Heritage College Convocation-1

Isaac Kirstein, D.O., dean of Heritage College, Cleveland; Kenneth Johnson, D.O., executive dean of Heritage College; and William Burke, D.O., dean of Heritage College, Dublin, are seen with students before Saturday's Convocation and White Coat Ceremony.

Photographer: John Sattler and Joel Prince

Heritage College Convocation-2

The Heritage College Class of 2018 recites the Student Pledge of Commitment, led by Gregory Hill, D.O., president of the Heritage College Society of Alumni and Friends and an orthopedic surgeon at Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls.

Photographer: John Sattler and Joel Prince

Heritage College Convocation-3

Ohio University President Roderick McDavis presents the Phillips Medal of Public Service to Terry A. Johnson, D.O., state representative for Ohio's 90th House District and a 1991 graduate of the Heritage College.

Photographer: John Sattler and Joel Prince

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Ohio University welcomes largest class of medical students in its history

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine welcomed the largest incoming class in its 39-year history Saturday, as 190 new medical students took part in a convocation ceremony and received their white coats, symbolic of their status as physicians in training.

“Here you will learn to become not just smart doctors, but caring doctors,” Dan Krajcik, president of the Heritage College Student Government Association, told the incoming class. “You will stand out in the future, not because you treat patients solely with your head, but also with your heart.”

With its focus on training physicians to meet the most pressing health care needs of Ohioans, 91 percent of the incoming class are from the state. Three members of the Class of 2018 are participating in the D.O./Ph.D. program, combining training in medicine and research through Ohio University’s new translational biomedical sciences doctorate program.

Heritage College Executive Dean Kenneth Johnson, D.O., told the students that with the opening of the Dublin campus earlier this month, and a third campus set to open next year in Cleveland, “you begin your osteopathic medical studies at an extremely exciting and important time in the history of this college.”

Roderick J. McDavis, Ph.D., president of Ohio University, noted that not only is the Dublin campus the first new site for the Heritage College, but the first new regional campus the University has opened in nearly 60 years.

During the event at Ohio University’s Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, the college also awarded its Phillips Medal of Public Service to state Rep. Terry Johnson, D.O., a 1991 Heritage College alumnus from Scioto County who represents Ohio’s 90th House District.

Dean Johnson praised Terry Johnson as both a dedicated primary care physician and “the epitome of a public servant,” citing among other accomplishments his co-authorship of House Bill 93, which helped crack down on prescription “pill mills” in the state.

“We are so incredibly proud to call him one of our own,” the dean said.

In his own remarks, Rep. Johnson told the medical students that adhering faithfully to values such as loyalty, duty and integrity will be crucial if they wish to maintain their bedrock value as physicians in “this world that swirls around us … in chaos,” including the nation’s health care system.

Lose personal integrity, he warned the students, “and you lose everything. … When you are forced to choose between making people happy and good medicine, choose good medicine.”

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is a leader in training dedicated primary care physicians who are prepared to address the most pervasive medical needs in the state and the nation. Approximately 50 percent of Heritage College alumni practice in primary care and nearly 60 percent practice in Ohio.