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Convocation Ceremony welcomes 117 new OU-COM student doctors

Keynote speaker Anne Pope of the Appalachian Regional Commission addressed the class of 2012, the largest in OU-COM history 

The Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine welcomed the class of 2012—the largest and among the most accomplished in the college’s history—during the college’s 33rd Convocation Ceremony, Sat., Aug. 16. 

Anne Pope, federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, delivered the keynote address at the ceremony, which began at 11 a.m. in the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.

“This event welcomes new students into the osteopathic medical profession,” said OU-COM Dean Jack Brose, D.O. “It also allows us to honor individuals who have made exceptional contributions to our college, to the medical profession, or to the citizens in our region.”

Event highlights included both the college’s White Coat Ceremony, in which students receive their short white coats—the mantle of the medical profession; as well as the presentation of the Phillips Medal of Public Service to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to health care, education and/or public service. The Phillips Medals are the highest honor the college awards.

A total of 117 members make up the entering class of 2012, making the class the largest in the college’s history as well as the top-performing.

“I am extremely proud of this year’s class, which has both the highest grade point averages and the best medical college admission test scores in our college’s history,” Brose said. “This is a result of our college’s growing reputation for academic and research excellence, and the exceptional work of our admissions office.”

Of the 117 new students, 85 percent are Ohio residents, with 10 percent hailing from Southeastern Ohio or Appalachian Ohio counties. The class is 56 percent female and 44 percent male, with minority students making up 27 percent.

During this year’s ceremony, a Phillips Medal of Public Service went to keynote speaker Pope as well as to Michael Opipari, D.O., and Levente Batizy, D.O. The award is named for the late J. Wallace and Jody Galbreath Phillips, both longtime friends of Ohio University. Mrs. Phillips died earlier this year.

Pope is the 10th federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal
-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life. Pope’s nomination received unanimous confirmation from the U.S. Senate, and she was sworn into office Feb. 3, 2003. She has been a firm proponent of funding and supporting regional health care programs, such as the Appalachian Rural Health Institute Diabetes Center.

Opipari, attending physician emeritus of oncology and hematology at the Detroit Osteopathic Hospital, has been a national leader in raising the standards of osteopathic medical education for more than 35 years. He is chairperson of the Council on Postdoctoral Training of the American Osteopathic Association. In July, 2008, he was named among 37 “Great Pioneers” of osteopathic medicine by the American Osteopathic Association House of Delegates. 

Batizy is director of medical education at Cleveland Clinic-South Pointe Hospital in Warrensville Heights. He is credited with developing the first osteopathic emergency medicine residency program in Ohio. South Pointe Hospital honored him as the 2007 Physician of the Year, and the American Osteopathic Foundation named him 2006 Educator of the Year.

The short white coats presented to medical students during the Convocation Ceremony are gifts from the Ohio Osteopathic Foundation, and must be worn by student doctors during clinical assignments. Upon graduation, students receive their long white coats, which symbolize their official instatement as physicians.

Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Kathy Krendl, Ph.D., offered greetings from the university, as will representatives from various professional organizations, including:

  • Robert Juhasz, D.O.,  Board of Trustees,

      American Osteopathic Association;

  • Barbara Bennett, D.O. (’84), President,

      Ohio Osteopathic Association; and

  • Jeffrey Stanley, D.O. (’82), President,

      OU-COM Society of Alumni & Friends.


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Last updated: 01/28/2016