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Osteopathic Medical Student Profiles 

In Their Own Words: A Snapshot of the Osteopathic Medical Student

These students have all made journeys similar to yours. They have completed their pre-medical coursework, taken the MCAT, volunteered, shadowed a DO, and worked with their prehealth advisors to ensure a smooth transition to medical school. 

Read these student's stories - they may inspire and encourage you as you continue your journey toward a career in medicine. Note that the stories are arranged alphabetically, by school. To skip directly to schools in which you are most interested, click on the appropriate acronyms to the left.

Check out the Welcome letter from AACOM's Council for Osteopathic Student Government Presidents and visit Upcoming Recruitment Events for school recruitment and admissions events around the country. 

Before beginning the application process, review and purchase this year’s College Information Book, which includes detailed information on the nation’s osteopathic medical colleges.

Autumn Day

A.T. Still University – Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine 

Autumn Day, DO

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Human Biology, Health and Society; minor in American Indian Studies, Cornell University

“Osteopathic medicine is a good fit for me because I am passionate about serving people through all dimensions of their health care. As an undergrad, I pursued my love of the sciences by studying Human Biology and humanities in American Indian Studies, wanting to enter a field that allowed me to use science in a relational and compassionate context. I chose to attend ATSU-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine for many reasons: its national reputation, the focus on the body as an integrated unit, the strength of the osteopathic department, and the warmth of the faculty and students. In addition to encouraging academic excellence, ATSU-KCOM fosters compassion in students. Here, I am able to explore my personal philosophy toward patient care and reflect on ethical and political issues concerning the practice of medicine. ATSU-KCOM has reinforced my desire to address the specific health challenges confronting underserved communities. I believe ATSU-KCOM has not only prepared me to begin third-year clinical rotations, but also has helped me develop a solid foundation for my ongoing education as an osteopathic physician.”


Brian Park

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Chemistry; minor in Biochemistry, Knox College

"While working closely with patients in a Chicago clinic, I developed a firm belief that true healing occurs when the mind, body, and spirit are led into healthy confines. I chose osteopathic medicine so that I can provide true healing to my patients. Thus far, osteopathic medical school has been a perfect fit for me. The academic curriculum accommodates all learning styles. Because I am a visual learner, this feature has been critical to my success as a student. In addition, there are many opportunities to apply my textbook knowledge to clinical situations, and this has contributed greatly to my education. I know the valuable lessons I learn here will make me a compassionate physician."

Brandon Harold Abbott A.T. Still University – School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona 

Brandon Harold Abbott

Undergraduate Studies:  BA in American History, Arizona State University
Graduate Studies: MPH, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

“I chose osteopathic medicine because, for all I knew, DO meant Doctor.  Growing up, the only physicians I ever saw were DOs.  Once I decided to strive to become a doctor, I immersed myself in the profession's history.  I took a Bachelor of Arts in American History, focusing on the history of osteopathic medicine at Arizona State University.  This gave me the background to choose A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA), as it is the founding school's newest school!  I knew being here would allow me to blossom in an innovative curriculum that remained founded in the profession's deep history.  I knew that being here would make me a part of history.”


Linda Shuler

Linda Shuler

Undergraduate Studies:  BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology; minor in Classics, University of Arizona, Tucson

“I chose osteopathic medicine because it offers more than a prescription for treatment; it offers manipulation. I have embraced this DO approach to medicine, and will use it to empower my patients to take pride in their health and to use preventative medicine. My osteopathic physician training at ATSU-SOMA offers year-two clinical experiences, and an integrative curriculum that simultaneously focuses on clinical treatment and the scientific background of disease. Being a DO will allow me to stress compassion and prevention in my medical practice."

Carmine Van Deven Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University

Carmine Van Deven

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Computer Science, Illinois State University; post-baccalaureate studies, Benedictine University

Compassion and interpersonal skills hold special significance in osteopathic medicine. It was these key features, in addition to deep understanding of the interrelated structure of the human body, that made osteopathy an obvious choice for me.

"AZCOM’s student body and campus are expanding, creating new opportunities for rotations and extracurricular activities. Students' passions are fed by the multitude of clubs and volunteer activities, and are nurtured by the charismatic and ever-available faculty. Always sharing study guides, online references and studying in groups, my class made sure to never leave anyone behind.

"With my background in exercise, nutrition and holistic health, osteopathic medicine is the perfect fit for me. After graduating with a BS in Computer Science from Illinois State University, I redirected my career and worked for five years as a personal trainer in Chicago. It was extremely rewarding to be able to make a positive impact in people’s lives by helping them improve their health and attitude.  Upon realizing I wanted to know and do more, I returned to school at Benedictine University to complete many of the medical school prerequisites.

"Specializing in Family Medicine and Neuromuscular Medicine will be a powerful combination that will allow me to have an impact on the osteopathic profession as well as the public. My goals include conducting research, writing books and articles, and teaching both health professionals and the public about treatment and self-care. It is an exciting and fulfilling path that is being catalyzed by my education at AZCOM."

Shook-Ming Taylor

Shook-Ming Taylor

Undergraduate Studies: AA in Paramedical Technology, University of Alaska Anchorage; BA in Cognitive Science, University of Virginia

“I chose an osteopathic medical education because it affords the same opportunities as its allopathic counterpart, while exposing me to additional modalities of treatment. My education trains me not to blindly accept conventions of treatment, but to critically evaluate different approaches of treating a medical problem using evidence-based medicine.

“Since day one, I have never regretted my choice of medical school. For one, there isn’t time! One day, lost between a discussion on typhus versus typhoid fever and the task of gathering medical supplies for an upcoming free clinic, all the while making a mental note to meet with a professor to work on a manuscript describing clinical encounters at the clinic… I knew my decision to attend AZCOM was the right one. My education gives me the opportunity to be the best physician I can be - I could not ask for anything more.”

Sarah Elizabeth Grace Kozak Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University

Sarah Elizabeth Grace Kozak

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biology; minor in Music, University of New Mexico

“My journey to a career in medicine began with my mother, a registered nurse, who developed in me a passion to pursue patient-centered care.  Like many, I did not know about osteopath physicians. I remember reading about osteopathic principles and philosophies for the first time; it was as though my mother had written it for me to find.  During my time at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, I have met one physician after another who put their patients first and fought for high-quality patient care.  I never thought I would find so many mentors as I have found at CCOM.  When I complete school, I intend to use the philosophies I have learned and the special skills I have acquired for musculoskeletal treatment to deliver to patients the kind of care that they deserve; care that is focused on the total health of a person.”

Samer Totonchi, DO Samer Totonchi, DO

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Residency: MSU-COM Urological Surgery Resident

“CCOM is an excellent educational establishment that has much to offer to its students. With more than 100 years of experience in educating successful osteopathic physicians, the school offers a rigorous curriculum and caring faculty who are there to guide students and share their knowledge and experience. In addition to the basic sciences, CCOM incorporates the psychosocial element required to practice both the art and science of medicine.  I still recall our Dean, Dr. Nichols, saying during orientation: “Your patients don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” This osteopathic philosophy elucidates the importance of communication and trust between a patient and a physician to the healing process. CCOM welcomes new students into a community of mature medical students, teachers, clinicians and staff where friendliness and a genuine concern for one other are commonplace. Students may engage in a variety of year-round extracurricular sports, cultural events, community service projects, and numerous health organizations to further enhance their experience.  I cannot imagine myself going anywhere else! Combining my passion for service, enthusiasm for science, and outlook on the whole individual, I did not simply want to be a physician; I wanted to be a healer. CCOM has helped me achieve my goals.”

Jon Van Der Ver

Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Jon Van Der Veer

Undergraduate Studies: BA in Biochemistry, University of Iowa

“The choice to pursue a career in osteopathic medicine was really quite simple, as my mentor is an exemplary osteopathic physician. During my undergraduate studies in biochemistry, I developed a strong base for several of my first-year classes at Des Moines University. I also participated in activities dedicated to making me a well-rounded individual.

“Choosing DMU for my medical education was the best decision of my life. DMU’s rigorous curriculum is preparing me to practice medicine in today’s rapidly changing health care system. DMU’s curriculum is progressive and responsive to students’ needs. For example, DMU recently developed an expansive Global Health department. I feel my future as a DO is promising and bright. My wife, a recent DMU grad, and I are extremely interested in serving the underserved both home and abroad. This is just one of the many ways we hope to exemplify the DO difference!”


Stephanie Rajchel

Stephanie Rajchel 

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biology; minor in Biochemistry, Bethel University
Graduate Studies: MS in Anatomy, Des Moines University 

“In my opinion, being a physician is about caring for patients to the best of one’s ability.  In order to do that to the fullest extent possible, one must address the patient’s physical ailment along with their emotional, spiritual and psychological well-being.  Osteopathic medical education has not only allowed me to understand the importance of this holistic approach to medicine, but also has given me the tools to implement the approach in my future career.  

“Des Moines University offers a community-centered place to learn medicine.  Not only are there DO students, but there also are DPM, DPT and PA students who all share the goal of excelling academically in their programs.  We are a close-knit community all striving to learn more, while having a lot of fun doing it.  There are unlimited opportunities to get involved, both within the university and throughout the city.  I am blessed to be a part of this school.”

Robert "Brad" Abrahams

Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Robert "Brad" Abrahams, DO

Undergraduate Studies: BA in Art, Wake Forest University
Honors: Presidential Scholarship, Phi Beta Kappa 

"Like many entering the medical field, I always knew that I wanted to work in health care. It was not until I began my pre-medical courses at Wake Forest University that I learned about osteopathic medicine and fell in love with the DO philosophy. As a studio art major with a liberal arts background, I found the concept of treating the mind, body, and spirit quite attractive. My osteopathic medical education has been outstanding. Now that I've completed my training I plan to return to my medical college as a visiting lecturer."

Connie Lee

Connie Lee

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Neuroscience and Music, Emory University
Graduate Studies: MS in Biomedical Sciences, Barry University

“Before I decided to go to medical school, I knew that my background in fitness and my training as a concert pianist had molded me to be a very hands-on individual. I became intrigued with osteopathic medicine when I sought treatment from a DO for a sports injury. When I discovered OMM, I discovered an area of medicine that I could appreciate as a patient. Now, as an aspiring future primary care physician, I continue to take advantage of the resources and opportunities available at my osteopathic medical school. At GA-PCOM, we are trained to be doctors from day one and are exposed to patient encounters during the first year of medical school. Our program is rigorous and the faculty is very demanding, but caring. GA-PCOM has shaped me personally and professionally and has given me the support, opportunities and resources I need to pursue my dream of becoming a successful physician. As an Asian minority female entering into a field of medicine, I want to make a difference in the medical community, advocate on behalf of osteopathic medicine and recruit more physicians to the South, where we are experiencing a shortage of physicians. Being involved in the osteopathic community has trained me as a leader and encouraged me to help shape health policy and the direction of health care in our community.”

Nathan Hall Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine 

Nathan Hall, DO

Undergraduate Studies: BA in Microbiology, Kansas State University
Graduate Studies: MS in Biomedical Sciences, KCUMB

 “My journey to becoming an osteopathic physician was truly unforgettable. I compare it to buying a new baseball glove—at first the glove fits, but not very well.  As the years pass, that glove fits better and better until you grow to love it so much that you cannot do without it.  Osteopathic medicine is a major part of my life and who I am.  Each year that passes, I learn more about how prestigious it is to be an osteopathic physician and how we are given the ability to heal with our hands, hearts and minds.  Each day is a treat that reminds me how lucky I am to be living my dream.”

Heath Wilt

Heath Wilt, DO

Undergraduate Studies: BA in Human Biology, University of Kansas

“As an aspiring physician and undergraduate student, I had little knowledge of osteopathic medicine or the self-healing philosophy that it offered. After graduating, I spent a few years trying to envision myself as a doctor in a dynamic and sometimes volatile medical community. I found myself conflicted between my desires to pursue a medical degree and to continue my work at the hospitals. During this turbulent time, I met two osteopathic physicians: one was employed as a family practitioner in a rural community and the other was a specialized surgeon. While they each practiced quite different styles of medicine, their understanding and rapport with patients exemplified what I had expected from a physician.  The education I received at KCUMB-COM was everything I had come to expect from those two role models. At this early point in my professional career, I feel that the medical education I received is second to none. In addition to the expected academics, the professors and physicians at my school taught me about becoming an exceptional, competent physician of integrity who truly knows how to heal his patients mentally, spiritually and physically.”

John Leuenberger

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

John R. Leuenberger

Undergraduate Studies:  BS in Interdisciplinary Engineering and Management, Clarkson University; AS in Sports Medicine, Mohawk Valley Community College

“At LECOM, I have learned much about medicine, but the most valuable thing that I have learned is how to apply the osteopathic philosophy to patient care.  Patients want and deserve to be treated body, mind and spirit, and osteopathic medicine brings a hands-on medical and holistic approach to health care.

“I feel I can make a difference and lead change in the osteopathic profession.  I encourage other DO students to be more active in their respective communities, increase interactions with underclassmen and try to guide others in the path of becoming the best DOs possible. One way to become involved is through participation with the many organizations that are available on campus, such as the UAAO or SOMA.  LECOM has provided me with the guidance and opportunities I needed to become a great osteopathic physician!”

Matthew Ivan Rusilko

Matthew Ivan Rusilko, DO

Undergraduate Studies:   3 + 4 Medicine Affiliation between Mercyhurst College and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

“Since childhood, I have set my goals and motivation for professional fulfillment on going into medicine. I believe my interests in health, fitness, and nutrition match the core foundation of osteopathic medicine - the prevention of disease, not just the cure.

“Growing up, I excelled in physical activities such as hockey and bodybuilding and my interests in physical fitness led to me earning the Mister USA 2008 title.  The medical education program at LECOM prepared me physically, mentally and spiritually for the many challenges and tasks ahead.  Using medical knowledge that I have learned helped me to form an effective exercise program. Interaction with patients prepared me for my responsibilities as a physician, and the emphasis on spirituality kept me grounded throughout my medical education program and for the lifelong challenges ahead.  I hope to help as many people as possible with the benefits of osteopathic medicine, not only curing disease but preventing it!”

Andrea Apple

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine – Bradenton

Andrea Apple, DO 

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Mathematics; minor in Psychology, Eckerd College 

“My experience at LECOM Bradenton prepared me for a career as a compassionate, dedicated and competent osteopathic physician. The problem-based learning curriculum fostered my abilities to work both independently and in a group setting, and tailored my critical thinking skills to academic and clinical medicine. The professors were accessible and encouraging to students. I felt very well-prepared for COMLEX and my clinical rotations. The osteopathic philosophy promotes care for the whole individual, respect for each patient, and the provision of high-quality, compassionate care. I am excited to become a DO, a profession with a rich history of patient-centered, skilled medical care.”

Joe Young Joe Young, DO 

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Computer Engineering, University of South Florida 

"As a graduate of the University of South Florida with a BS in computer engineering, I considered myself a nontraditional student. I chose to attend LECOM-Bradenton for two reasons: First, I was impressed with the problem-based learning curriculum. Learning was facilitated around clinical cases and gave students an opportunity to work on history-taking skills, common lab values, EKGs and radiology prior to their third year. Second, the faculty was very approachable. Everyone knew me by name!  They wouldn’t hesitate to help me understand a concept if need be. I chose to become a DO because osteopathic medicine provided me with an extra tool that helps me alleviate patients’ common symptoms, such as lower back pain. The techniques I learned are irreplaceable, and sometimes work even better than typical narcotic treatments. LECOM-Bradenton provided me with an excellent education, and for that, I’m extremely grateful."

Jessica Chandler Lincoln Memorial University – DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

Jessica N. Chandler

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Neuroscience, Vanderbilt University

“The field of osteopathic medicine was always a mystery to me, and after some research, I found it was the perfect fit for my academic background. The design and function of the nervous system is a great complement to osteopathic medicine. Realizing this, my next step was finding an institution that could provide me with the skills I would need to make a positive change in my community. LMU-DCOM has done just that.  The faculty and staff have created a professional and familial atmosphere in which learning is facilitated with a sense of care. Their involvement in my educational experience has provided me with the skills I need to inspire and promote health and well-being in the lives of others.”          

Gregory Nieckula Gregory J. Nieckula

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Advertising & Public Relations, University of Tennessee

“The whole picture” is what osteopathic medicine is to me. It is leaving nothing out when treating patients. It’s the way I want to practice medicine, and what drew me to the study of osteopathic medicine. It’s also what drew me to LMU-DCOM. LMU-DCOM is the whole picture. We have a state-of-the-art facility, a mission that demonstrates dedication to serving others and experienced faculty and staff who are committed to excellent medical education. Every prospective student is viewed as a whole picture as well. I did not have the typical pre-med background when I applied to medical school. LMU-DCOM viewed me as a whole person, taking my collective experiences into account, and welcomed me into their family. The principles of osteopathic medicine and the values of LMU-DCOM have taught me to treat those around me and those in my care as “a whole picture.”’

Reddog Sina

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Reddog Sina

Undergraduate Studies: BA in English, University of Michigan
Graduate Studies: MA in English, Northwestern University; PhD in English, University of Cincinnati

“I am a middle-aged, bi-racial, urban Indian grandfather. Before medical school, I taught writing and cultural studies at five different universities. One day, I told my wife I had spent too much time teaching about health care inequities and not doing enough, so I quit teaching to go to medical school. She immediately began downloading academic catalogs for me to read. I was drawn to MSUCOM because I knew it was a place where my age and cultural background would be an asset. Over the last three years, I've learned osteopathic principles that reinforce my beliefs that the body is self-healing, that our place in the world affects our health, that we are all related and therefore responsible for one another and that it is our professional obligation to remember that these ideas are interconnected.”

Nicole Szell

Nicole Szell

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biology; minor in Chemistry, Radford University

“Osteopathic medicine has always seemed to be the best choice for me in terms of a medical education. Osteopathic principles, including preventive care and examining the patient’s health status as a whole, have always been ideals I believe should be upheld by physicians. My undergraduate thesis described the benefits of a teaching exchange between doctor and patient in the field of gynecological medicine. At the time of my thesis, I was preaching the ideals of an osteopathic medical education before I was even accepted! I love MSUCOM because the school offers many interesting opportunities to pursue medical studies outside the classroom. It also offers many leadership opportunities through student organizations. As an osteopathic physician, I would like to employ the theories of knowledge-based medicine through teaching and learning exchanges with patients in order to practice preventive medicine both in and out of the clinic.”

John Rimmer, DO NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine

John Rimmer, DO

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biology and Earth Science, Penn State University

“Osteopathic medicine was simply the right blend of learning for me. Coupling traditional medicine with innovative, hands-on methods of discovering and treating diseases, its foundation provided a more complete training for me. As a group, osteopathic physicians are young; the profession’s growth and potential are exciting. My colleagues are diverse, but they have a common goal -- refining their practice into what Americans need from doctors. I chose NYCOM because of its fantastic clinical affiliations and its reputation for sending graduates to top-tier residency programs. The school is large but accommodating, offering a familial atmosphere, continually enhanced curriculum and support of extracurricular endeavors. As a fourth-year resident at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, one of New York City’s busiest trauma centers, I’ll soon be board certified in both emergency and internal medicine, with limitless practice options, offering the type of medicine that I would want to receive if I were a patient.”

Beth Varadian Beth Varadian  

Undergraduate Studies: BA in Biology; minor in Spanish, Bryn Mawr College
Graduate Studies: Currently pursuing a Masters in Neuromusculomanual Science (along with DO degree), New York College of Osteopathic Medicine

“My dedication to lifelong learning began at Bryn Mawr College, followed by teaching and a Columbia Teacher’s College Fellowship.  My training in Biology, Spanish, leadership and education led me to pursue a career in medicine.  I did not choose osteopathic medicine. Osteopathic medicine chose me.  Bringing medicine, education, and leadership together, osteopathic medicine allows me to develop unique diagnostic skills and a multifaceted treatment approach.  DOs do not only practice medicine; they uphold a philosophy of commitment to preventive, patient-centered, comprehensive care.  From the moment I began my education at NYCOM, I have been honored to be part of a diverse community that welcomes the challenges and excitement of osteopathic medicine.  The clinical training facilities support relevant, hands-on education.  I plan to earn a dual degree in Family and Manipulative Medicine, followed by a fellowship in Geriatrics.  Through diverse training in education and osteopathic medicine, I know I can make a difference in primary care for the healthy aging population.”

Roger A. Alvarez

Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Roger A. Alvarez, DO 

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biology, University of Miami
Graduate Studies: MS in Physiology and Biophysics, Georgetown University 

"Before medical school, I attended a lecture by an osteopathic physician. After the lecture, I shadowed him in his office, where I was impressed with his personal approach to patients and his ready utilization of different modalities of treatment in each case including pharmacological, psychosocial, and musculoskeletal. He spent time with each patient, and he touched each and every patient. I immediately knew that this type of practice resonated with my personal views of health care, and decided to apply to osteopathic medical schools. To me, osteopathic medicine is the practice of medicine based on the recognition of the person’s innate ability to heal and the importance of the person functioning as a unit greater than the sum of his or her parts."

Dana Block Dana Block, DO 

Undergraduate Studies:  BS in Biology; minor in chemistry, Barry University

“I attended a small, private university, where I was fortunate enough to become exceptionally involved in extra-curricular activities while attaining my degree in biology.  I chose to pursue osteopathic medical school because I believed its holistic philosophy complemented my personality and undergraduate experiences. I know I made the right decision to attend NSU-COM. Didactically, NSU-COM’s curriculum, early patient exposure and clinical rotations fully equipped me with the knowledge, tactile ability and physical examination skills necessary to be a competent diagnostician. This education, combined with my personal growth through involvement in clubs, intramural sports, national student organizations and the American Osteopathic Association, comprehensively prepared me for the challenges I faced as an OB/GYN resident. I aspire to impact osteopathic medicine by remaining active at a national level, becoming an exemplary physician and mentoring future generations of osteopathic physicians.” 

Mirna Martinez Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Mirna Martinez, OMM Fellow

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Clinical Laboratory Science; minor in Spanish, State University of New York at Buffalo
Graduate Studies: MS in Biotechnology, State University of New York at Buffalo

“Throughout undergraduate and medical school, many experiences have made me into the mature young woman and dedicated student physician I am today. I decided to apply to OU-COM after my participation in the 2005 Summer Scholars program, which introduced me to OU, the faculty and staff, and the art and practice of OMM. The field of manipulative medicine intrigued me because of the difference it appeared to make in the quality of patients' lives. After hearing countless patient testimonials about how manipulation improved overall health and happiness, I was convinced that osteopathic medicine was the right choice for me. I was amazed that after one year of medical school, I was able to use my hands to diagnose and treat family members.

Attending an osteopathic medical school teaches students to refine our observations of patients to the extent of noticing subtle changes in posture and mobility that may be significantly impacting their overall quality of life. As osteopathic physicians, we have the privilege of learning the art and science of manipulation and sharing it with others.”

Daniel R. Silbiger Daniel R. Silbiger, DO 

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Nutrition and Spanish, Case Western Reserve University
Graduate Studies: MS, Case Western Reserve University

“Osteopathic medicine provides a versatile and practical approach to treating patients, and DOs have an ‘extra’ tool in their medical care package – manipulation. As student government president, I interacted with fellow osteopathic school leaders and concluded that OU-COM has several outstanding features: the strongest network of hospitals for clinical rotations and guaranteed spots for students, the highest quality gross anatomy immersion program, where students dissect cadavers and immediately incorporate OMM, and a large university campus with expansive resources: faculty, libraries, recreation center, etc., at our disposal. The importance of holistic patient care was also a key element in my nutrition studies, and the Spanish program heightened my awareness of society’s cultural diversity. Both principles are cornerstones of osteopathic medicine. The osteopathic approach to medical care provides the best possibility for treating patients and improving outcomes. Underserved segments of the population, especially the Hispanic community and society’s most vulnerable, can benefit greatly from osteopathic care, and I seek to serve them.”

Yakiji Bailey Oklahoma State University – College of Osteopathic Medicine

Yakiji Bailey

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biology, Prairie View A&M University

“When I was searching for a medical school, I looked for an institution that offered a friendly environment, where competition wouldn’t hinder the spread of knowledge amongst students. From the moment I entered OSU-COM as a first-year student, I immediately felt as if I were a part of a family. The smaller class size, caring staff and numerous opportunities for one-on-one interaction with professors allowed for a smooth transition from the familial atmosphere of my undergraduate institution. I believe that the techniques I will learn throughout my training in osteopathic medicine will provide me with more options in treating patients. It is my hope that through the use of OMT, I may be able to decrease the amount of medication prescribed to my patients. This could save people money, but more importantly, could decrease the likelihood of exposure to harmful side effects. The principles of osteopathic medicine transcend the goal of ridding patients of their symptoms; instead, osteopathic physicians are encouraged to search for and target the root of the problem, ensuring the comfort and well-being of their patients.”

Amanda Bighorse

Amanda Bighorse

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Organismic Biology, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah. 

“As an undergraduate student, I visited OSU-COM many times because there were always so many great things about the school. The holistic approach to medicine, small class size and student/teacher ratio that allows faculty to get to know the students, not to mention the college’s national ranking, all are wonderful reasons to attend OSU-COM. The major thing that stood out to me was the family atmosphere, full of compassion and support. It wasn’t until I actually experienced it that I truly understood it. During my first year of medical school, I lost my father to cancer and had to take some time off. The outpouring of love and support during that difficult time from not only my fellow classmates, but also the administration and faculty, opened my eyes to how fortunate I am to have a support system at my medical school. Professors offered to come in after hours to cover the material that I missed, and classmates took notes, recorded lectures and helped me catch up. I am not sure that I would have made it through that year without my OSU family. While I still am not sure what area of medicine I want to pursue. I know that whatever I choose, OSU-COM will equip me with not only the knowledge and support I need, but also the compassionate and caring attitude necessary to become a great physician.” 

Heather Preissler

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine 

Heather Preissler

Undergraduate Studies: BA in Biology, Central Washington University 

"Having a background in dentistry and biology, I explored many options before deciding to study osteopathic medicine. The philosophy of treating patients with a hands-on approach along with the profession’s desire to find unique, well rounded leaders was why I chose to study osteopathic medicine. My medical college not only lives by this philosophy, but values listening to patients, being compassionate and serving in rural areas, while striving to set the highest educational standards. The faculty is like a family that embraces you upon arrival and guides your path. As a future osteopathic physician, my mission is to bring aid and education to underserved areas in the Pacific Northwest and globally to those in need."

Megan Sorich Megan Sorich

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Health Sciences, Saint Louis University

“As an undergraduate student, I spent three years in the physical therapy program. In classes, we learned to treat patients with our hands, and the curriculum was based primarily on the musculoskeletal system. When I began my senior year, I decided my calling was medicine, so it was only natural that I chose the osteopathic approach. Looking at the entire patient not only physically, but also spiritually and emotionally, makes sense to me. I am learning so much about these concepts at PNWU-COM. The faculty and staff are outstanding; they provide a very supportive environment that promotes our learning. My fellow students are amazing. We are a family, and we help one another overcome our weaknesses and support our strengths. As an osteopathic physician, I hope to make a difference by encouraging my future colleagues and patients to promote preventive medicine.”

Francisco Laboy

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine 

Francisco Laboy III, DO 

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biology, The City College of New York
Residency: NMM/OMM, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

“My introduction to osteopathic medicine began with the pamphlet “What is a DO?” distributed by AOA back in 1991. Today, I am a third-year NMM/OMM resident at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. The journey has been long, hard and enlightening. Osteopathic medicine has afforded me the opportunity to care for patients in a complete and mindful way. No other profession would have enabled me to combine all of my interests, beliefs and talents into a life that is able to touch the lives of so many.

“The education I received at PCOM was outstanding, matched only by the family I was welcomed into upon being accepted. PCOM is a family of top-notch clinicians, faculty, administrators and staff. This family will challenge you intellectually, and at the same time support you through the growing pains that you will experience in becoming a physician. I love my family.”

Mary Ann Maurer, DO

Mary Ann Maurer, DO

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biology; minor in Spanish, Towson University (Towson, MD)
Residency: Family Medicine

“Both my husband and I graduated with degrees in Biology; he knew that he wanted to go to medical school, but I wasn't so sure. I was teaching young children in a poor, urban elementary school when he began his coursework at PCOM. I was surprised at how friendly everyone was to me, who was “just a wife.” They exuded a sense of welcoming and of community. Around the same time, I realized that an integral part of education reform was to improve the health of my students. It was near-impossible to teach math to a six year-old who had spent most of the night in the ED being treated for an asthma attack. 

“It was such a natural decision to apply to PCOM. I knew that medical school would be an intense experience and I wanted to be in a place where I would be both challenged and supported.

“I'm currently a third-year Family Medicine resident in a local program. I am proud to be one of three osteopathic chief residents in our health system, all of whom have graduated from PCOM. I know that our school has played a large part in our career paths.”

Cynthia Demastes

University of Pikeville - Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine

Cynthia Demastes

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biology; minor in Chemistry, Georgetown College

“When I first started searching for medical schools during my undergraduate experience, PCSOM was at the top of my list. I knew little about osteopathic medicine, but I was intrigued by its philosophy. I had the chance to visit the college and immediately knew it was the best place for me. The faculty and staff genuinely care about their students and the education they deliver. I was able to truly see this when I was diagnosed with breast cancer during my first year. The school worked closely with me while I underwent treatments, and several of my professors even called and checked on me from time to time. Their support helped me get through one of the most trying times of my life. Looking back on my decision to come to PCSOM, I can’t imagine being anywhere else but here.”

Bruce Kostelnik

Bruce Kostelnik

Undergraduate Studies: BA in Biology, Transylvania University

“Having attended a small liberal arts university as an undergraduate, I was able to think outside the box when it came to furthering my education. I wasn’t forced into thinking that allopathic medicine was the one and only path to pursuing my dreams of becoming a physician. I even shadowed a DO for credit in one of my classes, and I quickly saw a difference in how an osteopathic physician treats patients. Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine has been a wonderful place for me to learn the art of medicine. The community support for the medical school here is unbelievable, and the students have such a strong camaraderie with one another that we are almost like family. PCSOM is small, but our presence in this community is large. We do much more than learn medicine here; we change lives. This college has given me the opportunity to do what I love: help others.”

Jane Morris Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine 

Jane Morris

Undergraduate Studies: BA in Psychology, Colorado State University

“I have been lucky enough to grow up all over the world, and during my many experiences with medicine, the osteopathic profession stole my heart. After attending Colorado State University, I decided to pursue my love of osteopathic medicine. After receiving acceptances from schools all over the country, I decided to attend RVUCOM. It is here that I feel the deepest connection to the osteopathic medical profession. The professors are not only devoted to their profession, but RVUCOM is the only place where I feel that they are equally passionate about their students.  I feel that my school will prepare me to be the finest scientist, friend and advocate that I can be to my patients. In the future, I plan to become a family practice physician with a subspecialty in complementary and alternative medicine.”

Jack Adam Savino Jack Adam Savino, 2nd Lieutenant, U.S. Army

Undergraduate Studies: BA in Political Science and Preprofessional Studies, University of Notre Dame
Graduate Studies: MHS in Biochemistry and Reproductive Biology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

“With my strong interest in preventive medicine and my desire to provide a superior level of personalized care, osteopathic medicine was the clear choice for my medical education and career. As part of RVUCOM’s inaugural class, I will help establish traditions, pave the way for future students, set high standards and ensure that the school becomes a top institution for osteopathic medical education.  The faculty and staff are friendly and amazing and the facilities are second to none.  Moreover, as only the second medical school in Colorado (a state with a high demand for physicians, particularly in rural areas), there are numerous opportunities to make a difference.  In addition to having an integrated curriculum for the first and second years, the clinical sites for third- and fourth-year students include major hospitals in Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Grand Junction.  More thought has been put into our education than I could have imagined, and for that, I am grateful to be here.”

Brieanna Seefeldt Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine – California

Brieanna Seefeldt, DO

BA in Anthropology, University of California – Berkeley

“As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, I studied anthropology and examined cultural beliefs about healing.  I wanted to pursue a career that embraced the art and science of medicine.  When I learned about osteopathic philosophy, the message hit home.  Osteopathy embraces a holistic viewpoint. It honors the power of the body, while recognizing the importance of drugs and surgery.  I chose Touro University because of its strong Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine department.  Touro's faculty and staff are outstanding.  They are talented, dedicated and passionate about working with students.  As a pre-doctoral teaching fellow in the department of OMM, I have had great opportunities to teach, practice and research osteopathic principles and techniques.  As an osteopathic physician, I will be proud to be a DO, with my hands, my stethoscope and my heart as my tools.”

Moxie Stratton Moxie Stratton, DO

Undergraduate Studies: BA in Philosophy and Literature, Sarah Lawrence College
Residency: Internal Medicine 

“Osteopathic medicine has historically been based on the role of structure in promoting function and health. On the level of the whole human body and spirit, it encompasses and augments what biochemistry-based medicine does with cells, receptors and organs. We see patients from the perspective of the highest order of complexity - that is what the phrase “whole patient” means to me.  I am very glad I chose TUCOM-CA because of the strength of its osteopathic medicine department, its osteopathy and anatomy facilities and the great skill and enthusiasm of its faculty. Teaching is central here, and the faculty constantly adjusts in consideration of student input, striving to keep everyone engaged. After attending Sarah Lawrence College, I began studying chemistry and ecology out of a curiosity of how pollution affects the earth and human health. I had not strongly considered medicine before, but upon learning about osteopathic medicine, I knew right away that it was ideal for me. I worked in nutritional product companies and visited TUCOM-CA. I heard an engaging immunology lecture and knew this was the place for me. My goal is to make holistic, osteopathic, environmental and wisely applied, evidence-based medicine available to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. I also plan to contribute to toxicology bio-monitoring research and am in residency in Internal Medicine with MPH.”

Rebecca Kowaloff Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine – New York

Rebecca  Kowaloff

Undergraduate Studies: BA in History, University of Rochester

“Osteopathic medicine’s primary care emphasis and its recognition that primary care should be the foundation of our health care system is in line with my own interests and beliefs. The osteopathic community is small and relatively tightly knit, with physicians who are eager to become preceptors to medical students and to join students in lobbying efforts to advance their profession and improve health care. Coming from a small undergraduate university with a nontraditional, pre-medical degree, this small osteopathic community, always conscious and proud of its history, is a professional group I want to join. As a new school in a large underserved area of a medical metropolis, TOUROCOM is well poised to give its students unique leadership opportunities within the school, and rich clinical and social experiences in New York City and the Harlem community, in particular. My community-based experiences have prepared me to become a leader in my profession when I graduate, and to become a more effective health care provider in underserved communities.”

Femi Showole

Femi Showole

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Integrative Biology, University of Toronto
Graduate Studies: MS in Cell and Molecular Biology Candidate,  Hunter College - City University of New York

"For me, becoming a physician has always been more than a profession; it has been a calling to a position of leadership, with the responsibility to positively shape the overall well-being of my community. So I was excited to learn about TOUROCOM-NY, a new osteopathic medical school situated in the underserved, but emerging neighborhood of Harlem, New York, with its mission to promote osteopathic medicine and its emphasis on meeting the needs of its surrounding community. Prior to medical school, I spent four years working as a biochemical researcher and toward a Cell and Molecular Biology Masters degree to expand my scientific knowledge for my future health career. Once I gained an understanding of the philosophy of osteopathic medicine, it only made sense to attend a medical school that would enable me to acquire a more complete repertoire of clinical knowledge and a holistic approach to treating patients."

Scarlet Sparkuhl Delia Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine

Scarlet Sparkuhl Delia

Undergraduate Studies: BA in Performance Art, University of California Los Angeles 
Graduate Studies: Post-Baccalaureate Program in Pre-Medical Sciences, San Francisco State University

“An osteopathic medical college couldn’t have been a better choice for my medical education.  Osteopathic medical education incorporates two equally important components: evidence-based medicine and osteopathic medicine’s “core principles.”  This unique approach to medical education has allowed me to both diagnose and treat disease in a more patient-centered, contemporary manner.

“TUNCOM values the diversity of its student body, and draws from a broad cross-section of educational backgrounds.  This was important to me in choosing a medical school, as I had completed a Bachelor’s degree in Performance Art, and a Post-Baccalaureate Program in Pre-Medical Sciences. 

“TUNCOM is located in the vibrant Las Vegas Metropolitan Area, a region that that sees a bounty of medical pathology.  Students are able to complete all required and desired elective rotations locally.  Many of the faculty are practicing physicians in the area, and they play pivotal roles in both preclinical and clinical education.”             

Maria Martinez

Maria T. Martinez

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biology, University of Colorado-Denver

“As the daughter of a middle school teacher, I have always had a passion for service and education.  I was fortunate to have worked for very compassionate and supportive allopathic physicians during my years of undergraduate work.  They sparked my interest in medicine and have been a tremendous support.  I was first introduced to osteopathic medicine by one of these physicians, who referred one of his patients to an osteopathic physician.  This triggered curiosity in me and led me to research osteopathic medicine.  I was intrigued by the osteopathic physician’s belief in the body’s fundamental wellness and innate self-healing mechanisms.  I like the idea that as osteopathic physicians, we are working with the body to restore these mechanisms.  I was drawn to TUNCOM’s mission statement, “to serve, to lead, to teach,” and to its dedication to the emergent communities of Nevada.  I take pride in knowing we are providing skilled, caring osteopathic physicians to an area of mounting shortage.”

Anne C. Jones, DO

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – School of Osteopathic Medicine

Anne C. Jones, DO

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Neurobiology & Behavior, Cornell University 

"Within 5 minutes of stepping onto my medical school campus, I felt at home. The most special thing about being an osteopathic medical student was that I felt like a member of the family. The support from students, faculty and administration nurtured me as a student to succeed with my dreams.

"I am excited to be starting my residency training at the Maine Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency in Augusta, Maine, where I hope to develop a primary care practice. I also plan to remain active in medical education and health policy by pursuing an MPH degree and by continually being involved in the osteopathic profession. My ultimate dream? To be a well-rounded, full-spectrum osteopathic family physician, a faculty member at a medical school, and an advocate for physicians and patients, and to effect positive change in our nation’s healthcare system."

Michael Ruzek Michael Ruzek

Undergraduate Studies: BA in Biology; Minor in Communications, Rutgers University

“I had the opportunity to witness first-hand the impact that a competent and caring physician can make on both a patient and his family. As health care providers, we are given the opportunity to have a finger on the pulse of society. Just as osteopathic medicine is “holistically” composed of many components and approaches to wellness, our society is “holistically” composed of many diverse faces, hearts and minds. I compare my choice of studying osteopathic medicine to putting on a white coat that fits. To me, osteopathic medicine is that perfect fit! I am proud to be a student at UMDNJ-SOM, a school that uses the essential values of collegiality, compassion, diversity, excellence, innovation and integrity as our guiding principles. Furthermore, I am part of an even larger family of osteopathic physicians who have a commitment to health and healing.”

Michael Dominello University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

Michael M. Dominello

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biology; extended coursework in Latin American Studies, Fairfield University

“Applying to medical school about four years ago now, I was surprised when I learned that there were in fact two distinct physician designations—obviously MD, but DO also? Doing some investigation, I was informed, ‘DOs treat the whole person.’ And I wondered, don’t all doctors treat the whole person?

“Four years later, I've found that the short answer to that question is, ‘No, not really.’ Explaining the D.O. difference is like explaining the difference between lime green and forest green to a man who can't see.  

“The osteopathic profession is a small, proud family with a pronounced identity, a tradition that echoes through the halls of our osteopathic medical colleges. At the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, our coursework is extended in certain arenas to highlight the humanities, physical exam, osteopathic manipulative medicine and the patient-doctor relationship. While this ‘whole-person’ philosophy is intrinsic to the curriculum, it also reverberates outside the classroom, where students work in a collaborative effort, sharing study documents, holding class-wide reviews and embracing this journey as a group, rather than competing against one another in an effort to achieve a certain ‘class rank.’

“Visiting UNE-COM the year I applied, this difference was obvious. As I continue on in this journey we call the “practice of medicine,” I plan on holding tight to my osteopathic roots, remembering first and foremost that every patient is a person, not just another appointment in my schedule. I will strive to put the patient first, treating my final patient of the day just as I've treated the first, and always recognizing and acknowledging how illness is impacting my patient as a fellow human being.”       

Angelica Supansic Angelica Supansic  

Undergraduate Studies: BA in Psychology, New York University

“After completing my undergraduate studies at a large university located in the heart of New York City, I wanted to study medicine at a school that provided a more personal experience. Additionally, although I love the chaos of the city, I knew that for medical school, I needed a lower stress environment in order to be successful in my studies. When I arrived at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, I knew I had found the perfect fit.

“Instead of a nine-digit identification number, I was a face and a name that both classmates and faculty could recognize. Instead of sirens and horns honking, I found myself in a peaceful, coastal setting. These factors, along with a never-ending amount of support from the university and my peers, have allowed me to succeed and grow during my first year of medical school at UNE-COM, and I am proud to be a member of such a community.

“I was first exposed to osteopathic medicine through the National Youth Leadership Forum, a high school summer program that encourages students to explore careers in medicine. This past summer, I was honored to be the student coordinator for the program at UNE-COM. During several sessions, our university welcomed high school students to spend a day in the life of an osteopathic medical student. By interacting with the students, many of whom had never before heard the word ‘osteopathy,’ I felt that my classmates and I were positively contributing to the students’ knowledge of health professions.

“Having this teaching experience helped me realize that in addition to practicing medicine, I hope to continue educating others about the osteopathic profession throughout my career.”

Britni Foster University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

Britni Foster

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biology, University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Graduate Studies: MMS, University of North Texas Health Science Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

“After receiving my undergraduate degree, I enrolled in a unique program offered by UNTHSC-GSBS and received my Masters in Medical Science degree. On the campus of TCOM, I received a first-hand look at the quality of students and faculty and their mission to promote osteopathic medicine by developing future high-quality physicians. Spending a year immersed in the school was like having a year-long interview and getting to see all of the benefits of being a student. After the interview, there was no way I wanted to leave. With its students currently ranked number one in COMLEX scores, the college has found a way to integrate all aspects of the curriculum into a clear, concise teaching method that enables the students to get the most from their medical education. More than simply outstanding academics, TCOM offers a wonderful learning environment and opportunities to become involved in the local community through clubs, health fairs and recreational activities. All of these attributes and more have made me confident that I made the right decision to become a member of the TCOM class of 2011!”

Jose Lozano Jose J. Lozano

Undergraduate Studies: BA in Biology, St. Mary’s University, San Antonio
Graduate Studies: MS in Biology, University of Texas at El Paso

“Before attending TCOM, I taught biology at El Paso Community College for two years. I chose osteopathic medicine because of its philosophy and application of preventive medicine and its overall integrative approach to health care and patients alike. TCOM provides students with a family environment that is conducive to personal, academic and professional growth. I plan on being a very active DO in my community as a physician, educator and advocate for public health. Awareness of our osteopathic philosophy and its practical application could provide us with the answers to our struggling national health care system. I feel that TCOM has and will continue to provide me with the tools necessary to pursue my highest goals. For this, I love my school.”    

Amanda Hale Reese

Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Amanda Hale Reese, DO

Undergraduate Studies: BA in Biology, University of Virginia
Residency: General Surgery, Carillion Clinic (Roanoke, VA) 

“Prospective students are attracted to VCOM because of the school’s commitment to recruiting physicians for the underserved areas of the Appalachian region. This goal is accomplished through a focused education in rural medicine. Because VCOM’s mission is in close alignment with my own goals, the decision to attend the school was an easy one. During my education, I had the opportunity to volunteer in local health clinics, provide screening to school-age children and complete the majority of my clinical rotations in rural Virginia. Those activities have prepared me to care for the population of Southwest Virginia.  I also gained unique experience through the OMT of athletes. VCOM collaborates with Virginia Tech University to allow students to work with athletes to learn more about the mechanisms of injury, body mechanics, the body’s dysfunctions and the OMT for those dysfunctions. This knowledge will assist me in treating trauma patients as a general surgeon. Finally, the campuses of VCOM and Virginia Tech offer a broad array of social, cultural and educational activities and diversity found on major campuses, yet they are uniquely located in a community atmosphere.” 

Isaac Spence

Isaac Spence 

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 

"My medical school’s mission is to produce primary care physicians to serve rural and medically underserved areas. Having grown up in a rural area, this mission resonates with my own goals as a future physician. I love my school because I am acquiring the skills I will need to return to a rural community and assist the medically underserved. I also aspire to serve as a medical missionary, and my college provides ample opportunities to participate in medical missions. Additionally, my school is located near my hometown. As such, I believe it will enhance health care in the area, and I would love to contribute to that endeavor. I love my college because it has a family-like atmosphere, a student camaraderie that is rare in medical school, and faculty who sincerely want their students to succeed."

Matthew Day West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine 

Matthew Day

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Health Sciences, University of Florida

“While pursuing my bachelor’s degree, I had the opportunity to shadow several physicians, both allopathic and osteopathic. I grew to love the philosophy of osteopathic medicine. Previously a physical therapy major, I was drawn to the manipulation techniques of osteopathic medicine. I found WVSOM during my interview
process and quickly fell in love with the school. The kindness of the faculty, the amazing
facilities and the surrounding community convinced me that Lewisburg was perfect
for me. The educational experiences that I have had have only confirmed that WVSOM was the right choice for me. Making a difference is what a physician is all about; however, as an osteopathic physician, I would like to make sure that others have an understanding of osteopathic medicine. Through lecture series, excellent practice techniques and giving back to the community, I hope to follow in the footsteps of other great osteopathic physicians.”

Marri A. Kajfez

Marri A. Kajfez

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame

“The philosophy of the osteopathic physician is one that I take pride in. While attending the University of Notre Dame, I experienced traditional and nontraditional forms of medicine through many different classes. When the time came to choose a medical school, I knew that the world of osteopathic medicine was the correct choice for me. This led me to West Virginia, where I immediately fell in love with the small town atmosphere of Lewisburg, along with WVSOM’s beautiful campus layout and the school’s incredible facilities. WVSOM will enable me to grow into the best physician I can be, through the dedication of the faculty and staff, many opportunities for leadership experiences, a very accepting and grateful community and fellow students who share a passion for osteopathic medicine and all it has to offer.”  

Courtney Martin

Western University of Health Sciences/College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Courtney Martin

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biology; minor in Chemistry, Vanguard University of Southern California

“Today is a remarkable time; never has there been such opportunity to enact change to the desperate health care system; never have there been the ears to hear a different point of view; never has there been such an opening for osteopathic medicine to be a voice for such change.  I chose osteopathic medicine because of the many ways in which the osteopathic community, training and experience provide answers and can provide the health care that people deserve.  Holistic, preventative medicine is why I chose to come to Western U/COMP and become an osteopathic physician, and I have loved the depth of knowledge, commitment and caring the institution provides.  Not only is Western U/COMP in beautiful Southern California, but it has a wide variety of patient populations and opportunities to serve in the community.  It provides the perfect training and place to begin a committed career in medicine!”

Bavand Youssefzadeh Bavand Youssefzadeh

Undergraduate Studies: BS in Biochemistry, Baylor University

“In my journey to become a physician, I have learned that there is more to the practice of medicine than just having two letters after your surname. I've always known that my calling was to become a physician, but I never knew that I was destined to become an osteopathic physician. In the two years after I completed my undergraduate studies, I worked closely with an osteopathic physician learning the fundamentals of osteopathic medicine and how DOs approach the art of patient care. After those experiences, I applied to several MD and DO medical schools, and I was selected for interviews at both.

“My interview experience at WesternU/COMP helped me realize that this was the school for me. From the moment I met the caring faculty and interacted with the motivated, yet humble student body, I knew that the next chapter of my life was to unfold in sunny Southern California.  WesternU/COMP impressed me with its display of organization and ambition to become the leading multi-disciplinary health science campus in the nation.  New buildings and new colleges have complemented COMP's age-old passion for excellence in health care. COMP's willingness and ability to adapt itself in order to become the cream of the crop is what sold me on joining this family.   I should admit that the clear blue sunny skies and palm trees didn't hurt! This school is preparing me to be not just a competent physician, but a caring, compassionate physician with a distinctive osteopathic philosophy.”

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