Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown honored 187 of Ohio's newest health professionals during its Commencement Ceremony at The University of Akron's E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Center on Sunday.
In addition to those receiving Doctor of Science, Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Public Health degrees, the event marked the first graduates from three new degree programs in the College of Graduate Studies. Suzanna Logan, of West Jordan, Utah, earned the first-ever Doctor of Philosophy degree from NEOMED in integrated pharmaceutical medicine, two other students earned the first-ever Master of Science degree from NEOMED in integrated pharmaceutical medicine and four students received the first-ever Master of Science Degree in health-system pharmacy administration from NEOMED.
As part of the event, the University Board of Trustees approved honorary degrees for two individuals, Dr. Lois Margaret Nora, former president and dean of the College of Medicine at NEOMED; and Eleanor I. Watanakunakorn, local philanthropist and friend of the University. Dr. Nora also delivered the commencement speech where she challenged students to seek and follow their passion.
Also given the Distinguished Alumni Award was Dr. Theresa Gillis, class of 1989, medical director of Oncology Pain and Symptom Management Services at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at Christiana Care Health System.
The College of Medicine reports that 47 percent of its graduating class will remain in Ohio for their residencies, 24 percent of which will remain in NEOMED's hospital partners, and 52 percent of graduates will continue their training in a primary care field such as family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine or obstetrics/gynecology.
Twenty-four percent of the class was matched with residencies in internal medicine, while 12 percent matched for pediatrics. Within the surgery and specialty fields, eight percent of the class matched with general surgery residencies, while seven percent will continue with diagnostic residencies and an additional six percent matching into ophthalmology.
The College of Pharmacy had 14 students who submitted a rank list this year and matched, equating to 88 percent; well above the 64 percent national average for this year's match. Of the 14 that matched, 12 will remain in Northeast Ohio with two students accepting programs out-of-state. Fourteen NEOMED pharmacy students placed into top residency positions, 12 of whom will remain in Ohio for their continued education. Four students also accepted residencies outside of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Residency Matching Program, leading to a total of 18 students from the class of 2014 that will complete residency training.