LUCOM Welcomes Second Class, Hosts Inner City Youth
Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) celebrated the arrival of 160 new student doctors as members of the Class of 2019 last week by reaching out to benefit others in the Lynchburg community and region.
The new student-doctors came together for a weeklong orientation to their new role and challenges, a series of team building exercises, family events, and the annual awarding of the symbol of their new profession during the White Coat ceremony on Saturday highlighting the week.
“The purpose of orientation is for the students to begin to understand the culture and environment of LUCOM, develop the relationships and support systems that will support their medical education, and importantly gain a grasp of the academic demands that LUCOM and the pursuit of an osteopathic medical degree will place on them in the months and years to come,” said Ronnie B. Martin, D.O., dean of LUCOM. “We are a young college of medicine, yet our mission and heritage is as strong as the profession and consistent with the vision of Liberty University — we are about service to others seeking wellness, health, and happiness.”
A highlight of orientation week was the annual service day. The new student-doctors spent the afternoon with young boys and girls from the Jubilee Family Development Center, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Lynchburg YMCA, playing outdoor games that promote heart health and providing education on healthy living and demonstrations on the evaluation of human status, vital sign, and examinations.
“Service day is an important, engaging, and fun day. It’s our goal for these young people to have lots of attention — to feel as if they are the center of the universe,” said Troy Burnett, associate director of student services at LUCOM who coordinated the event. “Even though each organization was appreciative for our efforts in facilitating the event, we were far more thankful that they allowed us the opportunity to serve and give back to the community.”
Boys and girls ranging from 6 to 15 years old, nearly 120 total strong, came to the Liberty University campus to enjoy the day. The student doctors also helped serve lunch and the university provided educators and motivators to discuss with the children the importance of completing their education to advance the quality and security of their lives.
“The organization leaders requested that we expand the program to include an additional 60 children next year, which reinforces the benefit and importance of demonstrating support for and love of children who often do not receive it regularly,” added Burnett.
Sterling Wilder, director of the Jubilee Center, said he is thankful for every opportunity to collaborate with LUCOM.
“They have bent over backwards to help us,” he said. “They have done fundraisers on our behalf, volunteered countless hours at our facility, and have included us in service day events, showing our children love and respect, a pathway to the future and providing them annually with school supplies. We are honored to be affiliated with them.”
Jimmy Oliver, director of program operations for the Boys and Girls Club, also thanked LUCOM: “I am personally appreciative of LUCOM student-doctors. They always give our children a wonderful experience.”
Student-doctors presented the children with bags filled with school supplies, and according to Dr. Martin, it left a lasting impression.
“The LUCOM Office of Admissions recruited a top-notch class of student-doctors — individuals with hearts full of love and commitment to the service of others. This specific (service) day is more than simply playing outside with kids; it’s about showing them the love and hope of Christ, the love that we are charged to demonstrate to each other, and at the same time we are teaching how to foster the health of the heart and the soul, teaching the importance of taking care of our physical bodies.”
The Class of 2019 began their journey toward obtaining a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree when classes started on Monday, Aug. 3.