First year medical students receive stethoscopes,
Family uses tragedy to encourage future physicians to make a
(ATHENS, Ohio – Aug. 15, 2013) First year medical students at the
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM)
now carry a stethoscope engraved with the phrase "Excel in Leaving a
Mark." The 142 stethoscopes for students in the Class of 2017 were
gifts made possible by the Jason Madachy Foundation and the OU-HCOM
Society of Alumni and Friends.
The Jason Madachy Foundation is a nonprofit organization that Dolly
and Joe Madachy established in memory of their son Jason, an
aspiring physician, who died tragically weeks after his graduation
from Miami University in 2007 and just before beginning medical
In a ceremony that moved many to tears with the story of Jason and
the altruism of the family, students hugged Mrs. Madachy as she gave
each of them their
Littmann Cardiology III stethoscope.
Mrs. Madachy explained that the stethoscope was a poignant and
lasting gift meant to encourage the future physicians to do their
best and to be the best at what they do.
“We are here not only to give you your stethoscopes, but to remind
you not to wait to tomorrow. Get out of your comfort zone and make a
difference,” said Mrs. Madachy. “When you become a physician you’ll
have this stethoscope in your hands when you save a patient.”
“Your work comes from your heart to the hearts of your patients.
This tool will touch the hearts of your patients,” Mr. Madachy said.
The Madachys wanted to find a meaningful way to commemorate Jason’s
life and to inspire others to give back. Jason was heavily involved
with philanthropic activities. “He also wanted to become a doctor
since a young age, and he was always giving back. He wanted to make
a difference,” Mrs. Madachy said.
While still in shock over the sudden death of their son, the idea to
present first year medical students with stethoscopes came to them
while at the White Coat Ceremony for the Marshall University College
of Medicine Class of 2011, of which Jason would have been a member.
Two faculty members at Marshall presented each student with a
stethoscope in Jason’s memory. Soon after, the Madachys established
the foundation with the intent to purchase stethoscopes for medical
The foundation presented its first stethoscopes to A.T. Still
University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Class of
2013, of which Jason’s younger brother, Jeff, was a member. Jeff had
earned his undergraduate degree from Ohio University, and seven
years ago he founded the annual Polar Bear Plunge fundraiser for the
Special Olympics in honor of his brother. Jeff is now a first year
resident at OhioHealth’s Doctors Hospital.
Jacqueline Zuponcic, OMS IV, first connected the college with the
Jason Madachy Foundation after receiving a stethoscope from the
foundation upon her matriculation to OU-HCOM. “My
classmates at Miami University who also matriculated received
stethoscopes as gifts from the foundation as well.” Mrs. Madachy
contacted her about providing stethoscopes to new students at
OU-HCOM in honor of Jason.
So far, the Jason Madachy Foundation has distributed stethoscopes to
medical students at more than a dozen medical schools nationally,
most of which are in Ohio.
“You received your white coats which are seen as your entry into the
family of medicine, and the stethoscope really is a symbol of being
a physician,” said OU-HCOM Executive Dean Kenneth H. Johnson, D.O.,
who noted that it will be with each of the students throughout their
academic career at the college. “It will be an invaluable tool that
each of you will use with your patients as you become a doctor of
The OU-HCOM Society of Alumni and Friends Board is committed to
providing stethoscopes to first year students well into the future,
said Laurie Lach, director of alumni affairs.
This year was the second OU-HCOM students received stethoscopes.
College alumni have the opportunity to sponsor the purchase of a
stethoscope for an incoming student, and the Madachys and Society
members urged this year’s class to give back after they graduate.
“The alumni society believes that this reinforces and moves forward
in a small but significant way the essential values of the college,
values of a commitment to service, generosity and compassion,” said
Tim Law, D.O. (’94), assistant professor of family medicine and a
member of the Society’s board of directors.
“This gift serves first as a medical instrument that you will use
each day, but it also serves as a symbol for our alumni society to
inspire each of you, our first year osteopathic medical students, to
give back to your community and your alma mater when your time
allows,” Dr. Law told the Class of 2017. “As you receive your
stethoscope, remember that it is more than a medical instrument, it
is a symbol of caring for and giving to others.”
First year students Josi Herren, Dan Krajcik and Bill Wilson, who
joined the couple for lunch on Wednesday, presented the Madachys
with flowers and a card signed by the class. Having started medical
school just weeks ago, Herren described wearing a stethoscope as,
“…feeling like playing dress up, but it is a good reminder that we
are here for a reason.”
“This is an amazing gift, a perfect gift to give to a medical
student,” said Wilson as he offered thanks to the Madachys on behalf
of his classmates. “Whenever we look at this engraving, we will
remember you. We thank you for going the extra mile to be here with
us. You are the most compassionate and loving and thoughtful