More Than 500 Graduates Celebrate Commencement at PCOMMay 26, 2023
Ushered in by a chorus of bagpipes to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance,” more than
500 students from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) celebrated the culmination of years of hard work and dedication at the College’s
132nd commencement ceremony on May 19 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
PCOM Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Kenneth J. Veit, DO ‘76, MBA, FACOFP, began by welcoming the graduates and their families to the combined ceremony, the
first commencement in the College’s history inclusive of all academic programs, and
reflecting on the alumni who passed away in the last year.
“Today, as we participate in this age-old tradition, we come together to celebrate
all of our graduates,” said Veit. “You are well prepared and ready for the next step
in this lifelong journey.”
Jay S. Feldstein, DO ‘81, president and CEO of PCOM, reminded the assembled graduates of all they had overcome
to get to this culminating event. “You confronted a multitude of challenges—personal,
professional, public—posed by an unsettled world, its pace of change seeming to accelerate
with each passing day,” he said. “These challenges tested your adaptability. They
required, many times over, that you pivot and overcome confines with ingenuity and
His reminder, however, was not without optimism for the future. “I want you to remember
this as you leave here today: You are poised to lead in a world of continuous change,”
he said. “You are empowered to effect change and to grow from it.”
Following an introduction by Dr. Feldstein, keynote speaker Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, medical bioethicist, professor and author, delivered his commencement address. Caplan
is the author or editor of thirty-five books and over 850 papers in peer-reviewed
journals. He is also one of the founding members of the National Marrow Donor Program
which manages the Be The Match Registry of volunteer stem cell donors, among numerous
other personal and professional accomplishments.
His speech focused on the important role the graduates will play in ensuring their
patients—and the public—have accurate information about the health of themselves and
their communities. He encouraged the students to remain connected after graduation.
“I hope that you stick together, and fight together, for the future of medicine, health
care, and science,” said Caplan. “We are under some tough times right now, and I think
pulling together is the way forward.”
Addressing the students while seated in a wheelchair, Caplan went on to describe the
circumstances by which he came to need this assistance, contracting the polio virus
at age seven before the introduction of a global vaccine. “The vaccine was a little
too late for me,” he said. “But, that’s OK, because I am here as a witness of the
power of science and medicine to take on a pandemic and beat it.”
“You’re the best antidote to ignorance and disinformation,” he concluded. “You can
play a huge role in this war on medicine, health care, and science, and I hope that
Before the conferring of degrees, the graduates were congratulated by interim dean
Arthur J. Sesso, DO ‘81. “You are an impressive sight,” he said. “You have earned the highest prize life
has to offer: the chance to work hard at work worth doing. And, in some small way,
PCOM contributed to that.”
The Class of 2023 is a diverse group of health professionals with 274 doctors of osteopathic
medicine (DO), 12 clinical psychologists (PsyD), 49 biomedical scientists (Biomed),
seven forensic scientists, 51 physician assistants (PA), 20 school psychologists (PhD),
two educational psychologists (PhD), 29 mental health counselors (MHC), 12 licensed
professional counselors (LPC), and 52 masters-level students in applied positive psychology,
applied behavior analysis, educational specialist, organizational development and
leadership, public health management, and school of psychology.
To learn more about the Class of 2023, read their Graduate Profiles. To view the live-streamed ceremony, visit the PCOM’s YouTube page.
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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.
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