New students in the College of Osteopathic Medicine were treated to a surprise as three namesakes of their House system gave them lifelong advice during their virtual orientation.
Each of the six houses was named after a physician with cultural and professional significance when the College of Osteopathic Medicine established the House system for the 2019-20 school year. According to Dr. Wolfgang Gilliar, Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, the students and faculty wanted to have three houses named after living physicians.
New students heard from Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee, the first African-American woman to become dean of a medical school; Dr. Mitchell Forman, the founding dean of the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine; and Dr. Hank Chaudhry, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FMSB) which co-sponsors the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).
“You will be role models for others who aspire to be physicians, and you will mentor the class who follows you,” Dr. Ross-Lee told the new medical students. “You must demonstrate a personal character that will inspire trust in the patients and people you meet. Finally, you must be responsible, dependable, and trustworthy.”
Dr. Forman, who helped found the College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2004, discussed the university’s significance in helping Southern Nevada’s critical physician shortage. He also encouraged students to take time for themselves since medical school is full of information to consume.
“You’ll be overwhelmed at times, but keep in mind your strong desire to take care of patients and their ability to trust you,” he said. “Develop the skills to prioritize important things, and learn to multitask. We need to learn how to do that effectively. Also, know when to ask for assistance. It is not a sign of weakness; but a sign of strength.”
Dr. Chaudhry emphasized to the new medical students that during several health crises: a global pandemic, the opioid crisis, systemic racism, and more, their opinions will be received with more trust since they are practicing medicine.
“Always remember the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s what makes us human. Following the golden rule will serve you well in medicine,” he said.
Like Dr. Forman before him, Dr. Chaudhry also reminded the students about the importance of mental health and avoiding burnout during their arduous journey through medical school.
“Please look out for yourself. Clinician stress and burnout are real, and it also applies to medical students. You are human, so pace yourself. You are allowed to be anxious and stressed. Remember, it’s ok to ask for help.”