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DO Students Mark Transition After Two Challenging Years


April 14, 2022
Members of the DO class of 2024 celebrate at a unique pinning ceremony.
A DO medical student from the class of 2024 receives a pin.
A DO medical student from the class of 2024 receives a pin.
Members of the DO class of 2024 celebrate at a unique pinning ceremony.
A DO medical student from the class of 2024 receives a pin.
Members of the DO class of 2024 celebrate at a unique pinning ceremony.

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 restrictions.

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.”

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  • 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: danielmc1@pcom.edu
    Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: 267-449-1360

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