The Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine will graduate 152 Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) and 22 Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (MSBS) students this spring, albeit virtually. Academic awards were announced on May 5 in lieu of the annual awards banquet for DO graduates, and the University will host a virtual commencement ceremony for all 2020 spring graduates on Saturday, May 9 at 10 a.m.
“We were really looking forward to celebrating the graduation ceremony with the Class of 2020 and their friends and family,” said Dr. Jim Powers, interim dean for the school of osteopathic medicine. “We want to celebrate all they have accomplished and the incredible difference they are going to make in residency training and later in practice. We cannot celebrate corporately this week, but we hope they are celebrating with their family and friends, and we hope the celebration video and accolades publication being created will be something special they can enjoy now and for years to come.”
Dr. Steven J. Halm, Dean of the Des Moines University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine, recorded a special congratulatory address in lieu of delivering his originally-planned commencement speech. Dr. Halm is the former assistant dean and chair of simulation medicine at the school of osteopathic medicine. He instituted his PALMS leadership training with the Class of 2020, working with Campbell Simulation Medicine students to enhance the simulation and clinical skills curriculum.
“Having Dr. Halm come back to deliver the address for our class gives us an opportunity to reflect on what helped us grow and develop and give back,” said SGA president Chris Walker, who will enter internal medicine residency at George Washington University later this summer.
“I’m sorry we cannot be together. I want to shake your hands and hug each of you,” said Halm. “I remember your first day of medical school. Your phenomenal sim team acted out a fun patient encounter…it was a way to share with you a little of what you were in for with experiential learning at CUSOM. We created a canvas for you to paint with your own art of medicine and gave you the tools to paint it.”
The school of osteopathic medicine graduates include 84 physicians entering primary care and 87 who are entering a residency program in the southeastern United States, about half of which are located in North Carolina.
“The Class of 2020 has overcome a lot of challenges, and they should be very proud of that,” reflected Dr. Powers. “The DO students, for the very first time, were under a single accreditation system for The Match, but they achieved excellent residency placement. They have completed medical school and masters degrees respectively and are entering medicine at an incredibly critical time and in a particularly challenging time.”
In the closing of his recorded remarks, Dr. Powers encouraged the Class of 2020 to remember the simple things and take an osteopathic approach to their patients as well as their personal lives.
“Always let your patient guide you. Always advocate for your patients and what is in their best interest. When you are with you patients, be present, passionate and kind. Take that approach into your personal lives as well—be kind and compassionate to yourself and your family and loved ones. Medicine is grueling at times—approach your patients and your lives in a very osteopathic fashion taking care of body, mind and spirit. Congratulations Class of 2020—we are proud of you and will continue to celebrate all that you go on to accomplish.”
Cover Photo: Dr. Ryan Card, Promoted to Captain, US Air Force. Took graduation photos on campus with his family before leaving North Carolina to enter Orthopedic Surgery residency at the Valley Consortium in Modesto, CA