(ATHENS, Ohio—July 15) The evening was all about becoming part of
both the Heritage College family and the osteopathic medical
profession when the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic
Medicine’s Society of Alumni and Friends hosted its first-ever
Student Welcome Dinner in the Baker Center Ballroom July 7.
bulk of the guest list was made up of 190 incoming medical students
– including, for the first time in the college’s 39-year history, a
50-student contingent from the Heritage College’s new campus in
The Dublin students arrived in Athens by bus shortly before 9
a.m. Monday, July 7, to the cheers of a banner-waving surprise
welcome party organized by Heritage College staffers. The students
joined their 140 classmates from the Athens campus for two days of
orientation activities before re-boarding the bus to Dublin for the
remainder of orientation week.
At Monday’s dinner, students heard first-hand about the joys and
challenges of becoming an osteopathic physician in a table activity
dubbed, “A D.O. You Should Know.” Each table of students included a
D.O., whom the students interviewed about his or her career choices
and medical school experience. Afterward, delegates from each table
shared what they’d learned with the room.
Guests were treated to some remarkably candid – and often funny –
insights about the D.O.s in attendance. These included the
revelation from one alumna (and Heritage College faculty member) who
feels in retrospect she may have spent too much time knitting in
medical school, when she should have been studying
Gregory Hill, D.O. (’86), an orthopedic surgeon in Cuyahoga Falls
and president of the Society of Alumni and Friends, shared with
students at his table how he decided to enter medical school after
working for some years as a physician assistant.
“I had some background with surgery, and I loved it,” recalled
Dr. Hill. “I loved being in the operating room with surgeons.” He
was drawn to his specialty, he said, because he likes most to deal
with “definable, fixable things” in helping patients.
A highlight of the evening was the presentation of a stethoscope
to each Heritage College student, which was made possible by
generous donations from nearly 90 parties, including members of the
Society and Alumni and Friends and individual and private donors.
Most of the funding came from individual donors.
Recognized at the dinner for their role in helping to create the
stethoscope-donation tradition at the college were the parents of
Jason Madachy, a young man who died unexpectedly in 2007 as he was
about to enter medical school. The Jason Madachy Foundation was
created in his memory to provide stethoscopes to first-year medical
students and started the tradition of doing so at the Heritage
In the first two years of the program, the foundation provided
half the funding for the stethoscope donation, with the other half
coming from the Society of Alumni and Friends. In April 2013 the
Society kicked off a new stethoscope-giving program, which
completely funded this year’s stethoscope donation. Since the
tradition began in 2012, 470 Heritage College students have received
Tim Law, D.O., M.B.A. (’94), an assistant professor of family
medicine at the college, provided the students with a quick tutorial
on the proper use of the stethoscope, with the help of his son Tim,
Jr., who is one of the incoming students in the Class of 2018.
To capture the moment, each student was asked to snap a “selfie”
cell-phone picture of him- or herself with the new instrument, and
send it to Laurie Lach, director of alumni affairs. (By the
following morning, Lach reported that she’d received more than 80
snapshots, which she planned to share with the Alumni and Friends
board, post to Facebook, and possibly use in an e-mail newsletter.)
Dr. Law, who also serves as medical director of the Ohio
Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute, director of the
college’s Rural and Urban Scholars Pathways program, and vice
president of the Society of Alumni and Friends, urged the students
to “keep your eye on the big prize, the end-game – which is becoming