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.
With 10 days down and six (seven if you count today) more to go, the world has Olympic fever. Here in the U.S., the first 10 days have brought us to our feet cheering as Michael Phelps added six medals to his Olympic haul (making him the most decorated Olympian of all time), the “Fab Five” U.S. Gymnastic Team overcame distracting turmoil from the individual competition to dominate on its way to gold and Missy Franklin became the most popular “regular high school kid” in America.
Whether the somewhat strange opening ceremony caught your eye or you’ve been caught up in the sports action or NBC’s tape delayed coverage has you tweeting #NBCfail, Americans have been tuning in droves. My daily exclamation filled emails from our WBIR rep has confirmed that many in the Knoxville area have been part of the droves. Hopefully, that means they’ve also caught LMU’s newest commercials.
Four years ago we had tremendous feedback and response to the TV campaign we ran during the Beijing Games. The campaign included one of the very first tv spots for LMU, “I am a Railsplitter.” The spot was part of a larger campaign that featured some of our most successful alumni. Beyond the television advertising, we also ran print ads and even some radio flights in the Knoxville area.
This time around our campaign features the tag line “I am LMU.” The spot itself is a “mash-up” of seven individual spots we have developed to highlight the varied career paths available at LMU. Those spots included “I am a nurse,” “I am a teacher,” “I am an osteopathic physician,” “I am a lawyer,” “I am physician assistant,” “I am a veterinary technician” and “I am a business professional.” Beyond emphasizing the multitude of majors at LMU, the spots are also feature some of our brightest students, most caring and involved faculty and successful alumni. Underscored throughout the campaign is the message that LMU is mission driven. The University is not only training the next generation of osteopathic physicians, nurses, physician assistants, educators, veterinary technicians, lawyers and business professionals, we are training them to serve humanity and improve the quality of life in Appalachia.
Though the commercial debuted during the Summer Olympics, the “I am LMU” campaign will continue throughout the upcoming school year. In the mean time, there are six more days of Olympic action to take in. GAME ON!
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.
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.
During the last test cycle (April to June 2011) for the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board Certification (BOC) 92 universities had medical technology graduates take the exam. Guess where the LMU program was ranked among the 92? Well, if you read the headline you already know the answer to the question so it’s not much of a game. But nevertheless, the Lincoln Memorial University Medical Technology graduates tied for the second highest pass rate in terms of highest composite score. Yep WE’RE #2!! And that is not #2 in the region or #2 in Tennessee; that is #2 in all of the U.S. of A!
Even more impressive is the fact that the LMU Medical Technology Program has had a 100% pass rate on the ASCP BOC dating back to 2005. If you’re math-challenged, that is six straight years of perfect pass rates.
The Class of 2011 composite class average of 648 bested the national average of 408 by 140 points. A minimum of 400 points is needed to pass the exam. The highest score recorded by a member of the LMU Class of 2011 was 748, a new program record.
So sure, the Class of 2011 did really good on this test, but I’m sure some of you are wondering, what is medical technology? And what do you do with a medical technology degree? A medical technology degree will prepare you for a career as a clinical laboratory scientist performing and interpreting a wide variety of tests–from simple blood glucose checks to more complex analysis necessary for diagnosing and treating pathological states. Still not sure what I’m talking about? Think of any medical drama on TV when an attending tells a resident to run another panel or asks for pathology results or looks at a patient’s chart for a nutrient level. In the real world, those findings come from a lab which is run by medical technology graduates.
Not all med tech grads end up in the lab. The Medical Technology Program is one program within LMU’s Division of Health Sciences and is one of many health professions programs at LMU aimed at easing the looming medical crisis in Appalachia’s medically underserved region. The curriculum of a medical technology program prepares its graduates for the rigors of post graduate medical education including medical school or physician assistant programs. The program also serves as a feeder of sorts for the LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine and the LMU-DCOM Physician Assistant program. Several LMU Med Tech graduates are currently pursuing advanced degrees in both programs. For example, Souleymane Diallo, a 2009 graduate, is currently a third-year osteopathic medical student at LMU-DCOM. While at LMU-DCOM he has picked up back-to-back student of the year awards.
I have already covered the outstanding job prospects for physician assistant graduates (https://abesquare.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/degree-job-there-is-no-sure-bet-but-this-one-is-close). Medical technology graduates can expect similar opportunities. Though the shortage of trained and qualified laboratory technologists and technicians can put patients’ lives at risk just like the shortages of primary care physicians and nurses, it has not gained as much attention. In the state of Tennessee, LMU is just one of only five accredited medical technology programs. LMU Program Director Bill Engle said that lab managers in the region rely on LMU graduates to staff their labs and that graduates have as many as six job offers before and immediately following graduation.
Did I mention that LMU has an excellent Medical Technology Program?
The Lincoln Memorial University Board of Trustees, President B. James Dawson, Dean Ray E. Stowers and the Faculty of the Physician Assistant Program welcomed friends, family and special guests of the inaugural class of the Physician Assistant Program at Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) to commencement exercises earlier today.
The class of 32 new health practitioners gathered at the Sam and Sue Mars Performing Arts Center in the Duke Hall of Citizenship on the LMU main campus in Harrogate, Tenn. Dr. J. Dennis Blessing, associate dean for South Texas Programs and chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio served as the keynote speaker.
So Forbes has a list for everything. Want to know the largest private companies, most expensive zip codes, most powerful women or world’s billionaires? Forbes can tell you. Now, how important or useful that information is, is all in the eye of the beholder. However, back in June Forbes published a list I hope most college students took notice of.
The Best and Worst Master’s Degrees for Jobs (http://blogs.forbes.com/jacquelynsmith/2011/06/06/the-best-and-worst-masters-degrees-for-jobs/) identified the physician assistant degree as the top degree on the list, tied with computer science. The science behind the list had Forbes tracking the median pay for 35 of the most popular graduate degrees using payscale.com. Next the study looked at Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment projection data to identify fields with high growth projections. Finally, the study ranked the degrees from one to 35 by averaging the degree pay rank and estimated growth.
It is really no surprise that PAs are in high demand. There aren’t enough doctors to keep up with our aging population and there aren’t enough medical school seats to produce the doctors to keep up. Logic tells you that alternative measures are needed. Enter the physician assistant. A physician assistant is educated in the medical model. PAs are nationally certified and work side by side with both osteopathic and allopathic physicians in every medical specialty. PAs are licensed to diagnose illness, prescribe medications and assist in surgery. They conduct physical exams, order and interpret medical tests and provide counseling on preventive health care. A PA has at least six years of education: a four-year undergraduate degree and the physician assistant degree. PA students complete more than 2,400 hours of clinical rotations prior to graduation.
PAs aren’t paid quite as highly as doctors; nevertheless, the Forbes article points out the mid-career median pay exceeds $100,000. The growth of the PA job market is also expected to grow by 39% over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The PA works as part of the health care team. The profession originated at Duke University in the 1960s after medics returning from the Vietnam War discovered there was really no civilian equivalent to their former military profession. From the beginning, the physician assistant profession has embraced a teamwork approach to health care, providing mid-level practitioners who can work side-by-side with physicians to provide efficient and effective health care to patients in need.
The inaugural class of the Physician Assistant Program at Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) will celebrate its commencement on Saturday, July 30, at 10 a.m. at the Sam and Sue Mars Performing Arts Center in the Duke Hall of Citizenship on the LMU main campus in Harrogate, Tenn. The class of 32 new health practitioners are ready to make an impact on our region and beyond. Many have already secured clinical positions and will be immediately helping to serve the health care needs of the region.