Scholarship commemorates beloved physician teacher

Apr 3, 2018

A scholarship in the name of the late George “Skip” Seese, D.O., a 1987 graduate of the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, will honor a man remembered for his love of teaching future physicians. The scholarship was created by Seese’s former colleagues at Affinity Medical Center in Massillon, Ohio, and will help third- and fourth-year Heritage College medical students like those Seese led on cardiology rotations for the better part of three decades.

Longtime colleague Edward Schirack, D.O., said Seese, first appointed as a Heritage College clinical faculty member in 1989, was devoted to teaching. “He always would have students and interns tagging around with him,” Schirack said. “He was very good at teaching and very engaged with his students. He took joy in ‘pimping’ them with tough questions, to put them on the hot spot. But they learned a lot.”

Internal medicine physician Kerrie David, D.O., a 1995 Heritage College graduate, did a cardiology rotation with Seese and later joined his private practice. “I learned so much from him,” she said. “He just made me want to learn and be the best that I could.” A year rarely went by, she recalled, in which Seese didn’t win some sort of teaching award from his students.

Seese served as a cardiologist for over 25 years, working with patients to conduct general cardiology exams, stress testing, echocardiograms and other critical care medicine. But his true passion was serving as a clinical educator to third- and fourth- year medical students from his alma mater, whom he taught, mentored and educated during clinical rotations and continued to help throughout their careers.

To honor his memory, his former colleagues at the Affinity Medical Center created the Dr. George “Skip” Seese, D.O., Scholarship. This scholarship, which is being financially matched by the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, will be awarded annually to Heritage College students, with preference given to third- and fourth-year students from Wayne, Stark and Tuscarawas counties.

Andrew Culver, D.O., a 1999 alum who was the college’s assistant dean at Affinity Medical Center when Seese taught there, and is another former Seese student, suggested that the scholarship is an apt legacy.

“I cannot possibly overstate the positive and lasting impact this man had on countless students and their future patients,” Culver said. “A harder worker you could not find, but he always made time for his students, even at the end of a busy day.” Seese did an excellent job of teaching students clinical skills, Culver said, but “taught them even more about how to be curious, how never to stop until you found the answer, how in order to truly learn and understand, one should always seek out the ‘why,’ not just the ‘what’ of a disease process.” Lessons learned from Seese, he added, “stick with me to this day, and I truly believe the ripple effects of this man’s life will continue to spread for generations to come.”

Heritage College Executive Dean Ken Johnson, D.O., agreed. “We couldn’t train physicians without the devoted work of our clinical faculty, and Dr. Seese was one of our best,” he said. “By helping to make a Heritage College education possible for students from his home area, this scholarship honors his memory in a wonderfully fitting way.”

Ohio University and the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine would like to thank the members of the Affinity Medical Group who contributed to this scholarship as a lasting memory to the legacy of Dr. Seese. Anyone wishing to contribute to the Seese Scholarship fund should contact Eric M. Dubitsky, director of development for the Heritage College, Cleveland, at 216.295.7927 or dubitsky@ohio.edu.