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Aug 20 2013

First-year Medical Students Complete Orientation

Old Westbury, N.Y.  (August 20, 2013) – More than 300 first-year students began their medical education at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine this week with a hands-on introduction to osteopathic treatment, inspiring remarks by faculty and other leaders, and a challenge to incorporate mindfulness and professionalism in everything they do.
Orientation in the OMM labAs part of an intensive three-day orientation, the Class of 2017 heard from experienced physicians, NYIT President Edward Guiliano, Ph.D., Dean Wolfgang Gilliar, DO, and Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs Barbara Ross-Lee, DO in a revamped program that stressed active learning and small group exercises and exchanges.
“The first rule of practice is do no harm,” said Ross-Lee, who stressed the behavioral expectations and high standards of ethics and integrity demanded of medical professionals. “But it is not enough to ‘do no harm.’ You are expected to do good. Patients come to you with all of their hopes and fears.”
Ross-Lee conducted her own version of active learning, strolling up an aisle in the Riland auditorium to ask new students about their ideas of medical professionalism, and hearing answers about competency, ethics, leadership, integrity, and compassion.
“Every person is worthy of the best you can give,” she said.
Meeting in groups named for medical procedures, terminology, or leaders, the students participated in “icebreaker” sessions and learned about osteopathic manual medicine, or OMM, the hands-on care used to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury.
Throughout the sessions, NYIT faculty stressed the importance of learning about patients and listening to their stories. Their upcoming education in osteopathic manual medicine will help them diagnose and treat each patient as a whole person with interconnected systems.
“There’s something that’s going to be unique about each and every one of you: it’s your hands,” said Nancy Bono (DO, ’92), associate professor and chair of the family medicine department.
Students practice OMMThe students tackled a diagnostic exercise involving a frustrated patient with neck pain and headaches who sought relief from Gilliar after visiting numerous specialists who failed to diagnose the problem. In the end, OMM treatments, particularly involving his trapezius muscle, eased his pain and helped bring about positive postural changes and improvement in his range of motion and muscular condition.
Student Andrew Chambers said the introduction to OMM gave him a special glimpse into how busy doctors can use OMM to help their patients. 
“Even if you have 10 – 15 minutes, make it your best 10-15 minutes – OMM really offers that,” Chambers said.
Gilliar urged the students to “give 120%” and “give to your patients the gift of yourself.”
He advised them to use the acronym PLAN throughout their years at the College of Osteopathic Medicine – stressing that they prepare and plan for their academic challenges, listen carefully, and acquire and analyze information. 
“The “n” is twofold,” Gilliar added. “Learn to say no and hit the nail on the head every time.”
More than 6,200 people applied to the school last year – the largest applicant pool in the school’s 36-year history. 
Guiliano noted the Class of 2017’s unique attributes, including its diversity, with students coming from dozens of states and countries around the world. He stressed NYIT’s key tenets of globalism, technology, and interdisciplinary education.
“Medicine is no longer monolithic – it is, if anything, interdisciplinary,” Guiliano said.  “Today’s professions, including medicine, need individuals who are not only competent in their disclipline but who have skills and knowledge in other areas and who collaborate with people in other areas.”
He noted that the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine is the only such school that is part of an institute of technology, and he predicted that students will benefit the school’s multimedia-enriched coursework, new high-tech learning stations in the anatomy and OMM labs, and simulation labs.
Several students said the alumni speakers were passionate about the school and helped provide useful information about osteopathic medicine, classes, and surviving medical school’s grueling demands.
“We’re all really excited,” said George Koutsouras (B.S., '10).  “This is the most interpersonal orientation I’ve been a part of.”
About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 13,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, more than 95,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit
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