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Lois M. Nora awarded The Phillips Medal of Public Service

Lois M. Nora, M.D., J.D., M.B.A., interim president and dean of The Commonwealth Medical College, was awarded The Phillips Medal of Public Service on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011, by the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (OU-HCOM).

The award was presented during OU-HCOM’s annual Convocation and White Coat Ceremony, in which the 140 members of the Class of 2015 received their short white coats symbolizing their induction into the osteopathic medical profession.  In addition to receiving the award, Dr. Nora delivered the keynote address for the ceremony, during which she discussed the significance of the white coat presentation. 

The Phillips Medal of Public Service, the college’s highest honor first established in 1976 and since given to 131 educators, elected officials, physicians and other medical leaders, recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to health care, education and/or public service. Named for the late J. Wallace Phillips and Jody Galbreath Phillips, the award recognizes their contributions to Ohio University, higher education and the people of Ohio. Mrs. Phillips, a graduate of Ohio University, served as a member and chairman of the Ohio University Board of Trustees and was a member of the OU-HCOM advisory board.

OU-HCOM Dean Jack A. Brose, D.O., said Dr. Nora was being honored for her contributions on a national level in areas where issues of the law and medicine intersect, for her efforts in addressing the country’s physician workforce shortage, and her leadership in advancing ethics in medicine. “Her leadership in medical education and research into women in medicine makes her one of the eminent medical scholars in the country today,” Dr. Brose said. 

Dr. Nora, who also holds the rank of President Emeritus and Dean of Medicine Emeritus at Northeast Ohio Medical University, formerly known as the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, said she was honored to receive the award, particularly from Ohio University.  She served as vice chairman when Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis, Ph.D., was chairman of the Ohio Inter-University Council of Presidents, and as vice chairman when Dr. Brose led the Ohio Council of Medical School Deans.

“Receiving this medal is even more special to me because of the involvement of my colleagues President McDavis and Dean Brose,” Nora said. Nora told the new medical students that the coat represents the medical profession, a profession that carries special responsibilities that flow from special knowledge and skills and privileges bestowed by society.

“The coat can stand as a constant reminder to you of the responsibilities that you will grow into but also that you now have,” Nora said. “Responsibilities like listening your patients’ confidences; treating individuals regardless of their ability to pay; and treating patients and their families with respect. You mostly have the responsibility to recognize that you are here not to serve yourself, but as a physician to serve others.”

Nora reminded the students that although they may seem to be the center of attention during Saturday’s ceremony, the most important people at the event were the audience. Turning to the audience, Nora said they play an important, symbolic role.

“You represent the patients, the families, and the communities that these students will learn from and will serve throughout their careers,” Nora said. “You represent the babies not yet born, the lives that will be saved, the people that will be cared for, the families who will be supported and the communities that will be healthier because of this OU-HCOM Class of 2015.” 

Nora is a board certified neurologist who is fellowship trained in electromyography and neuromuscular disease and holds certificates in clinical and medical ethics and medical management. She has received national recognition as a leader in physician workforce issues and for her research in gender equality, health professions education and other academic medicine. Nora, who received her doctor of medicine degree from Rush Medical College, a law degree from the University of Chicago, and a master of business administration degree from University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics, was the first woman neurologist to become the dean of and president of an American medical school.

Nora joined The Commonwealth Medical College in May 2011. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and a fellow of the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrdiagnostic Medicine as the organization’s president.

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Last updated: 01/28/2016