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ATSU-KCOM celebrates 169 new doctors of osteopathic medicine at 2021 commencement

More than 170 students earned doctor of osteopathic medicine or master of biomedical sciences degrees during A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (ATSU-KCOM) commencement ceremony May 15, 2021. 

The event celebrated ATSU-KCOM’s 185th graduating class, with 169 students receiving their doctor of osteopathic medicine degrees, and four earning master of biomedical sciences degrees. Graduates represented 27 states and 12 countries. 

ATSU-KCOM Dean Margaret Wilson, DO, ’82, called upon graduates to reflect on their journeys throughout their careers.

“Graduates, you are now ready to move into the next phase of your career. Your training has prepared you well to provide the best possible care to your patients. You will be sought out for your expertise and what you have to offer,” Dr. Wilson said.

“Remember your humble roots, remember those who came before you, those who trained you, and remember you are the future of osteopathic medicine. Know where you stood at this time in history, on the front lines of healthcare, when your patients and the nation needed you most.”

ATSU-KCOM alumnus Col. Todd P. Huhn, DO, MPH, ’99, U.S. Air Force, medical service corps, senior flight surgeon, delivered the commencement address and shared stories from his career to explain the importance of connecting with patients. 

“A good doctor talks to their patients, but a wise doctor listens. It’s all about that professional closeness, that listening and connecting with your patient,” he said. “As you enter the next 20 years of your career, as you take your turn at the podium in front of the graduating class, I hope you remember those words. I hope you never underestimate the power of a simple touch, a simple word, of simply sitting quietly and listening.”

ATSU-KCOM student Lisa Millar, OMS II, performed “America the Beautiful” and Dr. Wilson led graduates in reciting the “Oath to the Profession.”

In closing, ATSU President Craig Phelps, DO, ’84, reminded graduates of the legacy they join as physicians.

“When you walk through those doors, for the rest of your life you will wear the mantle of a healer,” Dr. Phelps said. “More importantly, those sitting before you, next to you, and behind you will continue to support you throughout your career, as you dedicate yourself to the most noble of all callings.” 

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