SOURCE: Western University of Health Sciences

Western University of Health Sciences

August 06, 2012 18:42 ET

COMP-Northwest Welcomes Second Class

LEBANON, OR--(Marketwire - Aug 6, 2012) - The College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest (COMP-Northwest) welcomed 107 first-year students at its second annual Convocation and white coat ceremony Saturday, August 4, 2012 at First Assembly of God Church in Lebanon.

COMP-Northwest is the Oregon campus of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP), which is part of Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) in Pomona, California.

Convocation marks the official WesternU welcome for new students and their families, as well as the opening of the academic year. The white coat ceremony, where first-year students are cloaked in their clinical garb, marks their entrance into the world of the health professions.

After welcoming remarks from Philip Pumerantz, PhD, President of WesternU, Convocation keynote speaker Paula M. Crone, DO, Executive Associate Dean of COMP-Northwest, paid tribute to the people and organizations of Lebanon and the mid-Willamette Valley for helping COMP-Northwest get off to a strong start. The Oregon campus opened in July 2011.

"Here, you will grow into the physician you will become," Crone told the students. "Always remember, at the end of every action, of every thought and every deed, there is a patient. As their physician, you become woven into the fabric of their lives."

She was followed by white coat speaker A. Paul Aversano, DO, clinical education site director for COMP-Northwest, who did his best to prepare the students for what lies ahead.

"Medical school is going to be the toughest time of your life," he said. "And it should be. People put their lives in our hands. It's a privilege to be a physician.

First-year COMP Northwest student Ryan Tischler, of Gresham, Oregon, said he liked what he heard. "It was the passion, just to hear a lot of the years that were up there on the podium ... Don't just go through the motions. Be passionate. Be caring, because you don't know when it's going to matter for a patient."

The ceremony capped a week of welcome activities that included the Crystal and Cheers celebration on the COMP-Northwest campus, highlighted by the dedication of Heatherington Hall, named in honor of FamilyCare Health Plans founder Jeff Heatherington, who helped COMP-Northwest's establishment.

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