Medical students heed call to duty
Seven students commissioned into Armed Forces

First-year medical student Breanna Gawrys (right) is commissioned as Second Lt. in the U.S. Air Force by Kim Schoeffel, DO.

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Bradenton is continuing the tradition of honoring those medical students who have chosen to extend their medical careers by joining the U.S. Armed Forces. In front of family, friends, classmates, faculty, staff and military personnel, seven members from the medical school Class of 2013 received their commissions.

AshleyRae Hardin, Lauren Acton and Nathan Watts will serve in the U.S. Army; Robert Rutter, Jill Martini and Benjamin Stork will serve in the U.S. Navy; and Breanna Gawrys will serve in the U.S. Air Force.

Scholarship programs play a major role in helping medical students become physicians while preparing their path into the military. Several LECOM students participate in the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program, or HPSP, which helps cover students’ costs for tuition and other fees during their time in medical school.

Of the current enrollment of students at the LECOM Bradenton campus, nearly 10 percent have benefited from the HPSP program.

While the osteopathic medicine profession thrived in the civilian world for many years, it wasn’t until 1967 that osteopathic doctors were able to become commissioned medical officers in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Thomas Quinn, DO, Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine at LECOM Bradenton, was among the first doctors of osteopathic medicine to be commissioned when he reported for active duty at the Naval Air Station Hospital in Albany, Ga., where he was the only DO.

James D. Leiber, DO, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Osteopathic Principles and Practice at LECOM Bradenton, served active duty in the Air Force from 1999 to 2006. While in the Air Force, Dr. Leiber treated both President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.

October 19, 2009
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