LUCOM selects Student DO of the Year

Asa Keimig | LUCOM Marketing | Dec 5, 2018

Liberty University College of Osteopathic MedicineLiberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) student-doctor Olivia Hopper, Class of 2020, has been selected as the LUCOM Student DO of the Year.

LUCOM’s nomination has been sent to the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP) Selection Committee, the national leadership council of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), who will review the nominations and select a National Student DO of the Year in 2019.

The Student DO of the Year selection process is an extensive selection process that begins with each College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) in the United States. It begins with each COM seeking nominations from the faculty, staff, and student body. Nominations then submit applications that includes their medical school CV/resume and an essay. Applications and essays are graded by the Student DO of the Year committee – a selection of SGA members, professors, appointed students, and the dean. The top five applicants based on these graded items are then discussed in detail amongst the committee before a final decision is made.

Hopper chose to pursue becoming an osteopathic physician medicine because she believed it was the perfect intersection of her interests and talents. “My heart was made in a way that it’s most alive when I am serving others,” she said. “There is so much joy in showing up and helping others even when it’s inconvenient and hard; to be able to do that while being challenged intellectually is an incredible privilege.” She was convinced that osteopathic medicine was a unique way to have a career that involved having a hands-on impact in the lives of others in a way that interested and challenged her.

As an osteopathic physician, she hopes to make a positive difference in the lives of others. At LUCOM the focus is on a servant’s heart. It’s a trait that Hopper has exemplified during her time at LUCOM. “I chose LUCOM because of their emphasis on service and for the family environment,” said Hopper. “On interview day it was palpable just how considerate and invested the faculty and staff were in the students and I knew that the characteristics I saw modeled in the individuals who would be teaching me were characteristics I wanted to exhibit as a medical professional.”

Since beginning medical school her focus has been on making an impact in the lives of others and one of the biggest impacts in her life has been her classmates. “My classmates have encouraged in me a dedication to patient kindness, deeper compassion, greater resiliency, and a more steadfast discipline in hopes of resembling even a modicum of those same traits I see in them,” said Hopper. “The teaching opportunities I have been exposed to have developed a skill and passion I would have never otherwise realized I possessed. I was able to directly impact peers by helping to improve their understanding of complex topics and increase their self confidence in their ability to use factual knowledge to help patients. In trying to teach them, they taught me what a privilege it is to learn medicine.”

She says that the ripple effect that education can have on teachers, learners, and patients has been gratifying to watch and her hope is that the end result is a life enriched by the attempt to become better student-doctors.