The four-year journey through medical school ended for the 161 students in the LECOM Bradenton Class of 2009, which received doctor of osteopathic medicine degrees during commencement ceremonies June 7 at the Manatee Convention and Civic Center in Palmetto, Fla.
|Dr. Navendu Trivedi celebrates after hooding his daughter, Puja Trivedi, DO, at LECOM Bradenton's commencement ceremony.|
This was the second class to graduate from LECOM Bradenton. Keynote speaker Carlo DiMarco, DO, President of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), welcomed students into the osteopathic family. He also encouraged students to lean on their family and friends as they enter the world of internships and residencies.
“Truly there is something special about this profession,” DiMarco said. “Take advantage of meeting other DOs – connect with them, since you are now part of the osteopathic family.
“And don’t forget to fall back on your family when times get tough. They are the ones that will keep you sane and balanced on your next journey.”
The next stop for April Smith-Gonzalez is into the field of primary care. The winner of LECOM’s Dedication to Primary Care award for family medicine said the lack of primary care physicians in her hometown of West Palm Beach, Fla., made the music teacher turned physician heed the call.
“In Palm Beach County where I’m from, doctors are quitting every day,” she said. “There is a huge need for high quality primary care physicians. It’s a struggle to find a good, smart primary care doctor who can handle the day-to-day challenges. It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.”
LECOM continues to be at the forefront of producing primary care physicians, with two of every three osteopathic medicine graduates continuing on to practice primary care medicine. U.S. News and World Report ranked LECOM fifth nationally in producing primary care physicians.
Each year, LECOM recognizes four students for their dedication to primary care. Joining Smith-Gonzalez in receiving those honors are Daniel Leonard (Internal Medicine), Kristen Archdeacon (Pediatrics), and Julia King (Obstetrics and Gynecology).