of medical students graduate with college’s new name
Fifty-four percent choose to practice
primary care, 63 percent to remain in Ohio
(ATHENS, Ohio – June 2,
Commencement of the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic
Medicine signals a new era for the medical school.
115 graduates of the Class of 2012 are the first to receive diplomas
with the college’s new name, so designated last year after it
received a historic $105 million gift from the Osteopathic Heritage
Foundations. The Foundations gave the college the transformational
gift to address some of the most pressing health care issues across
the state and the nation – the impending shortage of primary care
physicians and the diabetes epidemic.
funds new primary care scholarships
this year’s graduates are the first 12 recipients of the new
Osteopathic Heritage Foundations Primary Care Incentive
Scholarships, which were established with funding from the April
2011 Osteopathic Heritage Foundations gift. The $15,000 scholarships
were established to assist fourth year medical students who are
lifelong Ohio residents who make a commitment to go into a primary
care residency programs in Ohio, and will then go on to practice in
Ohio in a primary care specialty of family medicine, general
internal medicine or general pediatrics.
Recipients of the
award include Lindsay Rachelle Bradbee, D.O.; Victoria Marie
DiGennaro, D.O.; Amanda Christine Ferrell, D.O.; Carl R. Fry, D.O.;
Stephanie Kay Hertz, D.O., Nicklaus James Hess, D.O.: LaQuita Marie
Jones, D.O.; Jennifer Ashley Lazor, D.O.; Stephanie Marie Maus, D.O.;
Rebecca J. Schroeder, D.O.; Louis E. Volino, D.O.; and
Gwendolyn Leigh Welsh, D.O.
members of the Class of 2012, OU-HCOM has graduated 2,898 physicians
and surgeons. Sixty three percent of the new graduates will remain
in Ohio for their residency programs, and 54 percent will enter a
residency in a primary care specialty.
Saturday’s event also was the last Commencement ceremony that
Jack Brose, D.O., addressed the graduates as dean of OU-HCOM.
This year marks his 11th graduation ceremony as dean. At the end of
June, Dr. Brose will step down from his position as executive dean
of health affairs at Ohio University and dean of the medical school
to accept a new position as vice provost of health affairs in Ohio
University’s Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.
“In his 30 years
at the college as a faculty member and researcher, more than 10 of
those serving as dean, Dr. Brose has made indelible marks on the
college, the university and medical education in Ohio,” said Ohio
University President Roderick J. McDavis, Ph.D.
tenure as dean, the medical school became the fourth named college
on campus thanks to the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations’ gift, the
largest single gift in the history of higher education in Ohio, Dr.
McDavis noted. Dr. McDavis added that the number of students at the
college increased by 40 percent and new facilities were built
including one for research, another for clinical simulation and the
college’s free clinic. OU-HCOM also is developing a new medical
school campus in central Ohio.
“We are very
proud of Dr. Brose and his leadership, his advocacy, and his
contributions on behalf of primary care education, service to the
underserved, and medical research,” Dr. McDavis said.
Interest in family
medicine started early for OU-HCOM graduate
Since first volunteering in
junior high school to work with pediatric patients in the hometown
hospital where she was born, Lindsay Rachelle Bradbee, D.O.,
knew she loved family medicine.
During high school,
Dr. Bradbee became a state tested nursing assistant working at the
hospital’s medical-surgical floor, as well as holding a part time
job at an assisted living facility. “I wanted to experience health
care at all stages of life,” she said.
“The ability to care
for an individual throughout all the stages of their life underlines
a continuity of care present in family medicine that is not often
found in any other specialty,” Dr. Bradbee said. “I appreciate the
role of continuity in the care of an entire person and have a
genuine respect for the responsibility of the family practitioner.”
undergraduate years of college, Dr. Bradbee became involved with a
children’s medical mission that provided life-saving medical
interventions for children from impoverished countries who came to
Ohio for medical care. There she served as a primary caretaker for
children. Since then, she has travelled to southern Mexico, Ghana
and Liberia to work in orphanages and advocate for the medical needs
of orphaned children with special needs.
“Every time I arrive
in these impoverished countries, the shock and horror I feel when
witnessing their living conditions and health disparities remains
the same,” Dr. Bradbee said. “In addition to realizing that mission
work will always be a part of my life, the importance of simple
health care education and preventative medicine was made so clear to
Her experiences made
such a deep impression on her that while completing her clinical
rotations the past two years, she and her husband adopted a special
needs child from Nigeria.
“The efforts of
Lindsay and her husband to provide for the healthcare and social
needs of their new son while she was continuously performing at an
exceptionally high level on her rotations illustrates how remarkable
Lindsay is,” said Nicholas G. Espinoza, D.O. (’90),
CORE assistant dean.
Dr. Bradbee was one
of the 12 recipients of this year’s Osteopathic Heritage Foundations
Primary Care Incentive Scholarships, and she received the OU-HCOM
Family Practice Award. Bradbee will begin a family medicine
residency at the Promedica Toledo Hospital in Toledo.
experiences influenced new family medicine physician
Visiting other countries also
influenced Sara Thorp, D.O., who was named 2011 Student D.O.
of the Year, an award presented by the American Association of
Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Council of Osteopathic Student
What finally pushed Dr. Thorp to apply
for medical school at OU-HCOM was an encounter she had with a D.O.
at a free clinic in the highlands of Guatemala. Dr.
Thorp was impressed with this physician’s hands-on personal
approach, and how he cared for his patients and empowered them by
teaching them home exercises and performing osteopathic manipulation
medicine as treatment.
“At 24, I had never heard of osteopathic medicine,”
Dr. Thorp said. “But after working with Craig Allan Dietz, D.O., for
several days, seeing his skill and his empathy, and learning about
his training, the light bulb went off. I'd found a path through
medicine that felt right for me.”
After graduating from Earlham College in Richmond,
Ind., Dr. Thorp lived and traveled in 22 countries outside of the
U.S. often doing active work in health care. She explained that she
tried to learn about how people live, what they struggle for, and
how social and political systems affect lives.
Prior to matriculation at OU-HCOM, Dr. Thorp
participated in a variety of health care initiatives in Bolivia,
Guatemala and South Africa. Her efforts in those locations ranged
from researching medical, legal and social support resources for
sexual assault survivors, to working with HIV prevention, service
and political organizations.
“Seeing how other countries have worked to overcome
these injustices in health care has been humbling and inspiring and
has encouraged my efforts towards new systems in the U.S. beyond the
market-driven health care model that is such an obvious failure for
so many,” said Dr. Thorp.
After graduation, she will start a family medicine
residency program at Ventura County Medical Center in Ventura,
“[The family medicine residency at Ventura] will prepare me to work
anywhere in the world, and I'll be training alongside a team deeply
committed to serving marginalized patients and transforming the
unjust systems that lead to inequitable distribution of health
care,” said Dr. Thorp.
Dr. Thorp also was the recipient of OU-HCOM’s Social Medicine Award.
Research lies at
the heart of both the education of and the practice of medicine
“Research is an important part of becoming a physician, because
medicine involves life-long learning,” said Paul Eichenseer, D.O.
The recipient of
this year’s Biomedical Sciences Award, Dr. Eichenseer worked as a
research associate at the Ohio State University prior to beginning
osteopathic medical school at OU-HCOM. “It’s so important to do
research as a student, a resident and as a physician, because it
keeps you up on the cutting-edge knowledge in medicine,” he said.
During his second
year at OU-HCOM, Dr. Eichenseer was the first recipient of the
Sybert Family Orthopaedic Research Award, designed to promote
osteopathic student research in the field of orthopedics. As
third-year medical student, he was the principal
investigator on an article published in the October 2011
edition of Spine, titled “Finite element sacroiliac joint
Most recently, Dr. Eichenseer joined forces with his
mentor, Daryl Sybert, D.O. (’86), to co-found and become the
principal investigator for the New Albany Surgical Hospital’s
Computational Biomechanics Lab. “I saw that it was something that we
didn’t have, and I approached Dr. Sybert about it. It’s something
that we can use as a base of operations for various types of
research, enabling us to collaborate with OU-HCOM, Ohio State and
other physicians,” he said.
“I think that medicine is at a point that you always
have to be up and current on research and literature to make the
best decisions possible for your patient,” Dr. Eichenseer said. “And
I think the best way to understand the literature and the research
that you are reading is to have been through the process yourself.”
Dr. Eichenseer will
enter an orthopedic surgery residency this summer at Affinity
Medical Center in Massillon, Ohio. He was also the Mount Carmel West
Medical Center recipient of the Centers for Osteopathic Research and
Mentors share in
Seventy-two of this year’s graduates received their ceremonial hoods
from mentors, someone who was closely associated with their academic
program. “Allowing the mentors to hood the graduates signifies the
important role these physicians played in the students’ professional
education,” noted Brose. Twenty-nine of the students choose an
OU-HCOM alumnus as a mentor.
OU-HCOM graduates headed to military medical residencies.
Fourteen of the graduates will be entering military medical
residencies this summer, the most OU-HCOM graduates in one class to
do so. After Saturday’s ceremony, the 14 physicians were
commissioned as officers in a special ceremony.
“There is no better
medicine than that practiced in the military,” said Dr. Brose, who
himself served nine years as a physician in the United States Air
Force. “Military medicine uses a lot of osteopathic medicine as it
emphasizes preventing disease as opposed to treating disease.
Becoming a solider is a lot like becoming a physician because it
becomes a part of you,” Dr. Brose said. “Thank you from the bottom
of my heart for protecting our nation.”
entering military residencies include Ryan V. Burkhart, D.O.;
Dominique Starr Crosby, D.O.; Stephen Lee Fostyk, D.O., Justin Paul
Gusching, D.O., Emily Marie Heckendorn, D.O.; Melissa Flannery
Holland, D.O.; Jeanne Ocheze Hunter, D.O.; Candace Patrice Moore,
D.O.; Carl W. Noble, D.O.; Chase Andrew Scarbrough, D.O.; Samuel
Nelson Sigoloff, D.O., Jayme Ann Vogt, D.O.; Erika Alyse Wager, D.O.;
and Kenneth Robert Willaert, D.O.
alumni, and osteopathic physicians offer advice
past president of the OU-HCOM student government, and Lesley Anne
Ramos Kellie, D.O., president of the Class of 2012, addressed
their classmates by recalling their shared experiences and offering
some collegial advice.
thanked the OU-HCOM faculty members for their assistance during
“We would not be
competent doctors entering our dream residencies without those
grueling days,” Dr. Fuller said. “For those of you who are
physicians, I imagine the journey through medical school was as
stressful for you as it was for us, but I hope you felt the same
excitement we did when we passed an exam, mastered the history and
and scrubbed in on a surgery.”
Dr. Ramos Kellie
reminded her classmates to honor their patients, families, educators
and themselves by striving to care for
our patients with the same passion and vigor that they would
bring to the treatment of their
“Let us be the
doctor who calls our
patients ‘after business hours’ to check to see how they are
doing,” Dr. Ramos Kellie said. “Let us take the time to sit down
with family members and answer their questions.
Let us show our patients our passion, our concern, and our desire to
heal, treat, and
David Drozek, D.O.,
an assistant professor of surgery and 1983 graduate of OU-HCOM who
gave the keynote address during the ceremony, told the graduates to
weigh carefully their priorities.
“Make the right
choice. Guard your time and resources. Be frugal. Be wise. Be
focused and proactive, so that you can take a half-day off to serve
in the free clinic and a couple of weeks to go to Latin America,”
Dr. Drozek said. “You are needed to serve those nearby and around
the world. You are also needed to invest in the lives of those
coming after you as mentors, teachers and preceptors. Be ready! Be
willing! Be able!”
Dr. Drozek concluded
by thanking the students for allowing him to be a part of their
educational experience. “I have great hope and faith that our global
health care system will have a better future because of you, and
that you will help to make our world a better place,” he said.
included John Ramey, D.O. (‘92), president of the Ohio
Osteopathic Association; Robert Juhasz, D.O., a member of the
board of trustees of the American Osteopathic Association, and
Jeffrey Stanley, D.O. (’82), president of the OU-HCOM Society of
Alumni and Friends Board.