Humanism and compassion for others were frequent themes during the College’s osteopathic physician graduation events.
“Remember this: you are human beings first and osteopathic physicians second.”
With those words, Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and CEO, began PCOM’s 127th DO commencement ceremony with a charge for the new doctors: don’t focus solely on your clinical and scientific skills, but on your humanity as well.
Humanism and compassion for others was a thread that wove its way throughout this year’s festivities; at Commencement rehearsal a few days prior, each of the 254 graduating students was treated to a special gift: a book of poetry from alumnus Murray Zedeck, DO ’62, meant to provide a brief respite from the stress of the new doctors’ careers.
At the ceremony, Dr. Feldstein said, “I can attest to the fact that as a physician, you are granted access to humanity in its strongest and its frailest states. Medicine in action is nothing less than sometimes beautiful, sometimes harrowing poetry.”
Keynote speaker and honorary degree recipient Paul S. Zeitz, DO ’88, MPH, a physician, epidemiologist and advocate for universal justice, also implored the graduates to use their voice to stand up for others.
“As physicians you will be on the front lines of what happens in human society,” he said. “As your journey unfolds you will have a chance to use your voice. I ask you to speak truth, be bold and serve justice for all, in all of the places you will find yourselves.”
DOs continue to be one of the fastest growing segments of health care professionals in the U.S.; there are currently more than 100,000 DOs in active medical practice. According to the Federation of State Medical Boards’ Census of Licensed Physicians, PCOM is the osteopathic school with the largest number of graduates actively licensed in the U.S.—well over 7,000.
PCOM graduates will now move on to some of the most competitive residencies in the U.S., at institutions including Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania; Grandview Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio; and Hutchings Psychiatric Center in Syracuse, New York.
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, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, mental health counseling, 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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