Student Handbook Addendum #3


Pg. 16


Confidential mental health professional counseling is available to all NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine students to assist them in coping with the stresses of medical school. Counseling services include:

  1. On Campus services available:
    1. NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Academic Health Centers provide mental health counseling services from a psychologist.  Students can schedule appointments at the Academic Health Center in the Riland Building – Tele # 516-686-1300 or at the Family Health Care Center of Central IslipTele# 631-348-3254.
    2. The NYIT Counseling and Wellness Center provides mental health counseling from mental health counselors, MSW’s and psychiatrists to NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine students on the Old Westbury campus, Theabold Hall room 401, Tele # 516-686-7976.


  1. North Shore – LIJ Behavioral Health College Partnership (BHCP) at the Zucker Hillside Hospital, 75-59 263rd Street, Ambulatory Care Pavilion, Glen Oaks, NY 11004, Tele# 718-470-8100. When you are connected, please press option 2 and inform the Intake Coordinator that you are a student at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine.


  1. Guardian Life and Disability Insurance Plans provides the following confidential services:
    1. Telephonic consultation with a Student Assistance Counselor;
    2. Three free sessions with a local counselor;
    3. Web site with information on wellness and more.

Any interested student should contact the Guardian Insurance’s Integrated Behavior Health Department by calling Tele # 800-386-7055.  The counselor will work with the student to assess the initial needs and direct the student to an appropriate, local mental health provider.

Please note:  To support the student Mental Health Counseling Services, NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine has established a Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) whose members from multiple divisions at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine meet regularly to track patterns, trends and disturbances in individual and group student behavior.  The team requests reports from all members of the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine community of disrupting or concerning behavior of any student of our community.  The team then uses its resources for support, required intervention, response and appropriate follow up.

Alumnus Submission: A Road to a Sub-Specialty in a Specialty

Jeffrey DeSarbo, Class of 2001

A Road to a Sub-Specialty in a Specialty

by  Jeffrey DeSarbo, D.O., Class of 2001

My entire road into medicine was certainly not one of the most traveled. Having graduated from Hofstra University in 1985 with a degree in banking and finance, my first job was working in foreign debt restructuring, one block from the World Trade Center.  Within a year I started my own advertising and marketing research company, and while on a business trip in Baltimore, I had a bad cigar (actually having never smoked, I thought I was supposed to inhale). Later, I became sick at night and had a dream that I was a doctor.

When I returned from that trip, at the age of 28 with 2 children, a house and a very supportive wife, I discussed with my wife my desire to return to college for my premed requirements and to go to medical school to become a pediatrician.

It took sacrifice on both our parts, but I felt it was something I needed to do in my life.

So when I began NYCOM in 1997, I thought I knew I was going  to be a pediatrician. I had two children of my own and thought I could make a good doctor for kids. By my second year in med school, I had become fascinated with infectious disease and thought I found my new “calling”. The thought of working for the CDC in a bio-level 4 lab and possibly traveling to jungles in a spacesuit hunting for a virus sounded so cool.

During my clinical rotations in the third year I was open to experiencing the different fields in medicine and began clarifying my specific interests. OB/GYN, not for me. Radiology, not for me. Internal medicine, possibly. Surgery, not for me. Pediatrics, something I was considering, lost my interest when I found myself dealing more with worried adults and less than I thought with the children, not for me.

Then, during a psychiatry rotation at St. Barnabus in the Bronx, I experienced something that I had never experienced on any other rotation; each day that I went to work, it never seemed like work.

It reminded me of something that was said by our Dean on orientation day at NYCOM:

 “ If you enjoy what you do for a living, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

I also remember that in fourth grade I purchased and read a book called A Layman’s Guide to Psychology. I knew I had to pursue psychiatry.

It wasn’t a hard to decision for me to make although the idea of specializing in psychiatry never really occurred until my clinical rotation. However, my best friend, Marc Schwartz, who I attended premed classes with at Hofstra and grew close to at NYCOM, also found his psychiatry rotation to be the one he enjoyed most, but debated about diverting from his initial interests in surgery and GI. In the end, he too selected to pursue psychiatry and to this day is pleased with his decision.

The initial thoughts of going into psychiatry certainly made both of us initially feel that we would be “giving up” all our acquired medical knowledge and procedures that had been stuffed into our heads over the past two years.

We both realized, however, that we had to choose what ultimately gave us the most personal satisfaction. Once the decision was made, I (we) never looked backed or second-guessed our decision and have subsequently found that the field of psychiatry is becoming more and more biologically based. However, for both of us, we decided to sub-specialize, Dr. Schwartz in child psychiatry and me in eating disorders. Having known very little about eating disorders prior to medical school, I learned a great deal from my residency director at North Shore University Hospital, Dr. Victor Fornari, and especially from the patients I had during my training there.

I was attracted to the field of eating disorders for several reasons. First, in psychiatry, very few clinicians want to work with eating disorder patients. The condition is one of the most misunderstood illnesses and can be very frustrating. complicated and time-consuming for a physician.  Secondly, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa, have the highest mortality of any psychiatric diagnosis including major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. For this reason, again, many psychiatrists avoid working with these patients who have a very complex presentation, while I felt this was another challenge to be improved upon.

Thirdly, eating disorders come with an array of medical complications affecting multiple organ systems unlike any other psychiatric condition. Thus, I have remained current with my knowledge in physical medicine for patient care and when coordinating treatment with other physicians. In fact, the medical presentation of an eating disorder patient has so many Trojan horses that I often lecture to other physicians about the specifics and unique interpretations of laboratory work and physical exams on eating disorder patients.  Additionally, I have enjoyed the fact that my specialty and sub-specialty is advancing with the use of neuroimaging technology, and I have expanded my contributions to the field by developing a website newscast on eating disorder research and am currently finishing a book entitled, Demystifying the Biology of Eating Disorders. With a lack of intensive services for complicated patients and conditions, I have also started a center called ED-180 Eating Disorder Treatment Programs which offers Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) and day programs as well. And, as a rare psychiatrist truly specializing in eating disorder treatment, I have even been called to consult and treat patients in other countries. All this began at NYCOM.

The ED-180 therapeutic dining room

Selecting a field of medicine and building a career and practice need not be limited by stereotypical roadmaps. What is most important is that one pursues a path that is fulfilling and then success will follow. As an osteopathic psychiatrist, the challenge of discovering a way to successfully treat patients requires the backbone philosophy of osteopathic treatment of seeing the patient as a whole, mind, body and soul, and the deliverance of care in the most compassionate form.  For myself, the roads I have chosen as an osteopath have been very fulfilling.

For more information on Dr. DeSarbo or ED-180 you may go to and .

On-site ED-180 exam room


Dr. DeSarbo’s therapy office

So You Think You Can Diagnose?

By: Molly Kelly, OMS-IV

Case 1:

An 8 year old second-grader is brought to the pediatrician by her parents who state that their normally quiet and polite daughter has gradually started behaving boisterous and rude. She has been repeating the word “cabbage head” while stumbling around the house running into doorways and tripping over steps. Her parents also report that there has been a gradual decrease in her grades and states that she no longer can correctly answer homework questions but rather draws pictures on her homework papers. Her parents have also noticed that she has oddly had spells of hyperventilation or spells of breath-holding in addition to loud teeth grinding.

Case 2

A 78 year old elderly woman presents to her physician with the complaint of her lower dentures falling out of her mouth for the past 2 days as she has pain and difficulty closing her mouth because her “tongue has gotten too big to fit inside.” Upon exam she is noted to have a fever of 100.4, stiff neck, and to be drooling. She also has a woody induration in her sub-mandibular area but no lymphadenopathy is appreciated. The patient is immediately sent to the Emergency Department where a CT is ordered.

What is wrong with this patient, and what is the ideal treatment?

Case 3

A 16 year old teenage male presents to his family physician appearing apprehensive. Upon questioning, he admits he has recently started wetting the bed at night. He also complains of involuntary muscle contraction in his hands as well as generalized weakness and fatigue. Upon exam, he demonstrates a positive Chvostek sign and is noted to have dry skin. What electrolyte abnormalities are characterized by this patient’s disorder?

Case 4

A 25 year old man returns from a two month backpacking trip along the Ogooue River in Western Africa where he was exploring the native population’s healthcare remedies. His notices something in his eye that looks like a squiggly line under the cornea after bouts of red itchy swellings under his skin on his face. What is wrong with this guy’s eye?




Case 1- This girl has Spielmeyer-VogtSjogren-Batten Disease aka Batten’s Disease. It is the most common form of a group of disorders called neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (or NCLs) where an autosomal recessive mutation causes the buildup of lipofuscins in the body’s tissues. Symptoms of this rare, fatal autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder are of gradual onset where affected children sufer mental impairment, onset of seizures, progressive loss of sight to eventually becoming blind, bedridden, and demented. As there is no cure, children afflicted with this disease die at age 13-18 years depending on the type of mutation.

Case 2- This woman has Ludwig’s Angina which is a bilateral polymicrobial infection of the submandibular space that consists of the sublingual space and the submylohyoid space in the floor of the mouth. This diagnosis has the classical description of an aggressive, rapidly spreading “woody” or brawny cellulitis involving the submandibular space without lymphatic involvement and typically without abscess formation bilaterally. Computed tomography is the imaging modality of choice as treatment consists of assessment and management of the airway in addition to empiric broad-spectrum IV antibiotics for 2-3 weeks.

Case 3- This guy has Gitelman’s Syndrome characterized by hypokalemia, hypocalcemia, and hypomagnesemia. This is an autosomal recessive disorder with a mutation in the gene coding for the thiazide-sensitive Na-Cl cotransporter in the distal tubule manifesting in late childhood and adolescence.

Case 4- This man has an infection with the filarial nematode, Loa Loa. This parasitic worm is spread via the bite of the female Chrysops fly in Western and Central African countries. The worm is often directly visible as it crosses the conjunctiva, which usually takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes. It is more common in individuals who are not native but have had extended exposure to demonstrate Calabar swellings or red itchy swellings below the skin. Treatment of loiasis involves chemotherapy with diethylcarbamazine (DEC) although in some cases, surgical removal of adult worms followed by systemic treatment is appropriate.

A Diabetic Delight

By: Lauren Iacono, OMS-II

This recipe is not only great for those with Diabetes – but anyone wanting to find a healthy and delicious dinner solution that will leave them feeling energized and satisfied!
Inspiration for this recipe – second year Endocrine System

Grilled Chicken Kabobs with broccoli and brown rice
Serving Size 4 Dinners (to prepare for a larger group – adjust servings according)
-Heat grill pan or fire up the BBQ

4 chicken breasts (1/person) – a thicker cut will be best to cut into cubes
Wash chicken and cut into cube size of your choice
Lightly coat the chicken cubes with pure olive oil, lemon juice and pepper
Slide chicken cubes onto metal skewers – you can also add onions or any other vegetables to the skewers for flavor and fun, plus a bunch more healthy antioxidants! –
-Place on grill and cover – cooking for 10-12 minutes (or until chicken is thoroughly cooked throughout)
Health Benefit! Chicken is a great source of lean protein! Protein is necessary in order to maintain cellular function and to meet the bodies energy needs in order to prevent muscle breakdown! Very little protein is converted to glucose in the body – also allowing your insulin levels to remain steady after a meal! When eaten as a part of a balanced diet, protein provides you with all the essential amino acids and gives you the energy you need to conquer the day!

1 cup Brown Rice ( ¼ cup/person)
Prepare brown rice using the manufactures instructors – to give the rice some flavor with out the added salt or saturated fat from butter – prepare the rice in low sodium chicken broth in place of water!
Add peeper and lemon juice if decided for extra flavor and to complement the taste of the chicken
Health Benefit! Brown rice is a slow releasing carbohydrate. These carbohydrates are digested more slowly and help keep blood sugar levels even by preventing the body from producing more insulin!
Also since they are digested more slowly – they keep you full longer and give you lasting energy!

4 cups of steamed broccoli (1 cup/ person)
Steam broccoli for approximately ten minutes
Coat with a tablespoon of pure olive oil, lemon juice and pepper
Health Benefit! Broccoli is a powerful antioxidant that has a protective effect against oxidative stress – shown to be a driver of insulin resistance, which can lean to diabetes! Broccoli is also high in fiber and great for digestive health, plus much more!

Olive oil, a monounsaturated fat, has also not only been shown to help keep glucose levels in check – but also triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels – also necessary for optimal health, especially in diabetics.

Plate servings and enjoy!!

Alleman, Gayle. Health Benefits of Olive Oil.
Daniells, Stephen. Broccoli Sprouts Show Benefits for Diabetes.
Diabetes Diet and Food Tips. Eating to prevent, control and reverse diabetes.


By: Eric Ascher, OMS-II

It affected over 24 states. It hit the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine. It went across the Appalachian Mountains. Tunnels and subway lines had power cut across the country. Damage was estimated to be in the billions. It was a “Superstorm”.

Hurricane Sandy was estimated to be the worst storm to hit the Long Island area, ever. Before the storm hit, I had the vision of starting NYCOM Cares. NYCOM Cares was aimed to be a set of charity drives and events held at NYCOM in order to benefit the community at large, while maintaining the osteopathic oath of displaying care and compassion to those in need. In the unfortunate wake of the storm, I decided to hasten our mission and start immediately. During the week that school was closed, I spent many days thinking what we could do as an institution and researching into the needs of the community.

While without power for a few days, without a charged laptop to study, and without a cable box to watch News 12, I relied on fast texting in fear my cell phone battery would die. Despite these obstacles, I had been in touch with many colleagues from school and learned Long Island was hit really bad. To this day, people across Long Island, as well as my family, are just beginning to pick up their feet. Garbage that has been accumulating for now five weeks, has just begun to be picked up. What once was my hometown in Oceanside, with family businesses, elementary schools, corner shops, and shopping centers full of memories, is all gone.

I decided that we needed to use our resources at NYCOM and start our efforts the day we returned back to campus. With the help of Linda Darroch-Short and Dean Bruno and Dean Achtziger, we set up places to donate as well as boxes for collection. We collected personal care items, clothing, jackets, hats, gloves, accessories, food for Thanksgiving, household products, and blankets — anything anyone felt appropriate to donate. We were collecting monetary donations for our students at school and for a youth center that was destroyed in New York City. The Deans helped set up a Car Pool system that was very well received by students and faculty. Within the first two hours the two boxes in the lobby were both three quarters full. By the end of the day, those two boxes were overflowing. By the end of the week, we had to stop collecting as the boxes in the lobby and the SGA office were filled! I have been involved with many drives in the past, but never in one week did I think we would get the response we got from all of you. The amount of gratitude I have to those students, faculty, and administration involved is immeasurable. Within a few hours of posting and asking for help in bringing the donations to donation drop off stations, the response was incredible as well. Everyone seemed to come together at this time of need to help our students and their families at NYCOM who were in need, as well as those located on Long Island and Staten Island. I am certain that with every single item dropped off, you have helped someone or their family immensely.

I have always been proud to be a student at NYCOM. Once I finally got cable back and was able to use the Internet, I checked the NYCOM Facebook groups to see my many notifications. The amount of students who opened up their hearts, houses, and wallets in order to make sure other students had food, a hot shower, a warm place to stay for a little while or even sleep over, a ride back and forth to school, and electricity and outlets was innumerable. I was so proud to see everyone come together in this critical time of destruction. While the name of the school is changing, the dedication of the students in order to help each other get through the four years we signed up for will never change, and for that, I could not be happier to call you all peers, colleagues, and classmates. #ilessthan3nycom #ilessthan3NYITCollegeOfOsteopathicMedicine