DO Students Mark Transition After Two Challenging Years
April 14, 2022
The DO Class of 2024 celebrates their collective resilience through a pinning ceremony
on April 12, 2022.
Over the last two-and-a-half years, students at every level – from grade school to
medical school – have endured tremendous challenges. For medical students, and especially
doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) students at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), the difficulties have been particularly acute because of the hands-on, patient-centered
approach to care the field demands, but that has been mostly inaccessible due to COVID
With the DO Class of 2024 unofficially referred to as the “COVID Class,” the inability
to share in many of the rites and passages of medical school has been a difficult
addition to an already grueling journey to become a physician. Classmates Megan Sullivan,
DO ‘24, class chair, and Beverly Andre, DO ‘24, wanted to recognize their collective
resilience and mark the transition from didactics to rotations through a special event
unique to their class – a pinning ceremony.
“Our class is extremely resilient,” said Sullivan. “We’ve had to be really adaptive
and flexible. This [event] represents our next step in our journey as medical students.”
With support from PCOM President and CEO, Jay S. Feldstein, DO ‘81, Kenneth Veit, DO '76, MBA, provost, senior vice president of academic affairs and dean, Student Affairs, and
others, the class leaders organized and hosted the DO Class of 2024 Pinning Ceremony
on April 12, 2022. In a recorded video message, Dr. Feldstein acknowledged the unique
circumstances of the last two years, with an eye toward the future. “I want to congratulate
you on getting through two of the toughest years of medical school any student could
ever have,” said Feldstein. “Now you look forward to the third and fourth years, where
the focus is really off you, and on the patients you’ll be taking care of for the
rest of your life.”
Dr. Veit reminded the class of all they have been through, but also what their experience
could mean going forward. “The skill sets that have helped you survive the first two
very difficult years of medical school,” said Veit, “will be the skill sets that you’ll
need for the rest of your professional career.”
Arthur J. Sesso, DO '81, professor, senior associate dean and chair of the Department of Surgery, also spoke
to the students, focusing on the broader implications of their pandemic challenges.
“Receiving your pin is more than a recognition of your accomplishments,” said Sesso.
“It is a tangible sign that you have become a member of a select, prestigious community.”
“The road ahead is not laden with obstacles, but opportunities to grow,” he added.
With reference to the rock group AC/DC, Peter Bidey, DO `08, vice-chair, Department of Family Medicine, shared his pride in the Class of 2024,
saying “For those about to rock – you’re going to rock your boards, you’re going to
rock your rotations – I salute you.”
As a special tribute toward the end of the program, the class stood and recited the
class Vision Statement, which reads, in part, “Global adversity has forced the world
to step back, and yet we are stepping forward.”
Reflecting on the event, Sullivan, the class chair, shared what she hoped her classmates
would take away from the experience, “I hope that the pinning ceremony is a way to
have a sense of community for our class and PCOM,” she said. “I hope they reflect
on how far we’ve come in the first two years of medical school and take a moment to
recenter to get that momentum going into clinical rotations. To celebrate everything
that we’ve accomplished.”
About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands
of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists
who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms.
PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic
medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in
applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic
medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership
and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician
assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration.
PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service
to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care
to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
For more information, contact: Daniel McCunney Associate Director, News and Media Relations Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: