The Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) made history Friday, May 13, as 145 members of the College’s inaugural class officially became physicians — the first ICOM-trained medical doctors and the first osteopathic physicians educated in Idaho.
“Today’s ceremony was a sweet and wonderful experience for these talented and devoted new physicians,” said Dr. Tracy J. Farnsworth, President of ICOM. “Idaho ranks last in the nation in the number of physicians per capita—and preparing and graduating this rising generation of competent and caring physicians is essential to the good health and welfare of all Idahoans.
In a packed theater at the Morrison Center in Boise, the faculty of the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine hooded the new osteopathic physicians and the Class of 2022 was conferred the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree.
“We are so proud of our graduates. They took a chance to attend a brand new medical school and as the inaugural class, they have been the trailblazers,” said Dr. Thomas J. Mohr, Dean and Chief Academic Officer. “Our faculty and staff in the Treasure Valley and beyond have worked hard to create an excellent learning environment and our student doctors have excelled in the classroom and at the patient bedside. As they move into their postgraduate residency training, they will continue to apply their knowledge, skills, and whole-person, patient-centered approach to healthcare. They will have an impressive impact over their careers focused on improving the health of patients and communities in Idaho, our region, and our nation.”
Prior to the official hooding, commencement speaker, Colonel Kevin O’Connor, DO, FAAFP, who serves as Physician to the President of the United States, spoke to the class.
“My final charge to you is a simple one…be a good doctor,” Dr. Connor told the graduates. “To be a good doctor is different than being a skilled doctor. The thing that make you good are intangibles. Good doctors make eye contact. Good doctors are active listeners. Good doctors truly empathize and take on small portions of their patient’s suffering themselves — not so much that they’re incapacitated, but enough to be effective. Good doctors never seemed rushed, even if they are. Good doctors genuinely love their patients.”
Following Dr. O’Connor’s remarks, each new graduate was individually hooded, and symbolically transitioned from an osteopathic medical student to an osteopathic physician. Prior to the conclusion of the Hooding Ceremony, each graduate recited aloud the Osteopathic Oath, led by Kevin Wilson, DO, Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs.
While completing the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), ICOM graduate Sarah Downs also received a Masters degree in Healthcare Administration (MHA) through the College’s partnership with Idaho State University. Additionally, twelve graduates were commissioned as officers in the United States Armed Forces by Lt. Col. Lora Bennett, MD, who also serves as Assistant Professor of Family Medicine.
The 145 new osteopathic physicians will begin their residencies in 38 states in the coming weeks, with 55 percent pursuing primary care. ICOM’s Class of 2022 will continue their medical training through residencies in the following specialties: anesthesiology, dermatology, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedic surgery, pathology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery.