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Photo of the day

3 Jul
Matthew Hunt's photo captured during a recen storm is featured as the Smithsoian Magazine's Photo of the Day.

Matthew Hunt’s photo captured during a recen storm is featured as the Smithsoian Magazine’s Photo of the Day.

It’s not every day that Lincoln Memorial University is featured in the national media, but that is exactly what happened today thanks to Smithsonian Magazine. In a regular feature entitled Photo of the Day, a dynamic shot of the LMU campus during a lightning storm is displayed. The shot was captured by Matthew Hunt shows lightning striking the campus near the LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM). Matthew is a photographer and physician assistant student at LMU-DCOM. He is a member of the Class of 2015.


Where in the world is the world?

8 Jul

Checking out the nearly completed Math and Science building earlier this week, I couldn’t help but notice that there was something missing. Actually, there are a lot of things missing at this point, but amid the dust and debris of building crews putting the finishing touches on the main lobby, my eye was drawn to what’s not there. At the center of the lobby area, across from where crews have taken great care to install stately marble, stands an area that is clearly waiting for something. The marble, which was reclaimed from the walls of the former Baptist Hospital in downtown Knoxville, adds opulence to the building even in its unfinished state yet there is still a gaping hole.


The Math and Science Building lobby.

The tiled floor lays the ground work for what is to come. If you were to walk in the main entrance of the Math and Science Center today, you would see a large square with three poles waiting for something. What in the world are we waiting for? Well actually, it’s the world.

Months ago, LMU Chairman Pete DeBusk commissioned Top Stone to create a four-foot rolling sphere fountain and it’s to be installed in the lobby as soon as it arrives. The globe etched sphere can be turned, spun and stopped by hand. However, if left alone the North Pole goes back to the north position. The 5,500 pound sphere floats on a thin layer of water. Top Stones uses unique technology in their fountain. It’s surely a lesson in physics, which is only fitting for the Math and Science Center.

A globe etched stone fountain similar to this on is on its way to LMU.

Top Stone announced the shipment of the LMU fountain in a press release on May 29, 2012. The completed work has been en route every since. The extreme spring and early summer weather and storms have slowed its journey. Approximately two weeks ago, University officials were notified that it had arrived in the New York Harbor and was sitting on a shipping vessel.

We can only assume that it is now on its way to Harrogate, Tenn., by truck. With just over three weeks until LMU-DCOM Class of 2016 orientation is slated to take place in the large auditorium on the first floor of the Math and Science Building, let’s hope the world is here to greet them.





Moving Day!

7 Jul

Well not exactly moving day, more like moving days, weeks and months. That is because it is going to take days, weeks and months to totally move in all the people, departments and programs that will live in the new Math and Science center. The good news is that some moving has commenced.

The exterior of the building has looked complete for weeks now and indeed all but the landscaping and external signage is complete. The 140,000-square foot building, which is roughly 25% larger than the LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, is slated to be complete later this month. It is still a work in progress with interior work continuing daily.


Nearly all of the anatomy tables in the four-pod anatomy lab are in place.

But, moving trucks have also been visiting the new facility daily. The large, four-pod anatomy lab is nearest to being moved-in. The anatomy tables have been moved and the faculty and staff offices are furnished and ready to go. The largest lab in the building, the anatomy lab has been a priority as a July 24 deadline looms.

July 24 is the first day of orientation for the LMU-DeBusk College Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2016. That day, LMU will welcome over 225 new osteopathic medical students and the Math and Science Center is integral in the LMU-DCOM class size increase as current facilities in the LMU-DCOM building are not large enough to accommodate the numbers. The good news is that judging by these photos, everything seems right on track to meet the deadline!




Getting a leg up in Gross Anatomy

3 Jul

In just a few short weeks, Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine will be welcoming the Class of 2016. However, 40 incoming osteopathic medical students are already on campus and in class. They are the inaugural participants in a new intensive three-week anatomy course aimed at indoctrinating new students with the rigors of medical school while preparing them for Gross Anatomy.   

Developed and taught by Dr. Jonathan Leo, a Kaplan lecturer, professor of neuroanatomy and associate dean of students at LMU-DCOM, the course includes class material presented through small group discussions and time in the LMU-DOM anatomy lab. There will be a heavy emphasis on the clinical aspects of anatomy so the student can equate various physical signs and symptoms with anatomical pathology. Presented over three weeks, the course moves at a very fast pace and covers upper and lower limbs, thorax and abdomen and head and neck with an emphasis on the cranial nerves and skull.

The Gross Anatomy Boot Camp is limited to 40 students and was available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Classes are held daily from 8 a.m. to  4 p.m. Each starts with a test over the previous day’s material. Each test is cumulative to encourage long-term mastery of medical gross anatomy. The Boot Camp concludes with a medical school level laboratory practical exam.  


Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine graduate Carlos Cabrera painted a mural inside the anatomy lab as a memorial to the selfless individuals who donate their bodies so that medical students might learn anatomy. The mural completed in 2008 spans the front wall of the LMU-DCOM anatomy lab.

Leo developed the course to prepare students for the fire hose of information and knowledge that will flood them in osteopathic medical school. Though most students expect a more rigorous curriculum on their paths to becoming a physician, few are fully prepared for their first days, weeks and months of medical school and the total dedication it requires. The Gross Anatomy Boot Camp brochure includes the following disclaimer to help illustrate the commitment required. “The course moves at a very fast pace. You should only be registering for it if you are ready for a full-time immersion into gross anatomy. In addition to spending most of the day in a structured learning environment you should also plan on spending the majority of your evening studying anatomy.”

Clearly, the experience is not for the faint of heart or unfocused student. The course will run through July 20. Orientation for the LMU-DCOM Class of 2016 is set to begin on July 24.


Celebrating the Class of 2013

2 Jul


PA Program Director Rex Hobbs welcomes the LMU-DCOM PA Class of 2013 to it’s White Coat Ceremony.

As LMU continues to grow, there is no shortage of special events and this weekend it was the Physician Assistant Program’s time to shine as it celebrated its Class of 2013 at the Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine Physician Assistant Program White Coat Ceremony.

The White Coat Ceremony has been a standard ritual in the medical education world since Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons celebrated the first one in 1993. The White Coat Ceremony is an important, public demonstration of a student’s commitment to patient care and professionalism. LMU’s first White Coat ceremony was celebrated in 2007 when the inaugural class of osteopathic medical students were “robed” with his or her short white laboratory coat. The PA program, which was founded in 2009, followed suit in 2010.


Dr. George Stanley Thompson PA Student Society President Katilin Jasmon speaks during the Class of 2013 PA White Coat Ceremony at LMU-DCOM.

While osteopathic medical students are coated in their first months of study at LMU-DCOM, the PA program celebrates its White Coat Ceremony shortly before the completion of the students’ first year of study just prior to clinical rotations. The ceremony itself is an opportunity for physician assistant students to hear words of wisdom and encouragement and provides time for reflection on what it means to become a physician assistant.

Students are coated with short white lab coats to help distinguish students from physicians and physician assistants, who wear full length white coats. The 75 PA students who were coated on Saturday will be packing up their white coats and departing Harrogate for a wide array of clinical destinations around the country in the coming weeks. Their rotations will get underway at hospitals, clinics and private practices at the end of this month or the first week in August.

Beyond celebrating the Class of 2013, this is a special time for the LMU-DCOM PA Program because for the next weeks it has three full classes of students enrolled. LMU-DCOM welcomed the PA Class of 2014 in June and the Class of 2012 is wrapping rotation on the way to its August 4,2012, Commencement Ceremony.

Newly coated members of the LMU-DCOM PA Class of 2013 recite the Physician Assistant Oath following the coating ceremony.





All is well that ends in wellness

27 Oct

There is nothing like spending a week away from the office alternating between being sick and caring for sick family members to give you an appreciation for wellness. As I continue to dig out from the mountain of work that piled on my desk in my absence, I can certainly value my wellness a little more than before.

I would actually say that I have taken my wellness for granted. I rarely get sick and when I do it doesn’t usually last for very long or be serious enough to keep me out of the office. I often come in with a cough or a cold and just muddle through it. It’s a practice that I’m not alone in, but one LMU does not promote.

At the height of the H1N1 pandemic a couple years ago, LMU took several steps to protect and prepare its community for a flu outbreak on campus. In addition to the Healthy LMU and You awareness campaign, the University also instituted a flu leave policy that gives employees paid time off for absences related to the flu. It was an effort to encourage sick people to stay home and stop the spread of the flu. Though the threat of a pandemic event had dissipated, LMU has kept the flu leave policy and elements of the award-winning Healthy LMU and You campaign can still be seen around campus. The University also encourages the use of hand sanitizers around the campus, especially in classrooms. Staff and students are encouraged to: wash their hands frequently; use alcohol based hand sanitizers; cover their nose and mouth when they sneeze or cough and stay at home or in their dorm rooms and recuperated until their symptoms have been gone for 24 hours. It all seems like common sense, but these simple steps can keep our community well.

I’m not one to insist on a regular flu shot, but since my daughters were born four years ago, I have tried to do better. A flu shot could not have helped with the bug we passed around most recently, but it does go a long way at keeping illness out of our home. Once again, LMU takes a proactive stance on flu shots. The University Medical Clinic stocks flu shots and makes them available to faculty, staff and students. LMU is home to the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, and one of the hallmarks of the osteopathic medical profession is preventive health care. Eating well, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, practicing good hygiene, limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding smoking are all things each of us can do on a daily basis to help maintain our best level of health. Anyone who is sedentary, overweight or abuses drugs, alcohol or tobacco products runs the risk of increasing their changes for serious illness, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. Oftentimes taking care of yourself may only take a few minutes out of each day, but it could add years to your life.

We all have to do our part to keep our community well.


Did you know, DCOM is not LMU’s first medical school?

4 Oct

It’s been about six years since LMU first announced its plans to pursue what is know the LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine.  I still remember one of the most interesting tidbits about the University that was unearthed in the planning for the announcement was the historical timeline for the first medical school run by LMU.

I was reminded of that history recently, when Oliver Springs native Dean Ford contacted me. Ford, who had no connection to LMU, purchased a lot of frames at an auction years ago. He said he assumed they were all blank and never went through them all. When he finally did, years later, he found a large diploma from the Medical College of Lincoln Memorial University for one Dr. Stanley Nease. The diploma was dated 1915, which would make it one of the last class years to graduate from the Medical College of Lincoln Memorial University.

The Medical Department of LMU in Knoxville, Tenn. circa 1905.

The school  dates back even earlier than LMU as it was founded in 1889 as the Tennessee Medical College. It was a private medical college located in Knoxville, Tenn. It was one of 133 medical schools in operation in the United States by 1890. Following a period of time, the school fell on hard times financially and started looking to align itself with larger schools. TMC approached LMU with an articulation agreement to make TMC the Medical Department of LMU in 1905. A contract was affirmed and ratified in 1906. By 1909, TMC was sold to LMU and became the Medical College of LMU.

The Operating room of Lincoln Memorial Hospital.

The financial troubles continued and by 1914, LMU’s board arranged for the sale of the school building and associated hospital. It concluded operation at the end of the school year and made arrangements for its students to complete their coursework elsewhere. Dr. Nease was among those who completed their degrees after the school was shuttered. Included in the back of the frame Ford found was a letter from the University of Tennessee certifying that Nease had in fact completed his studies.

Dean Ford presents Stanley Nease's diploma to Senior Director of Marketing and Public Relations Kate Reagan.

After his discovery, Ford tried to find a living relative of Dr. Nease to give the diploma to. After a exhaustive search, he contacted his friend John Rice Irwin, the founder of the Museum of Appalachia, to see if he would be interested in adding the diploma to the museum’s collection. Irwin, a longtime friend of LMU, referred Ford to the University and last week I met him at the LMU-Cedar Bluff Extended Learning Site. He generously gave LMU the diploma, which is nearing 100 years old. It had been damaged by water and time.

 I turned the Nease diploma over to University Archivist Michelle Ganz. She indicated that the document was likely beyond repair for display, but it was still an important piece of LMU history that would be saved in our collection. When she returned to the archives she discovered that our collection already boasted several duplicate diplomas or diplomas that were never picked up from the Medical College at LMU from that time period.

My newest project will be to take one or two from the archives and prepare them for exhibit at LMU-DCOM. On the heels of the Inaugural Class graduation in May, I think it would be great to display one of the first LMU-DCOM diplomas alongside one of the last Medical College at LMU diplomas.