Bridgeport Physician Josalyn Mann Enjoys Supporting Students in WVSOM Regional Assistant Dean Role

By Connect-Bridgeport Staff on October 03, 2023 via

For Josalyn Mann, D.O., one of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine’s (WVSOM) eight regional assistant deans, one day of the year stands head and shoulders above all others.
“There’s nothing better than graduation day,” said Mann, who leads the Central East Region of WVSOM’s Statewide Campus. “Seeing students persevere through the challenges of medical school and walk across the stage is incredible. I’ve had students specifically ask me to hood them, and knowing that I’ve helped shape their education or made a difference in some way is almost like seeing your own child graduate.”
WVSOM’s Central East Region is home to the school’s third- and fourth-year students who are on rotations at hospitals and medical centers in Bridgeport, Clarksburg, Elkins, Weston, Buckhannon, Gassaway and Morgantown, W.Va. Mann is headquartered at WVU Medicine United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, though she spends much of her time traveling among the various facilities that partner with WVSOM to help train students during what are known as a medical school’s “clinical years.”
Mann was raised in Bridgeport, the daughter of a registered nurse and nursing educator who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees while Mann was in grade school. Her mother instilled in Mann and her two sisters the importance of learning.
“I remember seeing her better her education, pushing herself and staying motivated to improve things. She became our cheerleader, and she pushed us to be as well-educated as possible,” Mann said.
While in junior high school, where her father was a math teacher, Mann discovered a love for science. In high school, an anatomy teacher nurtured her interest in medicine — a profession she was drawn to for its emphasis on bringing comfort to others.
“I wanted to be able to help people by preventing and treating disease, but I’ve also always loved hearing people’s stories,” she said. “Everyone has a story to tell, and as their primary care provider, I get to hear about their lives and share in their joys and sorrows. I’m part of their support system.”
Mann went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, W.Va., and when the time came to accept an offer to medical school, the choice was easy.
“I applied to all three state schools, but my first interview was at WVSOM, and I fell in love with it. It felt right. It felt like home,” Mann said. “I liked the small nature of Lewisburg, and everybody was warm and friendly and made me feel welcome. After that, I didn’t even want to complete my other interviews, but I did, even though I’d decided I was going to WVSOM.”
Mann graduated in WVSOM’s Class of 2004 after spending an additional year working as a graduate teaching assistant in the school’s Department of Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP). The experience allowed her to hone her skills in providing the hands-on therapeutic techniques that are part of the foundation of osteopathic medicine.
“I had the opportunity to teach first- and second-year students and was given the ability to work alongside and under OPP department faculty. They helped me develop palpation skills and assisted in my knowledge of advanced techniques, which I’ve found extremely valuable in my practice,” she said.
Mann completed a family medicine internship and residency at Doctors Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, where she was named the Merck Outstanding Resident of the Year before returning to her home town and becoming a family physician with Bridgeport Physicians Care (BPC), a subsidiary of United Physicians Care, which is in turn a division of United Hospital Center.
She served as a preceptor to WVSOM students before joining the school’s faculty as a regional assistant dean in 2018, and continues to work with BPC, having spent a total of 16 years with the organization.
WVSOM’s regional assistant deans wear many hats, she said.
“My primary job is to help bridge students’ time from their first and second years on campus through graduation. I help facilitate rotations in their third and fourth years, and I do career counseling and spend time working on their residency applications. We’re also students’ support system; if they need anything, we provide resources or link them to resources in the area. I try to visit all our preceptors, because they’re an important part of educating our students. We deliver updates from the school and invite them to attend faculty development sessions. I also facilitate relationships with our hospitals and make sure they understand we’re partnering in education with them.”
In March 2023, Mann accepted an additional position with WVSOM, becoming the school’s assistant dean for Statewide Campus. In this role, she assists Arthur Rubin, D.O., FACOP, WVSOM’s associate dean for predoctoral clinical education, in leading all seven regions in the school’s Statewide Campus system.
Her responsibilities are numerous, but Mann said she treasures the part she plays in ensuring WVSOM’s aspiring physicians are able to achieve their goals.
“I encourage students to follow their dreams. I tell them that it’s going to be a lot of work, that it’s going to be difficult, but that it’s well worth it when you have patients who become almost like family because you’ve gone through so much with them. When you consider what a privilege it is to become someone’s physician and have an impact on their life, it’s amazing,” she said.

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