PCOM is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the OJ Snyder Memorial Medal: Oliver Bullock, DO ’78 and Joseph Dieterle, DO ’70; and the recipients of the Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medal: Lauren Smith (DO ’16), GA-PCOM campus, and Valerie Moore (DO ’15). The recipients will be honored during Founders' Day on Friday, Jan. 23.
Oliver C. Bullock, DO ’78, chair of the department of community medicine, has served PCOM for 27 years. Since joining the College’s faculty in 1988, he has advocated for the importance of community health. PCOM has supported his efforts in a number of ways, such as developing a program to allay children’s fears about the doctor’s office using puppets; and inspiring the College’s Board of Trustees to build brand new facilities for all PCOM Healthcare Centers in Philadelphia.
Dr. Bullock’s advocacy for community health developed as he began practicing medicine in the Philadelphia community where he grew up. Early on, he realized that many patients did not understand or listen to what the doctor was saying. “It was obvious that we needed to educate the community, so we started doing health fairs on a regular basis,” he says.
Over the years, Dr. Bullock has made numerous contributions to the field including his service on the Pew Foundation Health Commission, as chairman of the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine, and as vice chairman of the PCOM Diversity Council. In 2014, he received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award.
Joseph A. Dieterle, DO ’70, professor emeritus and member of PCOM’s Board of Trustees, made numerouscontributions to the College over the years. He headed the College’s department of pediatrics for several years and founded a pediatric residency program that trained 26 pediatric residents. In addition, he served as vice president of medical affairs and dean, as well as director of medical education. He also initiated the College’s DO/MBA dual degree program as well as the Minority Student Scholarship Fund.
In 1989, he took over a private practice in his community of Somers Point, New Jersey; it grew to include three locations and nine osteopathic physicians, five of whom were PCOM alumni. Other professional accolades include serving as the first and only osteopathic president of the Philadelphia Pediatrics Society; serving on the Governor’s Task Force for Perinatal Health and the Childbirth Education Association; serving as a distinguished fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians and the American Academy of Pediatrics; and being the first pediatric resident to take both the osteopathic and allopathic boards. He also was the first osteopathic resident at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.
“I always hoped that these achievements would bring well deserved recognition to PCOM,” he says. “I had the best of both worlds during my career—teaching at an outstanding medical school and taking care of children.”
Valerie Moore (DO ’15) says she strives to both be the best person she can be, and to also help others be the best they can be. To that end, she has served in numerous leadership positions and volunteered hundreds of hours to community service projects. At PCOM, she has served as chair of her class and helped organize the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event for Women Against Abuse, during which male students walked in high heels along City and Monument avenues to raise awareness of domestic violence.
Outside of PCOM, she has worked with the Philadelphia Black Women’s Health Alliance, a program that implements health initiatives, distributes community resources and provides patient advocacy for women and children throughout the metropolitan Philadelphia area.
Ms. Moore looks forward to a residency and career in pediatrics, noting that she told her mother she wanted to be a “baby medical doctor” when she was just three years old. Specifically, she hopes to focus on underserved patient populations. “I’m very excited about using the osteopathic philosophy with our littlest, most vulnerable population,” she says. “I strongly believe that the ideals and principles of osteopathic medicine are essential to who we are and how we practice as physicians.”
Lauren E. Smith (DO ’16) uncovered her desire to become an osteopathic physician during an anthropological study in Belize. As an intern with that country’s Ministry of Health, she volunteered at a rural country during a severe outbreak of dengue fever. She worked with public health and clinical sectors of the Belizean government to help create a more feasible and effective prevention and treatment plan. She returned a few months later to conduct a study wherein she interviewed community members about their perceptions of the disease.
“I became passionate about educating the community in order to make them healthier and safer,” she says. “Seeing the impact medicine can have on a community inspired me to pursue medicine as a career.” She found osteopathic medicine to be a natural fit, as its holistic approach to understanding humanity mirrors osteopathic medicine’s holistic approach to health care.
Her passion for osteopathic medicine and teaching led to an Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) teaching fellowship at Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she says she learned to think creatively to help her students understand the material. She hopes to pursue a residency and career in general surgery and plans to continue teaching OMM as a preceptor and through lecturing.
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has trained more than 15,000 highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach, treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM offers the doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of pharmacy and doctor of psychology degrees and graduate programs in mental health counseling, school psychology, physician assistant studies, forensic medicine, organizational development and leadership, and biomedical sciences. Our students learn the importance of health promotion, education and service to the community and, through PCOM’s Healthcare Centers, provide care to the medically underserved populations in inner city and rural locations.
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