Congratulations, you’re a mother—and a doctor!
Lisa Clayton’s firstborn arrives at the same time as
her medical school diploma
By Anita Martin
and Nick Piotrowicz
As a former
emergency medicine technician, Lisa Clayon, D.O., knows that urgent
medical situations require quick adaptability and sound
decision-making. But when she went into labor the same morning as
her commencement ceremony at the Ohio University College of
Osteopathic Medicine (OU-COM), Clayton’s medical instincts had to
compete with her emotions.
broke around 3:30 [a.m.], but I was in denial,” she said, laughing.
“I really wanted to attend graduation, and I refused to let my
husband take me to the hospital at first. I said, ‘this can wait
until after the ceremony!’”
gave in, arriving at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital around 5:30 a.m.
She gave birth to Andrew David Clayton (seven pounds, 11 ounces, 20
inches) nine hours later at 2:27 p.m. The two attending physicians
who helped deliver Andrew were OU-COM graduates Jody Gerome
Zuchowski, D.O. (’05), assistant professor of ob/gyn, and Linda
Ross, D.O. (’07).
thereafter, the O’Bleness Birth Center received the highest volume
of visitors the nurses can recall—mostly dressed in graduation
more doctors in one day than any baby ever has,” Clayton joked,
adding that “the family atmosphere of OU-COM really came through. My
dad couldn’t believe that 40-plus people showed up in the waiting
room on their own graduation day.”
were Clayton’s mentor, Nicole Wadsworth, D.O. (’97), assistant
professor of family medicine and assistant dean of preclinical
education; and Nicholas Espinoza, D.O. (’90), CORE assistant dean,
who coordinated Clayton’s third- and fourth-year clinical rotations
at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, a member of OU-COM’s
statewide consortium of teaching hospitals, the Centers for
Osteopathic Research and Education.
The next day,
Wadsworth returned to O’Bleness, along with OU-COM Dean Jack Brose,
D.O., to conduct a personal graduation ceremony for Clayton.
Wadsworth draped Clayton’s ceremonial graduation hood over her
shoulders, Brose presented her diploma, and she took the traditional
Osteopathic Oath—all in the company of her family members.
emphasize enough how much it meant to me that the dean of a medical
school would take the time to come to the hospital on a Sunday and
personally hand me my diploma,” she said.
well-versed in urgent medical situations, by anyone’s standards. As
a former emergency medicine technician (EMT), she was among the
first responders after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the
World Trade Center.
unit was sent to Ground Zero after the first plane hit. By the time
we got there, the second plane had hit,” Clayton said. “We spent
four days searching for survivors.”
The New Jersey
native was recognized for her efforts with a national September 11
Volunteer Recognition Award. She also received a TOUCH Pin Award at
OU-COM (given to those with more than 50 hours of community service
through the college’s program, Translating Osteopathic Understanding
into Community Health) and two Vincent Terranova Awards, given in
her hometown of Lawrenceville, N.J., to outstanding local
moved on to Fort Rucker, Alabama, where she worked in a United
States Army Aeromedical Research Lab for two years, designing
cockpits for fighter jets and monitoring pilots’ capacities for
On deciding to
become a doctor, Clayton looked into OU-COM on the suggestion of her
Ohio-native father. “I knew I wanted to do osteopathic medicine, and
when I came for the interview, it was a perfect fit,” she said.
medical training, Wadsworth could tell that Lisa knew the field of
emergency medicine very intimately.
“She has great
medical knowledge and a much broader understanding than most when it
comes to emergency medicine,” said Wadsworth, who also serves as
medical director of the O’Bleness Emergency Department.
“Lisa has a
very great ability to interact with people,” Wadsworth added. “Her
presence inspires trust and comfort. That allows her to get
information quickly and build rapport, which is critical because of
the time constraints.”
her training at OU-COM taught her the “other side of things”—what
goes on after patients are admitted for emergency treatment. “It’s
really neat working on this level: receiving patients, assessing and
treating the disease process and educating patients on prevention.”
On July 27,
Clayton will begin an emergency medicine residency at Morristown
Memorial Hospital in Morristown, New Jersey.
Memorial was] nice enough to give me four extra weeks off,” she
said, then adds with a laugh, “to give me a more lenient initial
schedule, they’re starting me off with one month of obstetrics.”