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OU-HCOM graduates 111 new physicians and surgeons
Ceremony highlights osteopathic heritage, compassionate patient care

In an impassioned keynote address, ranging from playful familiarity to heartfelt counsel, Charles T. Mehlman, D.O. MPH, FAOAO, invoked dignitaries from medical history at the 31st Commencement of the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Quoting Andrew Taylor Still, founder of osteopathic medicine, Mehlman reminded the 111 graduates that physicians “are not made in a day or a single year. Simply standing by and seeing work done by a competent operator will not qualify you to take the responsibility of life in your hands.”

Mehlman, a noted orthopaedic surgeon and 1989 graduate of OU-HCOM, encouraged graduates to take pride in their osteopathic heritage as they “move up the medical food chain” to residency, and to deliver the highest quality evidence-based patient care possible.

Be proud of your degree and the humble pragmatism that it represents,” Mehlman said. “The patient is why you are here. Try to never let patients suffer because of your arrogance or your ignorance.” Mehlman is professor of pediatric orthopaedic surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where he also serves as director of musculoskeletal outcomes research and director of pediatric orthopaedic resident education.

Family, friends and OU-HCOM faculty, staff and alumni filled Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium to watch as members of the Class of 2010 received their doctor of osteopathic medicine degrees during commencement exercises.

The graduates joined an alumni network of 2,565 physicians and surgeons, of whom 60 percent practice in Ohio. In this class, 74 percent will begin residency programs in Ohio.

Other speakers included Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis, Ph.D.; OU-COM Dean Jack Brose, D.O., FAAFP; Robert S. Juhasz, D.O., FACOI, trustee of the American Osteopathic Association; Christopher J. Loyke, D.O., FACOFP, 1988 OU-HCOM graduate and immediate past president of the Ohio Osteopathic Association; and Timothy J. Barreiro, D.O., FCCP, FACOI, 1997 OU-HCOM graduate and board secretary of the OU-HCOM Society of Alumni and Friends.

In his remarks, McDavis noted that these graduates join a community of noble professionals devoted to care and compassion. “You are prepared to practice medicine with integrity, commitment, respect for each patient, and a firm belief that your work can make a real difference,” he said.

Brose emphasized how honored he felt to work with the members of the Class of 2010. 

“We watched with admiration as they put their personal lives ‘on hold’ in order to master the basic sciences that are the foundation of medicine,” Brose said. “In their clinical years, we observed a remarkable transformation as they assumed the roles and responsibilities of student physicians. This has been an exciting and inspiring journey to witness.”

Brose noted that the graduates were starting residency programs in more than 20 medical specialties at hospitals around Ohio and across the nation, at institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Ohio State University, Nationwide Children’s, Akron Children’s, and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Medical Centers, The University of Cincinnati and the University of Pittsburgh. 

Double Graduates

Two graduates accomplished an extraordinary feat by concurrently earning their Ph.D. and D.O. degrees. Amy M. Zidron completed her Ph.D. in 2008 at Ohio University, and M. Chance Spalding recently earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Zidron will enter a pediatrics residency program at the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center at West Virginia University and Spalding will begin a general surgery residency at Doctors Hospital, Columbus. Both plan to incorporate medical research into their professional lives.

Elementary School Classmates Reunited at OU-HCOM

(From left) Daniel Silbiger, D.O.; Kate Brzozowski, D.O.; and Steve Detzel, D.O.

Daniel Silbiger, D.O.; Steve Detzel, D.O.; and Kate Brzozowski, D.O., graduated together from St. Paschal Baylon Elementary School near Cleveland in 1998. On Saturday, twelve years later, they graduated together again as newly minted osteopathic physicians.

Silbiger will enter an internal medicine residency at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland; Detzel will start an anesthesiology residency at the Cleveland Clinic; and Brzozowski begins a general internship at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Warren. 

In his remarks to graduates as the past president of OU-HCOM student government, Silbiger referred to his fellow graduates as “full of promise and passion for medicine.”

“Our futures as doctors have everything to do with hard work, dedication to patients, passion for making a difference, and commitment to our chosen profession.”

  Ohio University
Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
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Last updated: 09/14/2011