NYITCOM faculty Jennifer Xie, Ph.D., and Regina Fleming, D.O., on the project, chose her topic in part due to the opportunity to effectively merge principles of OMM and neuroscience.

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“The goal of the study is to advocate for the mechanism of OMM and provide robust evidence basis for the treatment, which clinically shows improved quality of life in people who have migraines,” Byrd said. “I’m extremely honored to be recognized at a competition that featured the brightest medical students in the country. It’s very humbling.”

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