Impactful PCOM Community Members | 125 Years Through 125 Stories
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125 Years Through 125 Stories

Impactful PCOM Community Members

Celebrating Our History of Inclusiveness 
125 Years Through 125 Stories

August 9, 2023

As the College moves toward its Quasquicentennial in 2024, Digest Magazine invites you to celebrate the spirit, character and myriad accomplishments of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine's first 125 years.

Through an ongoing series, presented in different mediums, we'll consider the College in the context of its past and future, chronicling the illustrious and untold stories of its people. We'll capture the richness and reality of place and the magnified moments that collectively reflect PCOM and its enduring commitment to meaningful education and experience. Reflection stories continue to celebrate our people—faculty, staff, alumni—and bring to light our College's history of inclusiveness, one that will continue to be a strategic priority.

Latest Reflection Stories

“Dr. Allen was held in high regard as a politician. She was the first Black woman to serve on Philadelphia City Council, in 1971, and later she was elected to an at-large Council seat. She was a Republican, which was a little bit different for a Black elected official in Philadelphia, then and now.”

Ethel D. Allen, DO ’63

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Ethel D. Allen, DO ’63 portrait

“Charbel has two master’s degrees from PCOM, and now he’s in a doctoral program, and on top of that he’s a director of a nonprofit. But he’s always offering to volunteer, to step in whenever I need him.”

Charbel M. Aoun, MS/Biomed ’20, MS/ODL ’21 (PharmD ’25)

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Charbel M. Aoun, MS/Biomed ’20, MS/ODL ’21 (PharmD ’25) portrait

“He completed an internship at the Fort Worth Osteopathic Hospital and then an anesthesiology residency. He practiced in Fort Worth for more than 10 years until he decided to join the Navy and became a flight surgeon [assigned to the USS Ranger (CV-61)] … Jim is a very private and unassuming person who will not tell you that he retired after many years with the rank of Rear Admiral...”

James H. Black, DO ’62, LLD (Hon.), RDML USN (Ret)

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James H. Black, DO ’62, LLD (Hon.), RDML USN (Ret) portrait

“I got to know Dr. Blanck as a former recipient of the O.J. Snyder Memorial Medal. Institutional Advancement has always been very proud of him as our alumnus. He served a tour in Vietnam as a battalion surgeon—one of the first DOs to practice medicine as a commissioned Army officer. He later became the Army’s Surgeon General.”

Ronald R. Blanck, DO ’67, MACP, LTG USA (ret)

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Ronald R. Blanck, DO ’67, MACP, LTG USA (ret) portrait

“He’s a retired colonel—he was a radiologist and flight surgeon in the Air Force. Until recently he worked for the National Institutes of Health. Now he’s at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. The guy could never retire; he’s just got so many years ahead of him to make a difference...”

Les R. Folio, DO ’87, MPH, MSc (Rad), MAS, Col. USAF (ret)

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Les R. Folio, DO ’87, MPH, MSc (Rad), MAS, Col. USAF (ret) portrait

“He had the respect of everybody throughout the community. He was just a very likeable person. … Dr. Johnson made a big sacrifice in maintaining a private practice in a less desirable part of the city for well over 30 years. There were a lot of impoverished people in that community, and he didn’t turn anyone away.”

Leonard W. Johnson, DO ’64

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Leonard W. Johnson, DO ’64 portrait

“Bill practiced in what had been a huge funeral home, with beautiful waiting rooms to make his patients feel valued. It was a very successful business—he rented space to a pharmacy, an X-ray unit, a big physical therapy unit, all of them managed by his staff.”

William M. King, DO ’62

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William M. King, DO ’62 portrait

“Dr. Leis created the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery residency at PCOM in 1991, and he’s really the father of plastic surgery for the osteopathic profession. None of us would be here if it weren’t for him. ”

Sherman Leis, DO ’67

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Sherman Leis, DO ’67 portrait

“Julia will begin her residency as an internal medicine physician at Archbold Hospital in Thomasville, Georgia, which is just 20 miles south of Moultrie and not far from Tifton. Where residency training takes place is where physicians are more likely to stay. … Julia is exactly the kind of student we were looking for.”

Julia Patterson, DO ’23

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Julia Patterson, DO ’23 portrait

“You wouldn’t have known it from her ability to command the attention of a room or from the invaluable wisdom she imparted to her peers, but Roxy was only 19 when she began medical school. She was among the youngest to graduate from osteopathic medical school when she obtained her degree from PCOM Georgia at the age of 24.”

Ashley Roxanne Peterson, DO ’19

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Ashley Roxanne Peterson, DO ’19 portrait

“Dr. Purdy was a reserved person, but she was friendly and warm. She cared for her patients, and she cared for her friends.  … She was the first woman physician I knew [and the first at Doctors Hospital—a woman who would successfully lobby for the first ICU unit in the state.]”

Ruth E. Purdy, DO ’50

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Ruth E. Purdy, DO ’50 portrait

“The teaching always invigorated her. She looked forward to coming in. She took her accreditation exam from the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians when she was about 90. You didn’t need to do that to teach. This was for her own edification.”

Ida C. Schmidt, DO ’35, FACGP, FAAO

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Ida C. Schmidt, DO ’35, FACGP, FAAO portrait

“Dr. Swift was a long-term member of the Radiology Department at PCOM [retired as vice chairman of the department]. I was a resident, and she was one of my mentors. She was a very organized person and believed that if you conducted procedures in an orderly fashion, you would be rewarded with good, accurate outcomes.”

Alice Aline Swift, DO ’34, MSc (Ost.)

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Alice Aline Swift, DO ’34, MSc (Ost.) portrait

“Marina has it all. She’s the complete physician—she provides superb patient care, she has exceptional communication skills. But then she’s taken it further, to do what many physicians try to do—though not all do it as well as Marina—and that is teach.”

Marina N. Vernalis, DO ’77, FACC, Col. MC USA (Ret)

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Marina N. Vernalis, DO ’77, FACC, Col. MC USA (Ret) portrait

“Dr. White used to tell patients to believe in themselves, to advocate for themselves. He was a true osteopathic physician in that he saw beyond the symptoms. He saw the whole person, and not just the person, but the family. And not only the family, but the future for the family.”

Harold F. White, DO ’61

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Harold F. White, DO ’61 portrait

As told by A. Scott McNeal, DO ’88, vice chairman, PCOM Board of Trustees

Ethel D. Allen, DO ’63”My first recollection of Dr. Allen wasn’t connected to PCOM, or even knowing that she was a physician. I was born in the Philadelphia area, and my parents were always socially conscious and politically active. Dr. Allen was held in high regard as a politician. She was the first Black woman to serve on Philadelphia City Council, in 1971, and later she was elected to an at-large Council seat. She was a Republican, which was a little bit different for a Black elected official in Philadelphia, then and now. She repeatedly described herself: as ‘a BFR—a Black female Republican, an entity as rare as a black elephant and just as smart.’ … She entered politics as a byproduct of being a physician. She’d been interested in becoming a doctor from the time she was a little girl. But as a Black woman, she found that her applications to medical school met with resistance. She later championed and mentored underrepresented minorities in medicine. The Dr. Ethel Allen Endowed Memorial Scholarship at PCOM continues to support Black women students. … Dr. Allen treated patients in some of the most underserved communities in Philadelphia, and the socio-economic issues seen in many of these communities are what spurred her to run for elected office. … Her name came up in the Philadelphia press just recently. A Democrat, Rue Landau, won one of five nominations for at-large seats on the Council, and if elected in November she’ll become the first openly LGBTQ City Council member. The Philadelphia Inquirer said, ‘In her victory speech, Landau paid homage to at least two gay Council members who were not out during their political tenure.’ One of them was Dr. Allen. … In 1976, after Governor Milton Shapp had issued an executive order to create the Pennsylvania Council for Sexual Minorities, Dr. Allen successfully lobbied for him to issue a proclamation in support of Gay Pride Week. And in 1979, when Governor Dick Thornburgh appointed her Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, she became the highest-ranking Black woman in the state, and was responsible for Thornburgh declaring June to be Gay Pride Month in Pennsylvania. … Dr. Allen was a trailblazer: before her time, and looking to serve. She deserves more recognition for her efforts to lift up impoverished people, to improve the health outcomes of underserved communities, and to champion the rights of those who lacked them.”

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As told by Christy Y. Finley, EdD, Diversity & Inclusion Program Coordinator, PCOM

Charbel M. Aoun, MS/Biomed ’20, MS/ODL ’21 (PharmD ’25)”I met Charbel on my first day at PCOM. He and I soon realized we had graduated from the same school, Georgia State University, and even the same program. And his nonprofit, the Georgia First Generation Foundation, is near and dear to my heart, because that’s my research interest. That’s how our friendship/mentorship blossomed. … The foundation started in 2016 as a student club when Charbel was an undergraduate. He is the first in his family to go to college, and he wanted to find ways to help other first gen students. He got a grant to form the foundation, and now it’s one of PCOM’s community partners in Suwanee. Valerie Cadet, assistant dean of health equity integration, PCOM Georgia; Michael Feng, DO ‘23; and Diana Tran, PharmD ‘21, serve on the board. The foundation is devoted to providing resources for first generation students who are passionate about achieving academic success after high school. There’s a focus on Gwinnett County schools. … Students are introduced to the industry’s best in various fields, with keynote speakers at an annual summit, student and career panels, and scholarship presentations. Success, Service and Scholarship are the organization’s three pillars. … Charbel has two master’s degrees from PCOM, and now he’s in a doctoral program, and on top of that he’s a director of a nonprofit. But he’s always offering to volunteer, to step in whenever I need him. ‘Charbel, I need a healthcare student panel. Can you serve on it?’ ‘Sure, I can do that.’ A month after I started in my position, I had to help a middle school with their STEM certification. ‘Charbel, are you available?’ ‘Of course, I can do that.’ … So many of our students want to do community work and want to be involved at so many levels. They have that same drive and determination that Charbel has. … I’ve heard Charbel speak about the ways in which his Lebanese cultural identity has an impact on how he works and how he presents himself on campus. First gen students are a diverse group, very proud of their backgrounds. Some are the first in their families to be formally educated in this country. My overarching goal is to make sure I support my students in whatever they want to do, whatever goals they have.”

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As told by Brian A. Nester, DO ’88, MSc ’94, MBA, president and chief executive officer, Lehigh Valley Health Network

John Becher, DO, FACOEP-D, FAAEM, PCOM professor and chair in the department of emergency medicine”During my internship at Metropolitan Hospital Central Division, I fell in love with critical care and procedural-based medicine. I reached out to Dr. Becher and asked to speak with him about a potential emergency medicine elective because I hoped to pursue a position in the residency program at PCOM. He said, ‘Well, sure, you can come talk to me. How about next Thursday at 3 a.m.? I’m working on night shift.’ John did grant me the elective. But he told me, ‘I’ve worked with people one day and said, “You’re done.” On the other hand, you may do a good job, and it might lead to an opportunity.’ I didn’t get thrown out the first day; I made it through the month. … Dr. Becher is a very tough guy on the outside. However, he has a reason for everything he does and truly has a big heart. And, as one of the founders of osteopathic emergency medicine, he had to set a really high bar. If he didn’t produce residents who performed at the highest possible level, the discipline might not take off and become respected. … I loved my career in emergency medicine, and I attribute that to those early days with Dr. Becher setting up, if you will, a bunch of obstacles in front of me. My job was to recognize them, embrace them, and show that I could push through them. And that’s also how the residency was. … He wanted more than just demonstrated interest; he wanted demonstrated commitment. And no one was as committed as he was. He never had you do anything that he didn’t or wouldn’t do himself. If anyone was having a tough time with illness or grief, immediately the whole enterprise wrapped around that person and supported them. We were 18 residents at the time, and we were like blood brothers and blood sisters. … When we left the protection of the residency, we all knew we were going to see stuff we’d never seen before. A new young attending who’s alone can hurt someone if they don’t know what they’re doing, but none of us had that fear. After all, we could always call the Einstein ER day or night and ask for advice from Dr. Becher. … That’s why even today, when we hit a wall in administrative meetings, I still sometimes say, ‘We’re going to get the airway,’ and my colleagues know exactly what I mean. Being forced to come up with solutions when it’s impossible—that’s permanently imprinted on me. … Under Dr. Becher, the answer is ‘yes’ to everything because you’re committed and somehow you’re going to figure it out. We truly hold him as an icon in emergency medicine.”

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As told by Murray Zedeck, DO ’62

James H. Black, DO ’62, LLD (Hon.), RDML USN (Ret)Jim and I were PCOM classmates. He completed an internship at the Fort Worth Osteopathic Hospital and then an anesthesiology residency. He practiced in Fort Worth for more than 10 years until he decided to join the Navy and became a flight surgeon [assigned to the USS Ranger (CV-61)] … Jim is a very private and unassuming person who will not tell you that he retired after many years with the rank of Rear Admiral; that he was Fleet Surgeon for both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets; that he was Commanding Officer of the Naval Hospital in Oak Harbor, Washington, and of the Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan; that he was Medical Advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, which is the NATO Command. He was the third DO to achieve flag status in the Navy. I learned all this when we became reacquainted when he moved to Broward County to be close to his elderly mother. … My wife, Lila, and I were fond of cruising to many countries, and Jim and his wife, Joann, were wonderful companions to us and to our son and his family. Jim was like an uncle to our grandchildren during our shared visits to Colorado every summer. … One of Jim’s exciting stories—I recall having dragged it out of him—was when he was lowered from a helicopter to a surfaced submarine to examine a seaman who had appendicitis. There must be more such stories that I haven’t heard yet. … Jim is an active member of the Board of the Navy League of Fort Lauderdale, which supports visiting ships and their crews as well as providing a social and educational platform for retired members of the Navy and Marines. He even got me to join as a supporting member. … Jim is a man of impeccable ethics and faith and is a patriot of the highest order. He has been a loyal supporter of the College since graduation, presently serving as a member of the PCOM Board of Trustees. Jim’s advocacy was instrumental in helping PCOM students receive Naval scholarships and his work smoothed the way for the commissioning of PCOM military officers. He has received PCOM’s highest award, the O.J. Snyder Memorial Medal. No one doesn’t like and respect Jim Black.”

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As told by Pamela J. Ruoff, senior manager, alumni special services, PCOM

Ronald R. Blanck, DO ’67, MACP, LTG USA (ret)”I got to know Dr. Blanck as a former recipient of the O.J. Snyder Memorial Medal. Institutional Advancement has always been very proud of him as our alumnus. He served a tour in Vietnam as a battalion surgeon—one of the first DOs to practice medicine as a commissioned Army officer. He later became the Army’s Surgeon General. He was Commander at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He was the president of the University of North Texas Health Science Center. For the same reasons, though, I was intimidated. Why would he want to talk to me? … But he is one of the genuinely warmest individuals I have ever met. He has an ease with people and a great deal of humility. … At one Founders’ Day, his wife told me, ‘Ron’s been after me to hike the Appalachian Trail with him. I don’t want to do it, but I don’t want him to go by himself.’ For years, I myself had been wanting to hike the Trail. … So Ron and I have been hiking the Appalachian in sections for probably 10 years. … When we’re done hiking, and we go to a hut or a clearing, I see the same warmth from him that I do in every single setting. He doesn’t turn it on and off. He makes conversations with everybody. … Usually, when you’re hiking a distance, you leave a car in one spot, drive to your other destination, and then hike back to the first car. During one hike, as we were heading toward my car, I had a sudden realization. I said to Ron, ‘I have something really bad to tell you.’ He said, ‘Tell me.’ I said, ‘I left the keys in the other car’—the car that was 40 miles away—and he stopped for a second. He was processing it, and he said, ‘That is really bad.’ … It was a horrible rainy day. We got out on the road, and that man stuck his thumb out. He’s a three-star general on some country road with his thumb out. A German couple that was touring the United States stopped. … And he never said one word to me about it, not even in a joking way. I see that in how he behaves with everybody he meets. He makes me want to be a better person, because I see his generosity of spirit.”

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As told by Barbara Williams-Page, DO ’92, associate professor, department of family medicine, PCOM

Oliver C. Bullock, DO ’78, faculty and chair of the department of community medicine”I met Dr. Bullock in 1988 when I started medical school at PCOM, at a time when there were not many physicians or faculty members of color, at a time when diversity and inclusion were not topics of open discussion. Since there were only a few students of color at PCOM, we naturally gravitated to Dr. Bullock. He served as our role model and mentor. Dr. Bullock took us under his wing, nurturing us and making sure we had the resources and encouragement needed to succeed. … I often reached out to him for guidance. I requested to work with him at Cambria Healthcare Center in North Philadelphia for my family medicine residency. He made it happen. After completing my family medicine residency, I knew I wanted to work with him as an attending, and again, he made it happen. I worked alongside him from 1995 until his retirement in 2015.  … Dr. Bullock’s expertise in medicine extended beyond the office. As he walked the neighborhood during his lunch break, he was often approached by patients. He would politely engage in conservation and answer their questions. He was known to provide lunch for patients during their appointment if he suspected they were hungry or give them money for public transportation so they did not have to walk home. Dr. Bullock treated his patients with kindness and respect. He treated them like they were his family. … Community outreach was one of his passions. His creative mind and love especially for children led him to construct a lively puppet show that he performed at daycares and elementary schools. It disclosed the story of Bear, who was apprehensive about his visit to the doctor. Dr. Bullock put Bear at ease by explaining what the visit entailed and allowed Bear to hold various pieces of medical equipment while he explained the purpose of each. By the end of the show, Bear looked forward to visiting the doctor. Following the shows, he gifted each child with a keepsake coloring book that he designed featuring Bear. … Eight years since his retirement, Dr. Bullock’s patients still ask about him. We are doing our best to continue to deliver the same type of holistic care that Dr. Bullock provided for so many years.”

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As told by Jay Harris Joseph, DO ’56

PCOM anatomy professor Angus G. Cathie, DO ’31, MSC, FAAO”Dr. Cathie knew anatomy about as well as any person could, and he taught anatomy about as well as anyone possibly could. He had a distinct love of the profession of osteopathic medicine. … He also had the unbelievable ability to draw anatomic pictures on the blackboard, using multiple colors, with both hands at the same time—while he was also lecturing. … You did hope you would not be called on to participate in a discussion for which you probably would not have the full knowledge he expected. So people were somewhat reticent and would slink back in their chairs during his lectures. … In those days, a group of four or five students worked together on one body. Dr. Cathie would move diligently from table to table, reviewing the anatomy, correcting our impressions, helping in our dissections. He was absolutely superb in that respect. … On the other hand, I recall one situation very early in our program when we were doing the dissection, and he was at the front of the class having lunch. That hit some people in a strange way, and a few had to leave the room. … In the second semester of our junior year, Dr. Cathie taught a class in osteopathic manipulative therapy. Of 100 people in the class, 75 people failed his final exam. Fortunately, I passed, but unfortunately I was the class chairman, and it was incumbent upon me to go down to the dean of the school and say, ‘I remember, from my master’s degree in education, that if an overwhelming majority of your class fails a test, either there was some problem with the test or you didn’t teach it well.’ They then called Dr. Cathie down to discuss the matter with me. And I had to take the onslaught after repeating what I had said to them, but he did agree to give another exam for those 75. I had to withdraw from being the chairman of the class for the rest of the semester, which was about a month or so. But, in retrospect, it didn’t harm me whatsoever, and it did help the class. I think it was the makeup of the test, to be perfectly honest. He was a wonderful teacher.”

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As told by Lillian Hynes-Longendorfer, DO ‘67

Ruth Waddel Cathie, DO ’38”Dr. Cathie [at the time, Dr. Waddel] was an excellent teacher and a very hard taskmaster who wanted her students to understand the pathology of the diseases they were going to be seeing in clinical practice. When you first met her in the classroom, you were scared to death of her. I can remember pulling all-nighters just to pass her exams. But when you got to really know her, she was a cupcake. … She wasn’t only a good teacher; she was a good student as well. She’s probably among the first women to be certified in cytopathology, studying under Papanicolaou himself. I asked her to teach me how to do Pap smears, and spent many afternoons after class with her learning how to read them. … I also had the opportunity to see her on a more personal basis. A few of us women students wanted to form a chapter of Delta Omega, one of the female medical sororities on the campuses of the other medical schools in town. We needed a mentor, and she very graciously and very enthusiastically agreed to take on that role. We had our meetings at her home, where she provided both professional and personal guidance. Some of it dealt with how we were looked upon as women in the profession—good advice in terms of just being who you are and doing what you have to do. She was the first woman to chair a basic science department at PCOM [and at that time, the only woman—other than those at Women’s Medical College—who held such a position in the entire City of Philadelphia]. … Dr. Cathie suggested that I take a career in pathology. But I really didn’t like the idea of doing a lot of autopsies, and at that time they did a heck of a lot more than we do today. But after about eight years in general practice, I decided to go into something with a lifestyle that was more in line with raising a family at the same time. And I chose pathology and laboratory medicine, which led me to teaching positions and three directorships of hospital laboratories. … Years after Dr. Cathie had retired, I met her at one of the American Osteopathic Association conventions. She congratulated me on my achievements, and I told her that I had some truly big footsteps to follow in.”

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As told by Laura Levy, DHSc, PA-C, chair, department of physician assistant studies, PCOM

John Cavenagh, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA, former chair and program director of the Physician Assistant (PA) Studies department”John joined PCOM full time shortly after I did in 1999. He became the Physician Assistant Studies program director in 2003, and held that role until 2016, when I took over. The day he told me he was going to retire, I felt a bit panicked. Faculty and staff were so confident in his leadership, and I wasn’t sure I could live up to the expectation. But John was always encouraging and supportive. And after I took the position he was here quite a bit, because he continued to teach for about three years. So he would check in and might offer some advice—but he would say, ‘I’m offering this advice just as a guy, not as a former program director.’… I remember him sitting in my old office when he told me, ‘Let the problems flow through you.’ What he meant was that not everything that appears to be a crisis or a difficulty needs a sudden reaction. Many things will take care of themselves. So don’t charge into problems. Let them come, flow through you, and then decide how you want to react. And that’s how he conducted himself. He was very measured, very calm. I rarely saw him angry or flustered. He was a private person, but we did know that he grew up in a big Irish Catholic family in Chicago, and he was the oldest, and he had to do a lot of things, to take care of his younger brothers and sisters, and so maybe that was where his leadership skills started. … In Harrisburg, John advocated for the physician assistant profession, and he would talk to students about professional practice issues, things on the horizon. He was at the forefront of policy, but he was doing it in his quiet way. … John was at the helm when PCOM decided to open a cohort in Suwanee, Georgia. And he did all the work with our accreditors. Having a dual campus for a PA program was largely uncharted territory. It was daunting to consider how to have an equivalent program with all of those miles in between. It seemed insurmountable, and John made it happen.”

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As told by Beverly K. Andre, MS/Biomed ’20 (DO ’24)

PCOM alum Dr. Meta L. Christy”I come from a family of immigrants, and I’m the first in my family to attend medical school. So for me to know the story of Dr. Christy, another Black, minority woman, who did something so unorthodox, really is a motivator. … She was a pioneer: the College’s first African American student and the first African American doctor of osteopathic medicine. When she died, she was a widely known and respected osteopathic physician. She healed so many, especially the poor. … You see pictures hanging on the walls of PCOM of a lot of people who have had an impact. But when you walk into the College and see the face of someone who looks like you, when you see her name on a new [student housing] building, that’s very meaningful. … Dr. Christy had to be a very tough woman to be able to go to medical school when she did [1917–1921]. One brother and her father had died by the time she was ten. And her mother, one of the biggest supports she had, passed away just a few years after she graduated from PCOM. Just understanding how courageous she was, how resilient, how she didn’t let anything keep her back—I really adore that. … I’m transitioning out of my role as the co-president of the Student National Medical Association on campus, which works to increase the presence of minorities in medicine as well as to help support them throughout their journey. I work for the diversity office on campus as well, making presentations for their mentorship program. I’m also involved in a nonprofit organization, Girls on a Mission with Ambition. I’ve talked to students about being in medical school, and to students already in college or taking a non-traditional route who want to get back into the swing of things. I mentor them mainly because I didn’t have that. … When I was in college, Google was my best friend, because I didn’t have many people in my life who were physicians, let alone physicians who looked like me. So I had to do a lot of the work figuring out what I should study and how to get into medical school. It’s not just about representation, but it’s about the resources you provide. … Now that I’m here, I have a lot of people I can reach out to, ask questions. They tell me, ‘I do this because someone did it for me, and I want you to be able to do it for somebody else.’”

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As told by Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, President and Chief Executive Officer, PCOM

PCOM anatomy professor Vincent T. Cipolla, DO ’46”When I first applied for admission to PCOM, Dr. Cipolla was a member of the interview committee. He asked me only one question: ‘Do you know who invented spaghetti?’ And I said, ‘No.’ ‘Well,’ he told me, ‘the Chinese actually invented spaghetti, not the Italians.’ And that was the extent of our interaction. … The next time I saw him was in the fall of 1977, in my first anatomy lecture held in Evans Hall. His opening line was, ‘You gotta know your anatomy, boy, or the guy down the street will.’… The anatomy lab was at 48th and Spruce Streets, where the old hospital used to be. The anatomy lab was almost like an attic, with the smell of formaldehyde everywhere. It had a great feel to it. … You had to wear a tie, which on the surface seems absurd. But I think in part the reason was Dr. Cipolla’s profound respect for the people who had donated their bodies to medical science. In my kind of rebellious way, I would wear a flannel shirt with a tie. One day, early on, Dr. Cipolla just kind of looked at me and grinned, and then that was it. … In anatomy lab, you have partners, you’d be helping each other out. And every once in a while, I’d turn around and, over my shoulder, he’d be there, listening. … I loved anatomy. I would often go down to the lab on Saturdays. Dr. Cipolla asked me one day, ‘Why are you here all the time?’ I said, ‘It’s a chance to have the cadaver all to myself. I don’t have to share it with my lab partners.’ He got a kick out of that. … Over the course of time, he’d walk around during lab, and he’d ask one table an anatomy question, and if they didn’t get it, he’d say, ‘Hey, Feldstein. You know the answer.’ So we had this mutual respect, an intellectual understanding. … He was a general surgeon in the Medical Corp and he would throw in tidbits, with clinical correlation, during anatomy lectures—practical examples of what you were learning. … He could be difficult; he was as eccentric as they come—definitely the type of individual you either loved or hated. Had I struggled in anatomy, it might not have been as much fun. But he was brilliant.”

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As told by Necie Liggeons, MS/ODL ’20, chief development and alumni engagement officer, PCOM

William J. Clinton, MA, former director of the Organizational Development and Leadership program”Managing Emotional Systems in the Workplace was my first class, Bill Clinton’s last before his retirement in 2017. As a busy working woman going back to school in her forties, I was excited to start my master’s degree program in Organizational Development and Leadership [ODL]. Little did I know how deeply my first grad school course with Bill would impact my life. … First class, an all-day Saturday session, Bill handed each of us a lengthy paper he’d written on the 10 most impactful incidents in his life, including some traumatic episodes. As I read his deeply personal passages, I thought, ‘Wow, this guy is really putting himself out here.’ … Our first assignment was to lay bare our souls, to do the same sort of self-reflection as Bill had done in his raw and revealing autobiography by chronicling what we could have done differently to better our career and our relationships with our family and friends. … Bill felt emotional transparency was the key to building trust with your colleagues and to being a strong workplace leader. His mantra: ‘I want you to know who I am and to trust who I am so that you can be transparent with me.’ He taught that you can only achieve that level of openness by understanding others’ points of view, which often meant having difficult conversations and finding closure with those with whom you’d had thorny relationships. … It was risky, but the reward of growing into a more empathetic and understanding person made it all worthwhile. Bill taught me to appreciate the person and the personality, not just the work product, because who you are affects everything about you in the workplace. … Fast forward three years to my capstone project, which focused on my transformative story of personal growth that I rough-drafted in that first grad-school paper. I presented my capstone virtually due to the pandemic. Whose warm and welcoming face did I see smiling back at me on the Zoom meeting? Bill Clinton’s. I was so moved and honored that he was present and that I was one of the last students he taught in his 15 years as director of the College’s ODL program.”

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As told by Robert A. DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP,  dean, School of Professional and Applied Psychology, PCOM

Robert G. Cuzzolino, EdD, former vice president for graduate programs and planning”Bob is one of the most well-rounded people I’ve ever met, and probably the smartest. He has great intellect; he’s a fabulous writer; he has great analytical skills and a knack for separating the wheat from the chaff. He is truly quite remarkable—one in a million, to my mind. … In all the years I worked with Bob—and believe me, we dealt with all kinds of issues—I never saw a bead of sweat on his brow. Absolutely nothing made him nervous—pure grit! He knew what he needed to know. He did what he needed to do, and he did it extremely well. He was a great source of mentorship and consultation to me and my staff. We could go to Bob with just about any concerns. … Bob expertly guided us and PCOM through getting our programs accredited by the Middle States Commission and specialty accreditors. You could trust that what he told you would work. He’s an innovator, too. He was essential to the development of the program in clinical psychology, in school psychology, in organizational development and leadership and in our counseling program, not to mention other programs across PCOM’s campuses. I truly don’t know how he did it. … Bob would hold court every day at lunch, and a small group of us would share all kinds of stories—topical news, what’s new in higher education and accreditation, and everything you could conceivably imagine. Bob could speak on just about anything, including music trivia. … With his background in counseling and higher education administration, he was very focused on helping students. We worked together a lot on assessing student outcomes, using that information to drive our programs in a continuous quality improvement cycle. Bob said, sure, we could look at all these academic predictors, which account for a little bit of the variability in outcomes, but the reality is that probably a lot of nonacademic factors come into play. And that, I think, he learned through his involvement with students. Those who got into academic problems often had other life issues going on, and he was sensitive to that. … Bob had a stellar reputation as a great leader and mentor, and stand-up person with a good heart. … He’s the kind of guy you meet along the road of life only once in a lifetime. When Bob retired, he referred to me as his brother. That reference still touches me. I am most honored and proud to know him and consider myself lucky for the opportunity to walk beside him.”

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As told by Bruce Kornberg, DO, chair and professor, division of cardiology, PCOM

Albert D’Alonzo, DO ’56”Al was an extraordinary man. He was certified in cardiology, but in the 1960s, when he was just starting out, he would lecture when other professors didn’t show up. On any topic, no notes, no preparation—off the top of his head. That’s how smart he was. … He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox and played professional baseball up to the double-A level. He had also played four years of varsity baseball at Duke, where he was an honorary All American. He was a tremendous golfer. … He decided to be a doctor like his brother and his father, and went on to be president of the American College of Osteopathic Internists, president of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association, vice chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at PCOM for twenty-plus years, acting chairman of the Department of Medicine twice, chief of Cardiology twice. … He was a dedicated teacher who spent hours teaching students how to read EKGs. And no one could convert a patient’s sinus rhythm like he did. … I was his resident, and he gave me my first job, which ended up being my only job. He was in practice for 25 years before I joined him, and we were partners for 15 years. Actually, we were more like a father and son than partners … A nicer, kinder individual you will never meet. He was extremely slow to anger, a devout Catholic. … I never heard anyone tell a joke like him. He could take a five-minute joke, extend it out to 15 minutes, and even if I knew the punchline, I was still crying. … He never answered the pagers. But you could find him. His cigarette butt would be upside down in the windowsill of the nurses station. So if it was still warm, and his doctor’s bag was there, I knew he was around. … If you needed something right away, you called me. If you needed to talk to him, you had to find him. He marched to his own drummer. … He was dedicated to the patients and to the profession. He was Al being Al, and that was the long and the short of it.”

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As told by John Becher, DO ’70, FACOEP-D, FAAEM, chair and professor, department of emergency medicine, PCOM

Joseph A. Dieterle, DO ’70”I’ve known Joe since we were in college together at LaSalle, where we matriculated in 1961 and were both members of the swim team for four years. In 1966, Joe and I were both accepted to Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and were roommates for the first year. We both interned at what was then the Flint Osteopathic Hospital. After his residency, Joe joined the PCOM faculty in the department of pediatrics. I came back to the College and became the chairman of the department of emergency medicine in 1977. … More than 50 years after we met, Joe and I attended each other’s retirement ceremonies. We’re still friends today, and it’s been a great relationship. … Joe was the first osteopathic physician to be accepted as a resident for pediatric training at St. Christopher’s Hospital, and he became chief resident there in his last year. When he returned to the College, there hadn’t been a pediatric resident in at least 10 years. With professional ties that he had developed, especially at St. Christopher’s, Joe was able to greatly enhance pediatric training for the residents, not just at the College but in other clinical training areas. … Nationally and internationally recognized experts came at Joe’s invitation to the College to make presentations not only to the residents, but to the students. Joe organized and funded an annual pediatric lecture series. He was the president of the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians and a member of the Osteopathic Pediatric Certification Board for a number of years, making important contributions to the development of the specialty of pediatrics within the osteopathic profession. He was doing all of this in conjunction with his other duties at the College, and even when he became the dean. … Joe is a guy of significant integrity, a person of his word. These always were the qualities of leadership that others recognized, in whatever the venue. And he did his homework, and he still does his homework as a member of the PCOM Board of Trustees. … Put it this way: When Joe talks, people listen.”

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As told by Cierra Lewis, MS/Biomed ’16, DO ’18, MEd

PCOM anatomy professor Camille DiLullo, PhD”I got to know Dr. DiLullo first when I was in the biomedical sciences program. She was like a mother to me at PCOM. And there were some striking similarities to my own mom in that they’ve both experienced hardships in their lives, gone through a lot of things, but that’s never been an excuse for them to stop or to stall. You just keep moving forward. She was an amazing woman, and when she passed away, it was like losing a confidant and a best friend. … Dr. DiLullo was maybe five feet tall, quite petite. She was grace and mercy and strength and beauty. Being a woman in medicine, a woman in a mostly male academic department for a very long time, she had to speak up. If something needed to be addressed, she was going to address it. She thought things through and wasn’t going to change her mind. … At times, I questioned her decisions, and she just looked at me, and I thought, ‘Okay, I’ll go ahead and do the work instead of questioning what you’re telling me to do.’ She was trying to convey to me, ‘I know it’s getting rough, but you’ve got to push through.’ And that’s what I needed. … The number one thing Dr. DiLullo cared about was the person. She conveyed that to us, when we became medical students, always stressing how your patients come first. … As an educator and researcher, she was demanding, yet, she was very patient. So she touched a lot of us as mentees because you knew that even though she was pushing you, it’s because she cared about you. … When I was an osteopathic medical student, she helped me start the nonprofit Medicine for Education to teach high-school girls from underserved communities how to get into medical school and succeed once they get there. She was unyielding in her commitment to training and mentoring women and inspired my work. … We also shared a love of fashion, and looking your best and presenting your best to the world. She always did. Dr. DiLullo commanded the whole room—and she was the smallest thing in there.”

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As told by Patience A. Mason, MEd, chief student affairs officer, PCOM

Paul Evans, DO ’79, FAAFP, FACOFP, PCOM Georgia’s founding dean and chief academic officer”Dr. Evans is a military man, and can be very stern. He expects things to be done in a certain way. If I said, ‘I have an idea, and this is what I want to do,’ he would tell me, ‘Well, Patience, if it works, you get the glory. But if it doesn’t, you get the blame.’ I was comfortable with that; it makes you think twice and consider all the angles. … At PCOM Georgia, I found him to be an amazing teacher, and he used every opportunity to teach. You could see him transform when he talked with students and asked them questions. I was privy to a softer side of Dr. Evans, too, in his interactions with my son, whose name is Mason. As a little boy, Mason loved fish and animals in general. Dr. Evans is a bird expert. So they would get in these conversations. … Mason at one point drew him a little cutout of a fish, colored like a rainbow. Dr. Evans had it taped to his desk for years and even moved it to his desk in Indianapolis when he went to Marian University. … His philosophy was that in the beginning you had to run a tight ship, and then you could loosen up. Dr. Evans came to trust me and treat me as a confidant. It was a privilege to work for him…The culture here in North Georgia is different than in Philadelphia, and part of his job when he served as founding dean and chief academic officer at PCOM Georgia [2004 to 2010] was to be the bridge between the two cultures. Dr. Evans grew up in the northeast, but he went to school in Miami, and then he joined the military and traveled all over. So he was able to read a room, and I think that’s also why he was so skilled as a teacher. Perhaps his background as a family physician also helped him do this, as I saw with my kid. He was able to meet someone where they were and explain things to them in a way that suited them. He knew his audience. … I love Dr. Evans. I saw the colonel, but I got to know the family doctor and the family man, a person who knows how to laugh at himself and with others.”

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As told by Steven G. Eisenberg, DO ’96, internist, oncologist, hematologist and author, San Diego, California

Emanuel Fliegelman, DO ’42, former PCOM professor of obstetrics and gynecology”For years, Uncle Manny addressed the new DO class with his lecture on physician compassion during the White Coat Ceremony. With his piercing blue eyes, bushy goatee and booming voice, he resembled a majestic king from ancient times when he pointed to the lecture hall door and proclaimed, ‘All of you who cross this threshold who do not have empathy and compassion in your hearts, there is the door.’ … Uncle Manny, as Dr. Fliegelman was affectionately known to hundreds of PCOM students, then shared with his fresh-faced congregation his famous Ten C’s for being a physician who puts the patient before all else: compassion, contact, creativity, completion, communication, competence, caring, consideration, concern and confidence. Each C was followed by a sentence of explanation. Compassion: Put yourself in their shoes, you have no idea what they’re dealing with out there in the world outside of your office. Contact: A gentle pat on the back, a warm embrace is undeniably healthy. A framed copy of the piece of notebook paper on which I feverishly jotted down the Ten C’s some 30 years ago still hangs in my office. … I tell friends that Uncle Manny taught me all I needed to know on my very first day of medical school, most notably that love is the strongest medicine (which not coincidentally is the title of my own book). He became my mentor and my friend. He guided me through the tough times and the long hours during our many heart-to-hearts in his Rowland Hall office. I’m forever proud to be the first recipient of the Dr. Emanuel Fliegelman Humanitarian Award for the doctor exhibiting highly compassionate care during residency. … Uncle Manny was a professor of obstetrics and gynecology. He instituted the ‘Doris Program,’ which provided every second-year student with the opportunity to administer a gynecological examination to a patient volunteer under his direction and supervision. Before that, students practiced only on anatomical models. There was but one rule: Treat every volunteer with utmost respect—like they’re your own mother or grandmother. … Uncle Manny passed away in 1998 at age 83 from myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow cancer. He’s one of the reasons I became an oncologist. Who could benefit more from Uncle Manny’s teachings than cancer patients?”

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As told by Lisa Finkelstein, DO ’87

Les R. Folio, DO ’87, MPH, MSc (Rad), MAS, Col. USAF (ret)”Les is pure energy. He probably popped out of his mother inventing something, and he has not stopped. We were classmates at PCOM, and because of the alphabet—Finkelstein, Folio—I think we shared a cadaver in Anatomy lab. … It was very apparent that when Les was a medical student, his brain was constantly on fire. He never stopped thinking and doing. He was truly a force of nature. … He’s a retired colonel—he was a radiologist and flight surgeon in the Air Force. Until recently he worked for the National Institutes of Health. Now he’s at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. The guy could never retire; he’s just got so many years ahead of him to make a difference. … Les found a role for himself to be able to use his talents in innovation and technology as an interventional radiologist and a cancer radiologist. For people like Les, medical school is a launching pad. He has a master’s degree in aeronautical science and another in public health. … And he also is a very compassionate person, very empathetic. PCOM gave him that foundation of understanding anatomy, physiology, biochemistry. … Les is a gem—warm, very welcoming. He has a great imagination. When you engage with him, you just have to be ready. He’s pretty hilarious. … He’s got over a hundred patents. He sees a problem, a gap, and wants to address it. He’s been ahead of his time for many, many years. He would say, ‘Well, you know, we can fix this by utilizing technology,’ whereas most of us had no idea what he was talking about. Now, 25 or 30 years into the future, a lot of those ideas are now coming to fruition. … Remember in "Star Trek" Dr. McCoy would use his tricorder to look at vital signs? Now we’re utilizing remote patient monitoring real-time, and we’re leveraging augmented intelligence to advance cancer imaging analytics and diagnostics. Les’s ‘Quadcorder’ allows physicians to use hyperlinks to look at patient imaging and pathology slides. … He’s a futurist with an understanding of the physician–patient relationship and the challenges of our health care system. And now he’s putting all this together and trying to fix it.”

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As told by Robert G. Cuzzolino, EdD, former vice president for graduate programs and planning

Carol A. Fox, MM, retired associate vice president for enrollment management and alumni relations liaison”When Carol started working at PCOM, it was a much smaller place. But even three years ago, when I left, the feeling of family remained, and through her years at PCOM, Carol always embraced that. She really thought of everybody working there as family and friends. … Some have wondered how those like Carol and me could have such a long tenure in a single institution, but PCOM was constantly changing, and that made it all exciting. Change is the lifeblood of an institution of higher education, and PCOM was very alive through all those years. … In admissions and student affairs, Carol and I spent a lot of time screening applicants and talking about what we wanted our classes to look like. Carol saw every class as the future of osteopathic medicine. … Today, just about every professional and graduate school is talking about holistic admissions, having come to the realization that beyond MCAT scores and GPAs are those qualities an applicant brings: communication and compassion, being a team player, being an active and involved person, being socially capable. At PCOM, Carol built the model of looking beyond the numbers. I’m very proud of the classes we brought in, and Carol cared for each student through their program and beyond, demonstrated by her strong relationship with PCOM alumni. … When PCOM started the psychology and physician assistant programs, forensic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, biomedical sciences—those were all very different cohorts of students, and an admissions program had to be built for each one. Carol was able to expertly expand her staff, to find the right people to be on her team. … At PCOM, people can sense if you’re truly dedicated because it’s not just a school, it’s a mission. There was absolutely no doubt that Carol was 100 percent behind the mission of the College. So she was able to build a lot of trust among the people around her. … You can repeat an admissions program year after year—talk to students and recruit them, put out the literature, do the interviews. But Carol had a sense for and a talent for building relationships with undergraduate premedical advisors. They knew they could trust her. … There was something I called ‘Carol’s rule.’ Every conference or regional admissions gathering had panels—one for medicine, and maybe a panel for dentistry, and a panel for other supporting allied professions. If there was a panel for medical schools that included MDs, but the DO schools were relegated to the ‘alternatives,’ we wouldn’t participate. When it came to standing her ground for osteopathic medicine, Carol was there.”

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As told by Stephanie H. Felgoise, PhD, ABPP, associate dean for academic integration, School of Professional and Applied Psychology; department chair, director and professor, clinical PsyD program, PCOM

Arthur Freeman, EdD, ABPP, ACT, founding chair of PCOM’s Department of Psychology”Art was one of the most charismatic men I’ve ever met. There was such a charm about him. He was a brilliant psychologist and innovative administrator. He loved to teach. He taught through stories. You learned so much by listening to him. … He had high expectations for everybody, and he strived to help others meet those expectations. He was supportive, and he motivated his faculty to achieve more. For example, he required us to become board certified at a time when only 10 percent of clinical psychologists would do so. … Art had original ideas about teaching psychology, and he put those ideas into action. When he founded the College’s Department of Psychology in 1995, PCOM’s classrooms were filled with medical students during the day. He chose to launch the program at night. ‘We have a barn, let’s have a show,’ he’d say. He filled those seats. … He traveled the world to extend his knowledge and wisdom. When I co-hosted the World Congress of the Association of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies in 2000, Art had the idea that it would be neat if people could watch experts doing therapy. So he started a grand rounds series during which practitioners could watch experts conduct a therapy session, live on stage, with an actor as a patient. This format was adopted by the association and continues today. … Art was a world-renowned expert in cognitive therapy, which uses empirically based therapeutic interventions that focus on an individual’s core beliefs, thoughts, feelings and behaviors, with an emphasis on challenging irrational and maladaptive thoughts or beliefs. He had a knack for working with complex and difficult patients. He was prolific in extending his experience and knowledge. I was honored to co-author two books with him (he authored over 25 books and many more articles). … Art loved to gather people around him. Every day around noon, he’d announce that the lunch train was leaving, as he gathered his people to grab a meal with deans, chairs and faculty of other departments. He cared about psychology, he cared about PCOM, and he cared about his colleagues, friends and family. He left PCOM in 2008 and passed away in 2020. His presence is still felt here at the College. His portrait hangs in the department, and we are grateful for his legacy and for having known him, and fortunate to have called him a colleague and dear friend.”

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As told by Kristen Berry, DO '00, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine

Legendary PCOM professor and doctor William Gilhool, DO”I’ve been at the Lancaster Healthcare Center now for going on 19 years. When I first came, in 2003, Dr. Gilhool was one of the doctors here, and working with him was just such a pleasure. He is a great doctor, with a really good bedside manner. He’s been retired for three or four years, and the patients still want to know how he’s doing. … He was originally a gastroenterologist, and you don’t always see a specialist who is able to transition back to primary care. For him, it was a no-brainer. … Dr. Gilhool is very down to earth, very personable. He is probably the best storyteller I’ve ever met. Students would gather around and listen to him talk about his hospital days, his intern days, everything he’d seen when he was in practice. He can talk to anybody about anything. … He is a great teacher. He was very much into stopping and making sure students really understood the whole picture, the whole patient. The students loved it and got so much out of it. … Our offices were right across from each other. We got to know each other personally, and we could see each other’s patients without there being any lapse in care. … He relied on me for some things, like the newer technologies, and I relied on him in terms of his experience, the political ins and outs, that kind of thing. He would leave it to me to draw my own conclusions, because he always joked that I had a lot of guts and wasn’t easily intimidated. He was like that, too. He’d always say, ‘To thine own self be true.’… His father had been a prominent OB/GYN physician in North Philadelphia who early on had a stroke, and his mother, a nurse, had to take care of the father. So he had some adversity in his childhood and didn’t go right into medicine. He went to medical school at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri, and when he first started working here, he probably felt a bit like an outsider. … Remembering his relationships with the students always reminds me to stop for a minute. We’re so fast-paced here at the center and trying to do so much at once. Dr. Gilhool always took the time to get to know the students, to talk to them about their aspirations—not just in medicine but in the rest of their lives.”

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As told by Mindy George-Weinstein, PhD, Chief Research and Science Officer, PCOM

Legendary PCOM faculty member Charlotte H. Greene, PhD”Soon after I came to PCOM in 1989, I was asked to serve on a committee to revise the faculty handbook and develop a tenure policy. Charlotte Greene was the chair of the committee, which also included Michael Venditto, DO [now professor and chair, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine]. We had a big job to do. … Charlotte was very knowledgeable about the multiple roles of faculty in an academic environment. I enjoyed watching her pause for reflection, and if she didn’t have an immediate response, she’d dig for information and come back to the table with advice for us. She worked extremely hard in this task and in everything she did. … When Charlotte spoke, everybody listened. She was never pedantic and always kept an open mind for the opinions of others. … In her role as educator, Charlotte was responsible for teaching muscle physiology to our Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Master's in Biomedical Sciences students. I went to her lectures because this was my area of research. Her goal was to present this conceptually challenging material in a way that students would readily understand and would help them appreciate the relevance to the principles and practice of osteopathic medicine. She encouraged students to ask questions and made them feel that they had identified gaps in our knowledge. … Where Charlotte really shined was in her research laboratory. She was a terrific and imaginative scientist. Her favorite role was mentoring students in the research process, and they flocked to her lab to be a part of her projects. … She was a pioneer in research involving tissue regeneration. Charlotte’s work was recognized by a company that contracted with her to test compounds for their effects on wound healing in a model she developed. She also provided opportunities for surgeons to learn how to perform laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the early days of minimally invasive procedures. … Charlotte was always thoughtful and never boastful. Although she was passionate about all things academic, she could see both sides of an issue. She loved PCOM and stood behind the difficult decision to sell our hospital for the good of the College. … I had so much respect for her as a colleague and an individual. I miss her a lot. She touched the lives of many of our students.”

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As told by Alexander S. Nicholas, DO ’75, FAAO dist., Professor and Chair, Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

Legendary PCOM professor David Heilig, DO '44, MsC (Ost.), FAAO”Dr. Heilig was my colleague and my mentor. But when I met him for the first time, I was in seventh grade in my T-shirt and tighty-whities, waiting to get my physical for football. Dr. Heilig told me to turn my head to the side and cough. … Basically, because of my father [Nicholas S. Nicholas, DO, FAAO], I grew up with him. He was a really important figure in our lives, kind of like a member of the family. But I could never call him Dave; it was ‘Dr. Dave’ or ‘Doc Dave.’ … I didn’t see him much while I was in medical school. But when my father was hired full-time to chair what’s now the OMM department, the first thing he did was hire Dr. Heilig as his vice chair. That was 1974. And in 1977, I joined the department full-time: it was my father, Dr. Heilig and me. … My father was a very social, extroverted guy—he was a volcano. And if Dr. Heilig had been like him, it wouldn’t have worked. They were opposites; they blended perfectly together. Dr. Heilig was a tectonic plate that moved very quietly. … He was one of the most intelligent, widely educated men I’ve ever met. He was a writer. He could paint and sculpt. He played the cello and bass violin. He was a football player and a diver on the swim team at Swarthmore College. … Dr. Heilig was probably the most deeply thinking osteopathic physician, as well as osteopathic manipulative medicine physician, teaching osteopathic principles and practice. … He was a gentleman and a gentle man—a Quaker, a very spiritual man. I never heard him say anything loud or nasty about anybody. He stood up for his beliefs very strongly, but he did it in a way that was kind and well-thought-out. … Dr. Heilig was what the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator would call an advocate. He helped everybody—he’d put his hands on the students’ hands and take them through the maneuvers. … My father used to say that Dr. Heilig was the greatest manipulative tactician he’d ever seen. And my father was pretty good. … When Dr. Heilig retired, I think that was the only time the American Academy of Osteopathy honored someone with an entire day of lectures, just on him. He was loved by the entire osteopathic profession.”

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As told by Harry Morris, DO ’78, MPH, professor and chair, PCOM Department of Family Medicine

Carol L. Henwood, DO ’83, RES ’85, FACOFP dist., board-certified family practice physician ”If we stand on the shoulders of giants, Carol is among the greatest in the osteopathic medical profession. To start, she’s an exceptional family medicine physician. She’s been in private practice and with Main Line Health since 2014. She has worked in the Philadelphia suburbs for more than three decades and has forged such long-lasting relationships with her patients that she’s cared for five generations of some families. … No one works harder than a solo practitioner. I’d often reach out to her at all hours of the day, and she’d be in her office, seeing patients or finishing up her notes. … . She is a tireless physician and professional. She is able to juggle the demands of her practice, her personal life, and the advocacy she lends on national and local levels. Nationally, she served as president of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, and held leadership positions with the American Osteopathic Association. She has also been a leader with the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association and the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Family Physicians Society. She was the first woman president of the PCOM Alumni Association and served with distinction, an inspiration for many. … When you are in a meeting with Carol, you’ll find that she’s always engaged. She’s well informed, and when she addresses an issue, she speaks with authority, based on her broad knowledge and experience. She speaks with the heart of a family doctor. Carol is such a positive person. I’ve never heard her say an unkind word. … She understands and embodies the distinctiveness of the osteopathic philosophy and its practice. She’s devoted to keeping that tradition alive for this generation, and for future generations of DO graduates, many of whom she herself teaches and mentors. Carol is a leader in encouraging family medicine residents to take the osteopathic family medicine boards. Her backing resulted in a campaign to raise $2 million for scholarship aid to cover the practical and written portions of the test as well as travel to testing sites through the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians’ foundation . … She’s not just helping PCOM students and residents. She’s also getting recognition for supporting our profession at all levels. She is such a stalwart force.”

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As told in their own words

Moultrie area real estate developers Dan and Jimmy Jeter”We acquired 130 acres of land in Moultrie, Colquitt County, right in the center of Southwest Georgia. We donated 30 acres, and kept the remaining 100, and the College built and opened PCOM South Georgia in 2019. There is the potential for growth; you could have housing on the back half, where you get a nice residential feel, with a spring-fed lake and a creek and pine trees and native grasses. There’s a whole lot of wildlife back there too: deer, quail, turkey; they all make their home in this little rolling area in the bottomland. … As real estate developers, we understand the need for medical buildings in Moultrie. We have a development on 15 acres less than a mile to the south of PCOM South Georgia, right by the hospital. The building started out with one OB/GYN practice, and now we have nine medical buildings there. It was a very positive investment experience, and it gave us the sense of the possibilities if we were to have a school to educate physicians and other healthcare professionals on the tract of land. … We believed that having a medical school here would be good for the health of South Georgia. National statistics show that when health professionals finish their training, they often settle within 50 or 60 miles of their place of training for the duration of their career. That’s proved true for the first classes; the majority of those who graduate from PCOM South Georgia plan to stay in Southwest Georgia. … We’re a rural county with poultry processing, cotton, peanuts, soybeans, corn. Our economy is split between agribusiness, government, manufacturing and retail. Our YMCA has been around for 100 years, our arts center is second to none for a community of our size, and our diving facility has attracted Olympians who come here to train. … People are coming to Southwest Georgia. About 50 percent of our high school graduating classes return to Colquitt County to live and work. They recognize the great quality of life. They desire to live and raise their children here. … We’re so glad that PCOM came into the region with the self-interest of educating healthcare professionals and the shared interest of improving health care for Georgians. The College wanted to make Moultrie a better community, and they certainly have. We are honored to be part of the PCOM story.”

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As told by J. Steven Blake, DO ’89, MSc

Leonard W. Johnson, DO ’64”Up until the mid-1990s, PCOM’s entering classes of African American students were very small. In my class (1989), entering in August of 1985, there were five African Americans, four women and myself. Dr. Johnson made it a point to get to know all of us. He made it a point to be nurturing. … He invited us over to his family medicine practice in West Philadelphia to show us what it was like in private practice in the inner-city African American community, and about the need for giving back and taking care of people that were less fortunate. He also wanted us to see what was required to own and manage a private practice, because most of us did not come from families where Mom, Dad, or any family members were physicians. So he wanted to show us how a practice could be set up—the functionality of it, the logistics—and I think he did an excellent job. … Dr. Johnson was very devoted to young people and to helping them recognize the importance of postsecondary education. Whether it was to study medicine, engineering, law, nursing, teaching—he just wanted young people to pursue college. … He was an amazing man, very driven. He wasn’t concerned about the number of hours he put into the day. He would make rounds well into the evening after he finished a long day of office hours and community engagements. It wasn’t unusual for him to go to the hospital to finish rounds at 9 or 10 o’clock at night. Once office hours ended, it was all about how he could reach out to the community beyond medicine. … He was engaging and created relationships where patients could feel very comfortable about confiding in him. He was a great mentor in helping to teach us how to osteopathically/holistically interact with patients. He had the respect of everybody throughout the community. He was just a very likeable person. … Dr. Johnson made a big sacrifice in maintaining a private practice in a less desirable part of the city for well over 30 years. There were a lot of impoverished people in that community, and he didn’t turn anyone away. His legacy will live on forever.”

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As told by Oliver Bullock, DO ’78, professor emeritus, PCOM

William M. King, DO ’62”I had been in practice for a year when I attended a continuing medical education conference on new techniques for ENT. I sat across from Dr. Bill King, who said, ‘I’ve never seen you before.’ He ended up inviting me to do some hours in his practice in Germantown. That’s how it started, and I was there for about two years, before my own practice got too busy for me to continue. A lot of doctors practicing now got their start in Bill King’s office, picking up a few hours … Bill practiced in what had been a huge funeral home, with beautiful waiting rooms to make his patients feel valued. It was a very successful business—he rented space to a pharmacy, an X-ray unit, a big physical therapy unit, all of them managed by his staff. … Saturday hours were 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and sometimes we wouldn’t get out till 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. I think I saw 86 patients one day. … He was particularly fond of the many children in his practice, remembering most of their names and making up special names for some … Bill had been a biochemist at the NIH National Heart Institute. On lunch breaks—though we were so busy we hardly had any—he would talk to me about the disease process and how medications affected it. … Bill had a gorgeous home, like a museum, with stuffed animals and all kinds of carved masks and objects that he collected from his travels around the world. His swimming pool was like a Hollywood setup. But he got delight in seeing others’ delight in what he had. Some medical students got married in his house; organizations had their meetings there. . . . What was really his thing was philanthropy. He gave so much to the community. … He was a Central High alum and the largest contributor to a new media center there, funded by alumni donations, that opened in 2005. It was named for him. … He derived pleasure from what he was able to do for other people. One day he said to me, ‘Bullock, come here. I have something for you.’ He showed me a refrigerator full of prime rib. I had never set my eyes on a chunk that big; I had to use a saw to get it into my fridge. It was absolutely the best. That’s the way he was.”

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As told by Michael P. McGuinness, PhD, Professor of Anatomy, Department of Bio-Medical Sciences, PCOM

Tage Kvist, PhD”Dr. Kvist was part of the reason I agreed to transition from pharmaceutical research back into academia. I had been out of the teaching environment for probably a decade, so I was nervous. He was a great mentor, able to advise without critiquing my personal style. … Understanding how to present a dissected specimen to students on an exam might seem straightforward, but there’s an art to it. And Dr. Kvist was able to guide me and others to make sure we were assessing students in a fair but appropriate manner. When I started here at PCOM, he had us sit down as a department and go through every question on a written exam to make sure the scientific content was accurate. That was his level of commitment to the reputation of the courses. … He was the first chair of the Department of Bio-Medical Sciences and was instrumental in helping a diverse group of faculty integrate into one umbrella group—able to navigate different personalities, and different courses and requirements, and bringing us together so that we worked cohesively. … Throughout all of this, he was very humble. He wasn’t looking for recognition. He just did the work he did, including his work as one of the earliest educators to begin plastinating biological specimens for teaching purposes, and he was proud of the work he did. He had been at PCOM for 39 years when he retired. … Dr. Kvist had a very dry sense of humor, and it was incorporated into every one of his lectures, but very rarely did you hear students laughing. Later, though, students would tell me, ‘I listened to his lecture again, and he’s really funny!’ His humor was so subtle that, in the moment, you could miss the nuances. … One thing that endeared him to students was that he spent unscheduled hours helping them in the anatomy lab. Medical students took gross anatomy as their first course, and a lot of times they were overwhelmed by volume. He probably helped countless students get through that first term over his years here. … As a mentor, he gave me a perspective on caring about students and the job that we’re supposed to be doing: trying our best to make sure that they’re successful.”

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As told by Christine N. McGinn, DO ’95

Sherman Leis, DO ’67”I graduated from medical school in 1995, did a year of internship in 1996, and spent four years as a Navy flight surgeon and working with NASA. Then I took a year off for my own transition as a transgender woman. … I had always hoped and dreamed to be a plastic surgeon, and I went to Abington Hospital to jump back into my career. My reviews were stellar, but they let me go. I was devastated and ended up switching to Suburban Mercy Suburban Hospital for the four remaining years of general surgery. Dr. Leis operated there too, and none of the other residents were interested in plastic surgery, so there was nobody to help him. About a half-dozen plastic surgeons rotated through that hospital, so I ended up getting this incredible plastic surgery experience. I was in the right place at the right time. … Dr. Leis created the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery residency at PCOM in 1991, and he’s really the father of plastic surgery for the osteopathic profession. None of us would be here if it weren’t for him. When I was trying to get into a plastic surgery residency, there were only three spots in the whole country that a DO could qualify for. I was one of two people selected for the PCOM program that year. … At that time, hospitals in Philadelphia were closing, selling, restructuring—it was like musical chairs. Dr. Leis fought hard to get into places where previously only MDs got in. He wanted to make sure we had a full and balanced education. We were in five or six different hospitals, and it’s made all the difference in the breadth of my skills. … In the middle of my rotation with him, he became ill and was out of commission for a couple of months. I had to go make my own residency, which enabled me to get some very specialized training in transgender medicine. … Dr. Leis listened to people, and everyone came in as an equal. No matter how down and out somebody was when they came to see him, he would listen to them and try to help them. … He was an innovator, and he didn’t limit himself. At conferences, he always asked about controversial subjects. He challenged people, and he stood up for what he believed in.”

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As told by Kenneth J. Veit, DO ’76, MBA, FACOFP, Provost, Senior Vice President

Legendary PCOM professor Robert Meals, DO '56”Bob was my teacher and my colleague. As a teacher, he was brilliant. Yet, I don’t think he ever recognized his own genius—how he informed his art with fresh perspective, sage advice and a hint of silliness. … On the first day of class, we were thrown into a big auditorium. During the course of his radiology presentation, Bob would put up someone’s picture on that big screen and ask us to answer his clinical question. We usually had no idea what he was talking about. Perhaps that was our first reality check: ‘Boy, we’re really in medical school now.’ But very quickly, we realized that he was not concerned about our answers. He was more focused on creating an encouraging educational environment, in every class, to take away some of our paranoia about making a mistake. The wisdom of his teaching was understanding that only when you let go do you open yourself up to learn. … Years later, I was fortunate to have an office very close to where he taught the third-year students. There was a mandatory radiology clerkship; you had to experience Bob regardless of whether you wanted to be a radiologist or a family doctor or an internist. During the first week, it was kind of quiet in that classroom. By the beginning of the second week, you’d hear laughter, singing, all kinds of shenanigans. He had puppets; he was Mister Rogers before Mister Rogers. He would have the students whistling, humming, playing guitars, doing skits. … What could be more embarrassing than standing in front of your peers and singing? But once you got over that embarrassment, you opened yourself up to learning. … Bob hasn’t been with us for a number of years; he passed away in 2005. But hospital administrators—across the state and region—still tell me they can identify PCOM grads because they’re not intimidated by reading images and films. They never have that deer-in-a-headlight look. They know logically how to look through the film, look at the soft tissue, the anatomical components. … Bob won teaching awards over and over again. … He told me, ‘This is how I enjoy teaching.’ The excitement, the enthusiasm, the energy that he created in his classroom came back to him, made him more spirited and more inclined to give. … Even when he got sick at the end, he never retired. His enjoyment of teaching actually penetrated the classroom. You can pick that up as a student. If the teacher is excited about being in front of you, that goes a long way.”

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As told by Jessica Glass Kendorski, PhD, NCSP, chair, director and professor, MS and certificate programs in applied behavior analysis, PCOM

Rosemary B. Mennuti, EdD, NCSP, founding director of PCOM’s graduate degree programs in school psychology”When I first joined the College as a young professor, I shadowed Roe. As my faculty mentor, she’d often meet and walk me from classes and around campus. It always amazed me that we’d never make it more than a few yards (sometimes a few footsteps) without students, faculty and staff stopping us. Everyone wanted to talk to Roe—professionally. Personally. I think they simply wanted to experience the warmth of her presence, her benevolence. Her authenticity. She puts everyone at ease. … In psychology, we teach that empathy starts with being present. Roe is always fully present as a person, as a teacher, as a therapist, as a leader. She is a nurturer. At the same time, she is strong, assertive and effective. …  She brought a whole lifetime with her when she came to PCOM. She had been a fourth-grade teacher, a guidance counselor, a school psychologist in the New Jersey public schools. She is also a doting mother to her daughter. She recognized that she had grown and matured throughout her career and the many different facets of it. She worked at PCOM for nearly a decade (before her retirement in 2014) and during that time developed, implemented and taught three School Psychology programs [PsyD, MS and EdS]. … Throughout her tenure, Roe was the face of School Psychology. She was also the heartbeat. She upheld the highest academic standards in the field and obtained all the regulatory designations. She drew highly credentialed students at the national level. She committed to them, and they attribute their success to her. … Her programs thrived—and continue to thrive today—not just because of their academic rigor but because of their climate. Roe knows how to build relationships. She understands that students (even graduate-level ones) learn and flourish when they establish cooperative and collaborative connections—authentic relationships with teachers and with one another. I imagine this stems from her academic passion for and research on school-based mental health and cognitive and behavioral interventions. In this area, she was undoubtedly ahead of her time—recognizing that children (with their families) can only reach their fullest potential when they feel safe, valued and appreciated.”

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As told by Alexander S. Nicholas, DO ’75, FAAO dist., professor and chair, osteopathic manipulative medicine, PCOM

Nicholas S. Nicholas, DO”My dad was a larger-than-life figure. He came to Philadelphia in 1946 after his discharge from the United States Navy. A first-generation Greek immigrant, he discovered Philadelphia College of Osteopathy on 48th and Spruce streets, where he took continuing medical education classes and soon started teaching osteopathic manipulation treatment to medical students four afternoons a week. … From 1946 to 1965, he taught medical students for free. That didn’t sit well with my mother, who couldn’t understand why he’d close down his practice each afternoon. … He was a super-extroverted guy, who was heavy-set and smoked cigars. He often had medical students shadowing him. He’d meet with students for breakfast at the Garrett Restaurant on 69th Street in Upper Darby. At times there would be lunch or dinner too. … My dad was one of the first to use osteopathic manual manipulation in sports medicine. He started as the sports physician at Villanova University, from 1946 to 1960, for the school’s teams in football, basketball and track. He cared for nine Olympic athletes, including pole-vaulter Don Bragg, and long-distance runners Marty Liquori and Eamonn Coghlan. … He was devoted to developing the osteopathic profession. My brother and I would hear him up on his soapbox; he didn’t want it taken over by allopathic physicians. … He believed in osteopathic manipulative treatments and that they were integral to health care. Like A.T. Still, the founder of osteopathic medicine, he felt that the heroics of dangerous chemicals and medicines could be worse than the actual diseases. In 1974, he wrote a textbook called Atlas of Osteopathic Techniques, which detailed what he knew. … My dad always believed in manual diagnosis, to see if the musculoskeletal system would give signs through palpation of the body. He’d feel those little reflexes that can cause dysfunction. And he’d treat that dysfunction to get positive results. And teaching OMT at PCOM gave him the opportunity to teach hands-on principles. He’d tell his students, ‘That’s why our school is here.’”

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As told by Eddie Williams, PharmD ’14

Jason O’Neal, PharmD ’14”Our favorite hangout was the study room. That’s where you’d often find Jason, James [Lindsay, PharmD ’14] and me, cracking jokes while perusing our pharmacology books. More than a few times, Jason retreated there on his own to lie on the floor and to pray the pain of sickle cell anemia away—once in the middle of an exam. … Our study room now bears Jason’s name, dedicated in loving memory to my best friend and fellow graduate of PCOM’s inaugural PharmD class, a lasting tribute to Jason Walton O’Neal’s grit, gumption and sly smile I’d do anything to see again. … Complications from sickle cell disease took Jason from us on August 12, 2016, too young at age 35 and only two years after he’d accomplished his goal of becoming a pharmacist, which at times seemed like an impossible dream when you consider the many health obstacles he had to overcome during those four years. … Jason was the first person I met at PCOM Georgia. We showed up for our pharmacy school interviews together in 2010, nervous and excited and hoping we’d be accepted into the school. You know how you meet someone for the first time, but you sense you’ve met before? That’s how it was with Jason and me. Turns out, we had graduated a year apart from Southwest DeKalb High School some 10 years before our paths crossed again. … The truth is, I didn’t know how sick Jason really was—nor did his other classmates or professors. Jason kept his illness private and didn’t want anyone’s pity. The only outward signs of his disability were a limp in his right leg from a childhood stroke that many mistook for a strut, turned-in fingers on his left hand and his tall (6 foot), slender (130-pound) frame. … Yet it was hard not to notice all the classes Jason missed while hospitalized with repeated bouts of pneumonia. ‘Sicklers’ are susceptible to lung infections. ‘You were in the hospital?’ classmates would ask when he’d reappear on campus. ‘Man, this is normal for me,’ was all he’d say. … That was the thing about Jason. He just kept on resisting, persisting and never, ever giving up despite his punishingly cruel and relentlessly unforgiving illness. … It’s tough not having him here—in our daily text messages, at Atlanta Falcons games and at my sons’ birthday parties—but Jason continues to inspire and amaze me, just as I hope he does for future PCOM School of Pharmacy students.”

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As told by Bonnie Buxton, PhD, professor, microbiology and immunology, PCOM Georgia

Mary P. Owen, JD, MS, PhD, CS, the first retired PCOM Georgia professor to be recognized as a Professor Emerita”In July 2005, I came with Mary and several others to develop the curriculum that would start in mid-August at the new Georgia campus of PCOM. It was quite a task to get all those ducks in a row, tweaking the Philadelphia curriculum and figuring out who was doing what. For several weeks before our offices were ready, we worked in an old house at the Osteopathic Institute of the South. It drove home the fact that we were starting from the ground up. … We were from all over the place—except Mary, our only southerner, who was from Alabama. … Her work and experience in pharmacology helped her put together the initial curriculum. She had so many accomplishments, but she was very humble about them. She was also a very private person, and very independent. … Mary became an influential person on the Research Committee. And she was also a course director, which is a very important role. When you’re organizing a course in second year, you’ve got to coordinate basic science and then clinical medicine—and we didn’t have any clinicians then. So she had to make those contacts and coordinate their work—make sure each knew what the other was doing. She set up a process that I encouraged other course directors to follow. … Mary had primarily been a research scientist in the period before she joined PCOM, not heavily involved in teaching. But some people are just naturally good at knowing how to build complexity, from basic foundational concepts to more complex concepts in a way that carries your students with you. She seemed to be able to do that right out of the gate. … Even with a heavy load of administration and curriculum building, she was interested in maintaining some research. Once we had the Biomedical Sciences program, students could assist with that. … Students really loved her; it was obvious how much she cared about them. She was really easy to talk to—jovial and outgoing. When you were in the hallways, you could hear her laughing. But she had a very serious side, too. When she felt strongly about something, she would fight for what she believed in. She retired from PCOM Georgia in 2019, and continues her legal work. We miss her here.”

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As told by David Kuo, DO ’96, RES ’99, associate dean of graduate medical education and associate professor, family medicine, PCOM

Richard A. Pascucci, DO ’75, former vice dean for clinical education”Rich was the director of medical education when I was a resident, so I got to know him at morning reports and at lectures. The big thing with Rich is his personality—he’s easy to talk to, very engaging, and makes you feel like you’re the most important person in the room. And he always used humor to break the ice or put people at ease in a meeting. … He asked me in 2005 to become the associate program director for the Family Medicine residency, and in that position I reported to him. In 2012, when he was the vice dean for clinical education and had other responsibilities requiring more of his time, Rich offered to bring me in part-time to teach me how to be the head of graduate medical education one day. … What a great mentor Rich is. He’s taught me so much about professionalism, and how to be patient as well. I’m a pretty calm guy, but when things would go wrong, he’d sit me down and help me work it out. … Rich would say, ‘All right. What’s the issue? Let’s take a step back and think about it unemotionally, and see what’s going on.’ Or ‘What’s the other side’s motivation? How can we work together and compromise to get things done?’. … Over time, he slowly and progressively gave me more to do, and helped me think things through. Early on, I would ask myself, ‘How would Rich handle this?’ But now it’s ingrained in me because he’s taught me so well. … When [allopathic and osteopathic] graduate medical education transitioned to a single accreditation system, beginning in 2015, Rich and I were learning together, and he was handing off to me in a time of turmoil where sometimes we didn’t know the answer. So we had to figure it out together, along with Joanne Jones [campus officer, PCOM South Georgia], who was the third person in our triumvirate. … Rich has always been a teacher to me, even on the golf course! Every time we play together, I learn something from him. And whenever we went golfing in Atlantic City, afterwards we’d go to the casinos, where we’d play blackjack together. He taught me strategy, and he’d say, ‘Sometimes you’ve got to take a risk. Roll the dice.’… I hope he is happy and proud that he trained me. Honestly, he is like a father figure to me.”

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As told by Jennifer H. Shaw, PhD, chair and associate professor of physiology, Department of Bio-Medical Sciences, PCOM South Georgia

Julia Patterson, DO ’23”Julia arrived as one of our inaugural students from a small nearby town, Tifton. I was assigned to check in with her regularly as her faculty mentor … The first six or eight weeks of the DO program are a bit daunting. Things feel scary and overwhelming. And then, as she worked through that—I know it’s a process, but it seemed like a light switch was flipped, a spark ignited. When Julia realized she could do this, she belonged here. What I saw was the change in her confidence—really becoming successful in the classroom and seeing herself for who she is and all her talent. … That inaugural class is very tight. It was a brand-new campus—brand-new everything—and they built strong friendships and provided each other with a lot of support. … Julia arrived at PCOM South Georgia with a tremendous service record in rural health working with migrants. She was part of the Moultrie Farmworker Health Project—this is one of the largest agricultural areas east of the Mississippi. She’s also worked with Called to Care, a faith-based organization that supplies children in foster care with clothing and necessities. She’s worked with Habitat for Humanity and Adopt a Mile. She’s involved with Hope House in Moultrie, a center that helps women with unplanned pregnancies, providing necessities and also parenting education. … While at PCOM she participated in the Scholars Program of the Southwest Georgia Area Health Education Center, a community-driven nonprofit seeking to increase access to health care by improving the number and distribution of healthcare providers in 38 counties. This offered hands-on training and the opportunity to work with students in other health professions, as well as increasing her professional contacts. … Julia will begin her residency as an internal medicine physician at Archbold Hospital in Thomasville, Georgia, which is just 20 miles south of Moultrie and not far from Tifton. Where residency training takes place is where physicians are more likely to stay. … Julia is exactly the kind of student we were looking for. She’s South Georgia bred, and when she’s speaking with patients here, these are the people who helped raise her, the community she grew up within. Patients know she understands their experiences.”

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As told by Pat Lannutti, DO '71, MSc, Professor and Chair, Division of General Internal Medicine

Legendary PCOM faculty member Nicholas C. Pedano, DO '61, FACOS”Nick Pedano was my guide and counselor—and also my cousin. My grandmother was a Pedano. … When I decided I wanted to go to PCOM, Nick wrote a letter for me. Later, when I had a little trouble with anatomy, Nick talked to his close friend Angus Cathie [then chair of the department]. …Nick wanted me to be a surgeon, even though I said, ‘Nick, I’m not good with my hands.’ … I remember one case, the second operation was 12 hours. I’m short, so I had to stand on a stool, and I said, ‘Maybe it’s better if I pass out.’ After it was over and we were taking the gloves off, I said, ‘Cuz, this is not for me.’ He said, ‘All right. You’re going to go into internal medicine.’ … Nick could order you to do something and you did it, and then— ‘Wait a minute, what am I doing?’ … The whole family had a commanding presence. Surgeons have to be commanding, and they have to give orders, but they get away with more if the iron fist has a velvet glove. … There were two parts of Nick’s personality. He was friendly, and he was bossy—but he had a nice way about him. … He had a house down the shore in Margate, right by the ocean, and he would have a party every year for the interns and for the residents, a beautiful affair. He would wine and dine them because he appreciated what they did for him. And he developed relationships all the way up the line. That was the social Nick. In the operating room, he took no hostages, because he had to get things done the way he wanted them done. … As chairman of surgery, Nick led the way to the growth of PCOM by example. He had a massive service, with tons of patients. He went all over the place to nurture family doctors. … The people who worked with him were indefatigable and inextinguishable. The College is to a large degree where it is because of his absolutely brilliant energy. … From Nick, I saw that leadership is not totally dictatorial or totally social. It’s a good mixture of both. So I try to achieve that balance with my house staff. Yes, we work hard. When it comes time for me to be the boss, they look at me as the boss. But then I’ll say, ‘Okay, it’s five o’clock, let’s go over to the Hilton.’ ”

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As told by Danielle Ward, DO ’18

Ashley Roxanne Peterson, DO ’19”When I began medical school at PCOM Georgia, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was starting on a new journey, in fulfillment of a lifelong dream—in a new state, in a new city, at a new school, surrounded by new people I did not know. When I met Dr. Peterson, whom I affectionately refer to as Roxy, I knew I had found my person. We connected during orientation week, and while I didn’t know her age, I was immediately drawn to her ambition, sweet demeanor, and thirst to make waves in the world of medicine. We became friends, and I realized just how phenomenal Roxy was and is. … Through the years, we worked together in various leadership positions, and I enjoyed watching her grow into an amazing leader. She not only became my little sister, but she was more like a big sister to my own daughter. It was because of Roxy that I was able to be the best version of myself as a single mother and medical student. She often spent her free time watching my daughter so that I could succeed. … You wouldn’t have known it from her ability to command the attention of a room or from the invaluable wisdom she imparted to her peers, but Roxy was only 19 when she began medical school. She was among the youngest to graduate from osteopathic medical school when she obtained her degree from PCOM Georgia at the age of 24. She then went on to complete her family medicine residency at Morehouse School of Medicine. She wasn’t in residency long when she received the Morehouse School of Medicine inaugural Top 10 Under 40 award, and I remember crying happy tears as I sat in attendance for her recognition at the Atlanta Black 40 Under 40 awards. I was so proud. (Did I mention while doing all of this she also formed excellent content and engaged in interviews for her podcast and ran a clothing business?) … Today she is board-certified in family medicine and is practicing in a geriatrics clinic. She is married to another wonderful physician; I was blessed to witness their union and continued love. … Roxy is a true portrait of resilience, grace and what it means to make her family proud. She often speaks about being inspired by her enslaved ancestors and family members who were unwilling participants in the Tuskegee Airmen Study. Roxy inspires me daily.”

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As told by Ruth Thornton, PhD, Professor Emerita

JoAnne Pieringer, PhD”When I started teaching at PCOM, I listened to tapes that students had made of JoAnne’s lectures. It was so easy to follow her. JoAnne was a very good teacher. … She always had a smile. I remember giving one lecture when I had just started teaching. Those lecture rooms are huge, holding about 270 people. And there she was in the audience, near the front. At one point when I looked up, she had the best smile on her face. It was such a wonderful thing to see. … JoAnne was probably about five foot four or five, with short, straight hair and looked like she would be no-nonsense. And in some cases she was; she was a strong woman. But really, she was just fun. She never got frustrated with me, with students, with anybody. Students loved her! … When JoAnne met Barbara [now Dr. Thornton’s spouse] and me, we were a couple. We remember going to events and how welcoming she was of both of us. She was always interested in people. … JoAnne’s field was lipids—so was her husband’s [Ronald Pieringer, PhD, was Dr. Thornton’s professor when she was a doctoral student at Temple University]—and that’s not my favorite subject. So she and I complemented each other intellectually. … JoAnne had her own research. But when Dr. Mochan [Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO ’77, then department chair] was there, he had a particular research project in molecular biology he wanted the department to do. JoAnne was able to shift gears on this ongoing project. She was a kind of gung-ho type of person: ‘I’m just going to jump in here, and I’m going to do it. And I’m going to enjoy it.’… I became the chair of the department after Dr. Mochan stepped down. I found that a lot of my ideas about how to approach students and how to manage people had come from JoAnne. We only overlapped for perhaps two years before she passed away, and I didn’t realize at the time how much I was getting from her. There was no expectation of her being my mentor; it just happened. …When she died, Dr. Mochan, Dr. Ruth Borghaei and I set up a scholarship fund in JoAnne’s name, along with a brick laid in the Donor Garden outside Evans Hall.”

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As told by Abigail H. Faerber, DO

Ruth E. Purdy, DO ’50”When I was a little girl in Columbus, Ohio, my father was head of the Radiology Department at Doctors Hospital. I rode with him to the hospital, and the school bus picked me up at the emergency entrance. So I stood there in the hall looking at the window, waiting for the school bus. Dr. Purdy would come by and say hello to me. She was the first woman physician I knew [and the first at Doctors Hospital—a woman who would successfully lobby for the first ICU unit in the state.] … She and my father got along very well. Once, Dr. Purdy’s Mercedes was making some sort of a noise, and my father said he’d trade cars with her for two days and figure out what it was. But the next day she gave his back. She’d been driving on US Highway 33. My father was the chief of the volunteer fire department, and she had somehow flipped the switch in his car that turned the horn into a siren and lights. … I had been a geologist, and when I decided to go to medical school I could really count on my fingers the number of people who thought that was a good idea. But fortunately my husband [George O. Faerber, DO ’61] was on that list, and Dr. Purdy was too. … When I graduated from medical school, she sent me a card that said, ‘Congratulations on your degree. Now that you’re done with your academic work, you’ll have to work harder, be smarter. … ’ Inside it said, ‘But being a woman like you, that won’t be hard.’ … I did my training after medical school at Doctors Hospital. She and another woman internist said essentially the same thing to me: I could run something past them with no worry that they were going to say, ‘What do you mean?’ . … Dr. Purdy was a reserved person, but she was friendly and warm. She cared for her patients, and she cared for her friends. … Later on, Dr. Purdy and I shared offices. I was in her office, right at the hospital, one morning a week, with her staff, and one morning a week she was in my office, in an urban area with marvelous parking, with my staff. We didn’t have any financial arrangement. We had a woman’s handshake on it. That arrangement lasted over a decade, until I sold my practice.”

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As told by Michelle Hobson, DO ’80, clinical assistant professor, Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, PCOM

Ida C. Schmidt, DO ’35, FACGP, FAAO”I worked with Ida Schmidt one day a week for almost the last 10 years of her life. I had a wonderful experience with her. When I started in the [OMM] lab in 1999, she was in her late eighties—my senior in many respects. But she had a gift of making you feel comfortable and relating to you on your level. And she really had a desire to teach you what you needed to do with the techniques. That put me at ease. And then I was able to relate in the same way to my students. … We had an event called Evening with the Stars, modeled after the event at the American Academy of Osteopathy convocation. You get to hear from the more senior, more experienced clinicians on how they would treat certain problems. That night we were doing foot and ankle. Ida was just super—very comfortable doing her treatment as well as explaining it to us at the same time. It was second nature to her, as if she were breathing. So it was wonderful to watch how skilled she was, and yet you knew how almost effortless it seemed for her. … She was seated in her motorized chair, but she was such a pro by then that it didn’t matter. She knew how to make it work to her best advantage. She had started in osteopathic medicine before there was widespread use of antibiotics, so this was her go-to treatment to make sure that everything was working and aligned as it should be, in order for the body to heal. … The teaching always invigorated her. She looked forward to coming in. She took her accreditation exam from the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians when she was about 90. You didn’t need to do that to teach. This was for her own edification. … She was a very charming woman, very gentle, informal and warm. She was unassuming—no pretensions. I was so blessed to know her and to learn from her.”

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As told by Daniel Parenti, DO ’87, FCCP, FACOI, chair and professor, internal medicine, and program director, internal medicine residency, PCOM

John P. Simelaro, DO ’71, FCCP, FACOI, 2007 recipient of the O. J. Snyder Memorial Medal”John and I were together for a very long time. I first met John as a medical student through his academic courses and lectures and on his pulmonary service. He also taught me during my internship at Metropolitan Hospital. I went into practice with him in 1995, and we worked together until his retirement in 2018. … John was an exceptional clinician and a tireless advocate for compassionate patient care. He was also a jokester. He liked to laugh. He had an uncanny ability to connect with people—all people at all times. His patients loved him; they would travel great distances to be seen by him. … He was a beloved teacher. Throughout his career he taught thousands of students, interns and residents. They genuinely adored him—and he endearingly referred to them as his “kids.” Year after year, he’d be honored with distinguished teaching awards. … John was a natural presenter. He had a strong stage presence when he lectured in his field of pulmonary medicine and critical care. He often said that teaching and entertaining are the same thing. … If you met John, he was the kind of person that you would remember. One time I was at a medical conference in Chicago when a fellow physician saw on my nametag that I was from Philadelphia. ‘Do you know Dr. Simelaro?’ he asked excitedly. It turned out the physician had attended a lecture by John at a previous conference, and had come back to the current conference in the hope of reconnecting with John. … John was one of the first pulmonologists to use biologic therapies for patients with asthma. He worked with pharmaceutical companies as they were developing some of these drugs. These monthly injections help people to better control their asthma. He was an expert in using this form of therapy, enabling many of his patients to live better lives. … John, Mike [Michael A. Venditto, DO ’77] and I had a three-person pulmonary practice on City Avenue and in South Philadelphia. It was a small community-type practice. I enjoyed working with John because he was such an outstanding, hardworking physician. He would never ask you to do something he wouldn’t do himself; he was the kind of partner you want to practice medicine with. He will always be my mentor and friend.”

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As told by J. Peter Tilley, DO, MSe (Rad.), FAOCR, former president, PCOM

Alice Aline Swift, DO ’34, MSc (Ost.)”Dr. Swift was a long-term member of the Radiology Department at PCOM [retired as vice chairman of the department]. I was a resident, and she was one of my mentors. She was a very organized person and believed that if you conducted procedures in an orderly fashion, you would be rewarded with good, accurate outcomes. … On one occasion, I was attempting to do a barium enema—introduce barium into the patient’s colon. It was a catastrophe. The barium was not in the patient’s colon. It was on the patient, on me, on the table, on the floor, on the technician. I had failed in a dramatic and humiliating way. I remember that exam to this day. . . . Dr. Swift looked into the room and said, ‘Can I give you a hand?’” I said a grateful ‘Yes.’ She helped clean up the mess, and we started again. She established a quietly competent atmosphere, and we successfully completed the exam. I expected a sharp critique, but she said, ‘I know you know how to do this exam, and you had a bad day. There will be bad days.’ … I joined the department after I completed my residency training. She knew when to be critical and when to be just human and supportive. She showed me how to treat the people I was training. … Dr. Swift was a formal person 99 percent of the time. You knew that there was more to her, but you didn’t get a look at it very often. … She did the mammography at the hospital and didn’t have a lot of time for other things. But I knew that I could go to her and say, ‘Look, I’m in a conundrum with this particular case. I just don’t know which way to go.’ As a radiologist, you want to be careful not to give people reasons to do a tremendous amount of additional studies that don’t go anywhere. On the other hand, you don’t want to overlook anything. Dr. Swift was really good at that. I could count on her.”

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As told by Ronald R. Blanck, DO ’67, MACP, LTG USA (Ret)

Marina N. Vernalis, DO ’77, FACC, Col. MC USA (Ret)”I met Marina in the mid to late seventies when I started as an attending at National Naval Medical Center, as well as continuing my attending work at Walter Reed. She was one of my first residents, and she impressed me from day one with the clarity and completeness of her presentations. I was thrilled to learn that she was a fellow PCOM graduate [one of 14 women in her class of 275]. … At some point after her residency and after her first Navy assignment—she had a Navy health professions scholarship—Marina decided to come over to the Army, for a variety of reasons. She was on staff at Walter Reed. By then I had gone to the assignments branch, so I kept running into her and seeing her progress. Things were not easy in those days, I’ll tell you quite frankly, for a woman, particularly in cardiology, and there was skepticism about noninvasive cardiology, which was her area. Cardiac ultrasound and all the imaging wasn’t nearly as sophisticated then as it is today. She did very well, and assumed greater and greater leadership positions. … Some years later, when I was commander of Walter Reed Medical Center North Atlantic Region Medical Command, again she was one of the people I counted on to provide the leadership, ultimately as chief of Cardiology Services. Marina had the background of being an outstanding clinician and teacher who was also involved in research. … Upon her retirement from the Army she went to the Integrative Cardiac Health Project at what was then Walter Reed Army Medical Center. It put together education, patient care, and research in a single integrative program. … Marina has it all. She’s the complete physician—she provides superb patient care, she has exceptional communication skills. But then she’s taken it further, to do what many physicians try to do—though not all do it as well as Marina—and that is teach. Along with the research skills, the administrative experience—they all combine in making her a superb leader.”

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As told by Caroline Veronica Ruiz (DO ’26)

Harold F. White, DO ’61”Dr. White was a family doctor who practiced osteopathic medicine in my hometown, Lancaster City, Pennsylvania, for 50 years. My mom came to the United States when she was eight years old, and Dr. White was her first doctor here. He ended up being the primary doctor for three generations of my family. … He understood the struggle of poverty and empathized with my grandma, who was raising three children in a new city. No matter where you were, or the time of day, if you needed Dr. White, he was there. He even did house calls. He didn’t care where you were from. He didn’t care how much money you had or if you had insurance. … Later in life, Mom had some serious back issues, and Dr. White was the first doctor to treat her with osteopathic manipulation. She had very severe spinal herniations, and no one had ever tried this. I thought, ‘What’s going on?,’ and he explained it to me when I was a little girl. … He was very proud of what he learned from PCOM. He had a PCOM poster in his office, and now his daughter is going to give that poster to me. That’s a full circle moment. … When I told him I wanted to be a doctor, he looked at me. Then he grabbed a little piece of scrap paper, and he wrote something—I remember ‘biology, pre-medicine’—and he handed it to me. He said, ‘Do this, and you’re going to be successful. And don’t let anyone tell you no.’ And that stuck with me. … Not only was I a first-generation college student, but now I’m a first-generation osteopathic medical student because of his guidance and faith in me. He was always asking me, ‘How are those grades? If they’re not an ace, I don’t want to know!’ He had a sense of humor. ‘An 89? That’s not good enough! You’ve got to get a 90.’ … Dr. White used to tell patients to believe in themselves, to advocate for themselves. He was a true osteopathic physician in that he saw beyond the symptoms. He saw the whole person, and not just the person, but the family. And not only the family, but the future for the family. That’s something I take very personally. I plan to follow in Dr. White’s footsteps as a family doctor and look forward to serving the same populations with such a giving heart as he did. Today, I am a mentor for high schoolers and pre-meds, and in that way, I’m also honoring Dr. White’s memory.”

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PCOM alum and Black female osteopathic physician Edna K. Williams, DO 1926On May 18, 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Plessy v. Ferguson ruling, which upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation laws within the “separate but equal” doctrine. That was the world Edna D. Kennedy had been born into just five weeks prior. As an African American, she would face challenges in a society that did not offer separate but equal opportunities into the medical profession. Not only would her race limit her access to medical schools; so, too, would her gender. Despite the odds, this native Philadelphian—known as Edna K. Williams, DO, throughout her career—would follow in the footsteps of Meta L. Christy, DO 1921, as PCOM’s second African American alumna and a role model for the community and other Black medical professionals.

At the turn of the 20th century, the Kennedy family resided at 625 Pine Street, then an African American and immigrant neighborhood. Edna, the daughter of a laborer, was the eldest of three. By 1910, the family, including one grandmother, moved into a two-story row house in South Philadelphia. Edna attended Philadelphia High School for Girls, followed by a practical education at the Derrick Shorthand School of Philadelphia. Stenography was a reasonable career expectation for a Black woman of her times—and, as it turned out, not a bad skill to have for taking notes as a medical student!

But before medical school came marriage, a baby, a divorce and another marriage, all between 1918 and 1920. Husband Dayton H. C. Wilson, a bellman and, in later years, a physician, spent part of their newlywed year on active duty for World War I. While he was deployed, daughter Phylomina was born. By 1920, the estranged couple was living a block apart—with their respective parents—and Edna Kennedy was employed as a stenographer for a fraternal society. In August 1920, she married Alphonzo L. Williams, a chauffer from the District of Columbia, and this time took her husband’s name.

Turpy, the treatment guru

As the 1920s roared, this wife and mother hunkered down for life as a medical student, matriculating at PCOM’s Spring Garden Street location in 1922. Classmates came to know her as “Turpy.” Comments published in the PCOM Synapsis yearbook hint at her drive and perseverance. In 1925: “We have naught but praises for this young lady as she pioneers in this great science. She exhibits great pluck in carrying on.” And, in 1926:

I see here none other than Edna Williams, hard at work over a new demonstrating machine which enables the beginner to locate lesions by a crier which says “that’s it” or “no, you’re wrong.” Edna has tried many models, as may be seen by looking around, but this machine is no doubt “the” one.

At age 30, Dr. Williams graduated from PCOM, one of 18 women and the only African American woman in her class. 

Dr. Williams started a family practice in a rented three-story row house in Philadelphia’s Brewerytown neighborhood. She also opened an office in New Jersey. She kept fees very low, particularly to make health care affordable during the Great Depression. By 1935, husband Alphonzo had returned to Washington. Dr. Williams and Phylomina relocated to 219 East Upsal Street (East Mt. Airy), where she ran her family practice that included delivering babies, sometimes in the middle of the night. Patients referred to her as “the treatment guru.”

Although small in stature—barely five feet tall—Dr. Williams had a stool to stand on and strong therapeutic hands to perform osteopathic manipulative treatment. Valerie Griffin, who later worked with Dr. Williams at Gemedco Medical Center in Germantown, recalls how “She surprised a lot of the 200- to 250-pound men who came for treatment and manipulation with the strength of her hands.”

A call to minister

While Dr. Williams healed patients physically with her hands, by 1945, she was applying her religious convictions to minister in other ways. Dr. Williams was affiliated with the Third Christian Scientist denomination as a lecturer and teacher. She orated about pathways to spiritual, mental, financial and physical health by channeling God’s healing life currents; she also discussed reincarnation. One could say she exemplified a holistic approach to medicine. Dr. Williams established a chapel on the second floor of a brownstone at 2307 North Broad Street, where she conducted free weekly lectures, sometimes four times each Sunday.

By 1949, a growing following likely led Dr. Williams to relocate her chapel to 902 Walnut Street and expand her ministry to “Dr. Edna K. Williams Associates.” Her program spread beyond Philadelphia to bases in Baltimore, New York, and Washington, DC, and advertisements for her lectures appeared in Pittsburgh newspapers in the mid-1950s.

In her spare time, Dr. Williams enjoyed singing, which she combined with community service. She belonged to the Western Helpers’ Club, which sang Christmas carols to patients at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She also performed for a Germantown flower club.

Not the retiring type

When Dr. Williams retired from private practice, she did not stay in retirement for long. William M. King, DO ’62, who established the Gemedco Medical Center in 1976, convinced Dr. Williams to come out of retirement to work at the community medical center. She started off working one day a week, seeing 20 to 25 patients a day. Eventually, she slowed down to one morning a week and five to six patients—still a remarkable effort given that she was approaching 90.

In 1989, Dr. Williams retired for good at age 92. That same year, PCOM established a scholarship in her name to assist minority and ethnic students. She suffered a stroke and the loss of her daughter before passing away on September 28, 1993. Ms. Griffin remembers Dr. Williams as

quiet and soft spoken, but firm, and a very warm and kind-hearted spirit. She was always willing to share her knowledge of perseverance—going through medical school, how hard it was as a woman and a woman of color. She was very much a role model, encouraging others to keep striving and persevere.

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As told by H. William Craver III, DO '87, FACOS, Professor of Surgery; Dean and Chief Academic Officer, Osteopathic Medical Program, PCOM South Georgia

Legendary PCOM professor Daniel L. Wisely, DO, FACOS, LLD (Hon.)”Daniel Wisely was a very special gentleman. He came into a profession that was often, and still sometimes is, stigmatized as being rude or blunt. But he was so open, sincere, caring. … Yes, you had to work hard. You had to always be at your best. You had to bring a hundred percent, all the time. But he also recognized the sacrifices of the profession to your personal life, to your family. … I can remember him walking around the hospital, and something might be a bit ajar, and he’d take a moment to help out housekeeping, or pause while a nurse was with a patient rather than come in with a bluster. … When I was a resident in surgery, there weren’t that many of us, and you might be unable to get any time off. He’d say, ‘I’ll cover for you. I got this. You need to go home; you’ve been on for three weeks in a row.’… He was a consummate surgeon. I don’t think I ever saw him falter or sweat. He called himself a little country doctor, but his skills were just phenomenal. He had these big hands but such a subtle touch. … He was proud of all his residents and graduates, and of their successes over time. He had an ability to see not only people’s potential, but to take the next step of saying, ‘What can I do to help?’ … He wouldn’t let you in real close to him personally; he was a quiet and private man. But you knew he really cared. … He always made the time when the time was necessary. He just seemed to know. He had a great skillset of people understanding—listening, interpreting, getting to the bottom of something, not just reacting in a moment in time. Today, you can read all the books on management, but this was another era. How did he do it? … If I’m going into a difficult situation, whether to talk to a family about a loved one who is maybe going to pass, or to have a difficult conversation about something at work, I often think about the demeanor that he drew upon. And so it’s more than ‘What would Dan do?’—of course, we never would have called him Dan!—but ‘Without losing himself, how did he find the space to give everyone their due, their necessary attention? What was the essence?’”

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As told by Arthur J. Sesso, DO ’81, interim dean, osteopathic medical program; chairman, surgery, PCOM

Galen S. Young, Sr., DO ’35, MSc (Sur), FAAO, FACOS, DSc (Hon.), former Chancellor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery”Dr. Young was a large figure at the podium, and he took up most of the front of the classroom with his personality. He obviously was teaching surgery, but at same time he seamlessly wove together the different disciplines to make for one medical philosophy. That impressed me quite a bit as a second-year DO student. … When I was on his service, what struck me was that he knew his patients by their first names and had treated them multiple times. That’s because he not only had a surgical practice, he had a family medicine practice—he ran both together. So he wasn’t just someone a patient encountered at the last moment of a critical phase of their disease. … I’ve been involved in surgery now for almost 45 years, and I have never seen anybody have dual practices. More importantly, I have never seen anybody have their surgical residents manage both. I think the residents came to appreciate that skill later, as they went into their own practices. … I was the chairman of the surgery department when Dr. Young had to give up his scalpel. That was one of the first acts I had to perform, and I was very worried about doing it. I went into his room during his last surgery of the day. He seemed to recognize why I was there, without my having to say anything. He turned to me when the case was over; he handed me his scalpel, and he said, ‘Here, you may want to put this on a plaque.’ … Dr. Young very much believed in the people he was training, and for him it was a natural thing to hand off what he was doing to someone he had trained. He never regretted it, and that was not typical. … I operated on Dr. Young when he was close to 100 years old. He was in Florida and had a very serious health issue, but he couldn’t contemplate a non-DO working on him. And so he got on a plane, and I operated on him the next day. … To the very end, he always wanted to know how the clinics were running, and if we were getting the right people into the residency, and what cases we were doing. Even though he might not set foot on campus, he was still pulling strings, still trying to get osteopathic surgery to where he wanted it to be: the best in the nation.”

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