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LECOM Welcomes the Class of 2017

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine welcomed the largest medical class in the United States, as 536 osteopathic medicine students registered for classes at LECOM’s campuses in Erie, Pa., Greensburg, Pa., and Bradenton, Fla.

The 250 students who will matriculate in Erie are joined by 182 students in Bradenton and 104 in Greensburg. All first-year osteopathic medicine students begin classes on July 29.

The 536 members of the College’s Class of 2017 were chosen from the more than 12,000 applicants to LECOM’s College of Medicine.

The class includes students of varying backgrounds, to include traditional pre-medicine students fresh from their undergraduate studies as well as non-traditional students who began their careers in other professions.

Nevin Body, OMS1

One student, Nevin Body of Erie, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 with degrees in biology and Egyptology. Following her graduation, she worked in a retail environment for a year while her husband, David, completed his studies at the Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University.

Nevin Body, who will be following in the footsteps of her mother and father, both doctors, became interested in medicine after working as a research assistant in the University of Pennsylvania’s Smell and Taste Center. “It was a great experience,” she said. “I enjoyed the one-on-one interaction with patients.”

Another member of the class, Michael Corti of New Fairfield, Ct., decided to pursue medicine in part because of his experience, as an undergraduate at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., shadowing a physician. Ironically, the physician, Michael DiGiorno, D.O., is a LECOM graduate.

Shadowing Dr. DiGiorno made Corti a believer in osteopathic medicine. “I was very impressed by the personal connection he had with his patients,” Corti said. “I could see how compassionate he was in treating the whole person. It was inspiring to see how much his patients trusted him.”

Another member of the class, Alan Goff Jr., is from San Diego and played football at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Like most Division I players, he aspired to a career in professional football and once worked out for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. Now 28, he is pursuing a career in medicine. “I’m very interested in osteopathic manipulative medicine,” Goff said. “I wanted to attend an osteopathic medical school, so LECOM was a perfect fit.”

The Class of 2017 includes nearly 40 students whose hometowns are just miles from LECOM’s campuses. They include 19 students from Erie County and 11 from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

At LECOM-Bradenton, nearly 60 percent of the incoming class hails from the Sunshine State. “We’re very pleased and excited to welcome our 10th medical school class to the Bradenton campus,” said Robert George, D.O., Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.

Matthew Hanewich, OMS1

Bradenton resident Matthew Hanewich knows LECOM well after having attended nearby Lakewood Ranch High School. “The problem-based learning curriculum is perfect for me, in terms of how I study,” Hanewich said. “LECOM is where I wanted to attend medical school.”

LECOM also is seeing an increase in the number of students who made their decision to attend LECOM more than four years ago.  Seventeen students applied, and were accepted to, LECOM and one of the college’s Early Acceptance Program affiliate schools. These students have attended Gannon, Mercyhurst, Seton Hill, St. Bonaventure, Edinboro, Clarion, Canisius, Sienna, and Kettering.

LECOM’s total medical school enrollment of more than 2,200 students at the three campuses has helped LECOM retain its distinction as the country’s largest medical school. Including graduate studies and the College’s dental and pharmacy programs, LECOM now enrolls more than 3,500 students.

Second-year osteopathic medical students will report to campus Aug. 6. New students enrolled in the School of Pharmacy arrive in Erie and Bradenton in mid-August. School of Dental Medicine students at the Bradenton campus began classes in mid-July.