191 students graduate from School of Osteopathic Medicine - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

191 students graduate from School of Osteopathic Medicine

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LEWISBURG – Underneath a large white tent on a green field in Lewisburg rows of medical students sat donned in their suede green and black gowns with their gold tassels dangling from their caps. Each medical student in the Class of 2013 eagerly awaited the moment they would walk across the stage and receive their Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM).

Underneath the tent also sat the students' family members, friends, significant others and the many WVSOM faculty and staff who have all supported the graduates on their four-year journey through medical school. The 36th annual commencement ceremony that took place on May 25 was the last step in medical school for the 191 students who now enter the medical profession as physicians.

Michael Adelman, D.O., D.P.M., J.D., president, and Lorenzo Pence, D.O., vice president for academic affairs and dean, led the ceremony and awarded the degrees.

"WVSOM is a leader in graduating physicians of the highest caliber," Adelman told the graduates. "You should be proud of your individual accomplishments, your class and your school."

The WVSOM Board of Governors vice chair, Cheryl Schreiber, WVSOM Alumni Association president, Robert Holstein, D.O., and the president of the West Virginia Osteopathic Medicine Association, Ralph Wood, D.O., provided messages to guests.

Three esteemed leaders from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) presented the commencement address. Chancellor Paul Hill, Ph.D., Chairman David Hendrickson, Esq., and Vice Chairman Bruce Berry, M.D., all stressed the importance of education and giving back to the community.

"I understand the extreme joy you are feeing today," Berry, a physician himself, said. "But joy doesn't come without an obligation to your patients and profession. For many of you, you will be the only provider to your patients."

Hendrickson noted that just getting to this point proves that the graduates are committed to serving others.

"All you've done is evident that you care — about the community and the great state of West Virginia — and you care for others than yourself," Hendrickson said. "You are graduating from a world-class institution in a small community with a huge heart."

Hill told the graduates that education is the key to a richer and fuller life.

"Class of 2013, so much opportunity lies ahead for you," he said in his speech. "Each challenge is an opportunity to fulfill your dreams and find your passion in life. Let your experience today be a catalyst for life-long learning. Your alma mater is a jewel in the state's higher education system."

Megan Thompson, Class of 2013 president, provided the class address, and reminisced about the students' past four years.

"We have all taken unique roads to get where we are today, but no matter what the path was we all joined together on this common road," she said.

Thompson explained that whether the students were on campus or in the hospital, their white coats carried stories only medical students would understand. From ink spots, to blood splatter and amniotic fluid, each stain carried a story that would live in their memories.

The ceremony concluded with the graduates reciting the osteopathic oath, part of which states that the graduates, "will be mindful always of my great responsibility to preserve the health and the life of my patients."

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