Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, and president of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, addressed 246 future doctors and surgeons from the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at the 41st Heritage College Convocation and White Coat Ceremony in July. The incoming medical students were presented with a short white coat symbolic of their status as student doctors.

The growing number of medical students at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine reflects progress toward the goals of the College’s Vision 2020 plan, supported by the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation. Vision 2020 addresses the impending primary care physician shortage in Ohio, increasing the number of graduates selecting primary care, improving the quality of medical education, and addressing the most pervasive medical needs in the state and the nation. “It is inspiring to attend this ceremony and consider the essential medical care these student physicians will provide to the citizens of Ohio and beyond,” said Rick Vincent, Foundation President. Approximately 50 percent of Heritage College alumni practice in primary care and nearly 60 percent practice in Ohio.