Ninety-eight new doctors of osteopathic medicine crossed the stage at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., on June 7, marking their completion of four years of study in a unique medical school curriculum model. A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-SOMA) is one of a handful of medical schools across the country utilizing the clinical presentation-based medical education model where students are immersed in clinical care beginning in their second year of medical school.
“You have been pioneers in the future of a medical education model in this country,” said Thomas McWilliams, DO, FACOFP, associate dean for graduate medical education, ATSU-SOMA, and keynote speaker at commencement. “This ceremony is a celebration of your journey,” added ATSU-SOMA Dean Kay Kalousek, DOMS, FACOFP.
One hundred percent of the graduating class will be furthering their education as residents. Sixty-eight percent will be in primary care, and 92.9 percent will be in National Association of Community Health Center-identified needed specialties, which include the primary care residencies and general surgery, psychiatry, and emergency medicine.
Dr. McWilliams concluded his keynote speech addressing graduates with these words, “You have truly captured the “heart of SOMA”. My parting request is that you keep this spirit alive during your residency training and beyond. Your healing touch is exactly what the nation needs at this critical place and time.”