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Hooding 2023: The New Doctors Are In!

At this year’s Hooding Ceremonies in Old Westbury, N.Y., and Jonesboro, Ark., NYITCOM welcomed more than 400 new physicians to the medical profession. May 31, 2023

Pictured: Members of the graduating class on the Long Island campus.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) recently welcomed more than 400 new physicians to the medical profession at Hooding Ceremonies in Old Westbury, N.Y., and Jonesboro, Ark. The Class of 2023 joins a well-established alumni network of more than 9,000 osteopathic physicians (D.O.s).

NYITCOM’s Hooding Ceremonies, which serve as the medical school’s graduation, are a symbolic passing of the guard from one generation of physicians to the next. New physicians are called to the stage to receive their doctoral hoods, which are either presented by medical school faculty and leaders or family members who are also physicians.

This year, the Class of 2023 achieved an impressive 100 percent match rate, with all graduating students placed into residencies. This is well above the 93.7 percent national average for M.D. seniors.

Residencies were secured at institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic (anesthesiology), Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (multiple specialties), University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School (neurology), Duke University Medical Center (pediatrics), and many others. In addition, 12 members of the Class of 2023 will go on to complete their residencies in branches of the U.S. armed forces.

NYITCOM-Long Island’s 42nd Hooding Ceremony took place on the Old Westbury campus following New York Tech’s commencement on May 21. Here, 310 newly minted osteopathic physicians received their doctoral hoods.

NYITCOMStudentPromiRahmanAndHerMotherHooding2023

Promi Rahman, D.O., is hooded by her mother, Tanzia Mustafa, M.D., at the May 21 NYITCOM-Long Island Hooding Ceremony.

NYITCOM Dean Nicole Wadsworth, D.O., reminded the new physicians that their osteopathic medical education provides them with a very advantageous skillset and unique ability to connect with patients.

“Osteopathic students make up 25 percent of all student-physicians today; you are uniquely trained and positioned to provide the patient care that is required in today’s society, which is highly technical but desperately needs high touch and high compassion. Each of you brings those skills to healthcare,” said Wadsworth.

Renowned thyroid researcher Antonio C. Bianco, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and 2023 New York Tech honorary degree recipient, delivered the keynote address. Citing the changes he has experienced in his own career, Bianco urged graduates to remain nimble as they navigate the ever-changing medical landscape.

“I can assure you that having an adaptable attitude will make it easier for you to learn the new administrative and political skills needed for your future jobs. In fact, the transition will never end. This is because the world is changing very fast, and adapting is key to success,” said Bianco. “When I graduated 40 years ago, I had a full hour to see a patient and wrote my notes with a fountain pen. Ultrasonography was not available, and physical examination and basic blood biochemistry were everything.”

The NYITCOM-Arkansas Hooding Ceremony took place five days later, on May 26, at the Fowler Center on the campus of Arkansas State University. Here, 115 new physicians received their doctoral hoods.

“You are about to enter into the clinical aspects of your training where you will be directly responsible for the care of a patient,” NYITCOM-Arkansas Campus Dean Shane Speights, D.O., told the graduates. “It’s a level of responsibility that many seek, and few have. I ask that you guard this responsibility closely, for it is not to be abused, and it is not to be taken for granted. The relationship between a doctor and a patient is one of sacred trust, and undoubtedly one that we will all experience at some point.”

NYITCOM-ArkansasGraduates2023

Members of the NYITCOM-Arkansas Class of 2023 from left: Erika Levy, Sara Whitehurst, Saif Fiaz and Hannah Boehler

Emily Kraft, D.O., president of the NYITCOM-Arkansas Class of 2023, spoke of the unique challenges her class faced during medical school, all of which made her even more proud to call herself a member of the group.

“On top of learning what it means to be a doctor, we experienced tornados (yes, plural), a global pandemic, virtual education, Zoom interviews, and even the search to find toilet paper in Jonesboro when it appeared to have run out,” Kraft said. “Throughout all of this, our class persevered, taking on each challenge as it came. We rode those waves together, whether they were crashing down or bringing us back to shore. This is one resilient group of individuals whom I am proud to call my colleagues. We did not just survive—we excelled at what we did.

In addition to the students earning their D.O. degree, the medical school also recognized 10 graduates of the NYITCOM-Arkansas M.S. in biomedical sciences program.

The NYITCOM-Arkansas Class of 2023 arrived in Jonesboro in 2019 as the college’s fourth class on the campus of Arkansas State University, just three years after the medical school opened its doors with the mission of training medical students to help address a growing physician shortage in Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta region.

Already, graduates, including the Class of 2023, are helping to bridge the gap. This year, 63 percent were placed into programs that will keep them in Arkansas, a targeted-Delta state, or a state contiguous to Arkansas; 21 students placed in Arkansas programs; 15 matched into programs within 100 miles of the Arkansas border.

The school also encourages students to pursue primary care specialties due to the significant needs in those areas in Arkansas and the Delta region. In fact, 75 percent of NYITCOM-Arkansas’ Class of 2023 matched into primary care positions, including 30 percent in internal medicine, 25 percent in family medicine, and 18 percent who will specialize in psychiatry, pediatrics, or obstetrics/gynecology. The national average among all medical schools for medical students choosing family medicine is 12.6 percent, which puts NYITCOM-Arkansas at double the national average in the specialty.

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