More Than 500 Graduates Celebrate Commencement at PCOM
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More Than 500 Graduates Celebrate Commencement at PCOM

May 26, 2023

PCOM student stands on stage at commencement ceremonyUshered 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 resilience.”

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.”

Keynote speaker Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, addresses the commencement audienceFollowing 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.”

Recent PCOM grads pose for a photo outsideAddressing 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 you do.”

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.”

Group of PCOM graduate pose for a selfieThe 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

    For the past 125 years, 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, a private, not-for-profit accredited institution of higher education, 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. The college also offers graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, physician assistant studies, and school psychology. 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 or call 215-871-6100.

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