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The Bigger Picture

In Memoriam: TUCOM-CA Founding Dean Bernard I. Zeliger, DO

Bernard I. Zeliger, DO, Founding Dean and former Chief Academic Officer of what is now Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine—California (TUCOM-CA), passed away Saturday, December 15, 2018. While he was dean at TUCOM-CA he served on AACOM's Board of Deans.

Dr. Zeliger was instrumental in forming TUCOM-CA into what it is today. When writing in January 2017 about the osteopathic medical school’s early years, TUCOM-CA representatives recalled that Dr. Zeliger was a passionate educator and always eager to provide students with the tools and support they needed to be successful. Faisal Qazi, DO, a graduate of TUCOM-CA’s first class, wrote in an August 2017 edition of TUCOM-CA’s The Record that when the school’s cafeteria was not yet ready to serve kosher food, Dr. Zeliger would pay out of pocket for a deli to deliver lunch to the students who kept kosher.

For his contributions to the school and to the osteopathic medical education community, TUCOM-CA presented him with an honorary Doctor of Human Letters (DHL) degree at its 2003 graduation. TUCOM-CA named its annual Leadership/Service student award in his honor.

Dr. Zeliger earned his DO from A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) in 1961. Prior to his tenure at TUCOM-CA, he served as President of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons (ACOS) in 1994 and American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics (AOAO) President from 1983 to 1984.