Group of NYITCOM graduates on the Long Island campus.


NYITCOM Graduates Its Newest Physicians

May 26, 2022

Pictured: Graduates from the Class of 2022 at the hooding ceremony on the Long Island campus.

Graduates of the College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (NYITCOM) Class of 2022 recently joined New York Tech’s nearly 111,000 alumni worldwide, which now includes more than 8,727 osteopathic physicians.

The medical school’s hooding ceremonies are among New York Tech’s most anticipated days of the year, marking the beginning of the professional careers for graduates from NYITCOM-Long Island and NYITCOM-Arkansas. New physicians are called to the stage to receive their doctoral hoods, which are either presented by NYITCOM faculty and leaders or family members who are also physicians. This gesture represents a symbolic passing of the guard from one generation of clinicians to the next.

NYITCOM-Long Island’s 41st hooding ceremony took place on May 22 at the Long Island campus. Here, congratulatory remarks were offered by President Hank Foley, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Interim Provost Jerry Balentine, D.O., NYITCOM Dean Nicole Wadsworth, D.O., and Vice-Chair for the Board of Trustees Daniel Ferrara (D.O. ’86).

“As you take your oath, you will make a pledge to the students who follow you. Your college selected you not only because you will be an outstanding physician but also because of your potential to teach the generations of osteopathic physicians to come. The future of the profession rests in your hands. I hope you will integrate learning, doing, and teaching into every day of your career,” said Wadsworth.

On May 25, NYITCOM-Arkansas Site Dean Shane Speights, D.O., Wadsworth, Balentine, and other medical school leaders welcomed the Class of 2022 to the third NYITCOM-Arkansas hooding ceremony, held at Arkansas State University’s Fowler Center.


Brianna Rosa (D.O. ’22) is hooded by former NYITCOM-Arkansas faculty member Bhavesh Joshi, D.O.

“We’re thrilled to be able to honor our Class of 2022 and celebrate their tremendous achievements,” said Speights. “This group experienced a number of unique challenges as their final two years of medical school took place during a pandemic. They persevered and worked incredibly hard to complete their medical degrees, and we just couldn’t be prouder of them.”

A poignant commencement address was provided by Barbara Ross-Lee, D.O., who served as New York Tech’s vice president for health sciences and medical affairs from 2001 until 2017. During this time, Ross-Lee helped spearhead the establishment of NYITCOM-Arkansas, which opened in 2016. Graduates also heard from Joseph A. Giaimo, D.O, president of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), which represents more than 168,000 osteopathic physicians and medical students.

The Class of 2022 had a combined match rate of 99.5 percent, with impressive residencies at institutions such as The Cleveland Clinic, Duke University, Emory University, and Penn State-Hershey, as well as specialties in anesthesiology, neurology, dermatology, pediatrics, urology, and many others.

Several graduates from both NYITCOM locations will also go on to complete their residencies in the armed forces. These students were read the military oath by one of NYITCOM’s most illustrious alumni: Kevin O’Connor (D.O. ’92), who now serves as President Joe Biden’s White House physician.

Among the many impressive members of NYITCOM’S Class of 2022 were Mahmoud Elhagagy, D.O., who studied in the Émigré Physicians Program, and Taylor Rutherford, D.O., a native Arkansan who aims to improve healthcare outcomes in the Mississippi Delta region by practicing medicine in her home state.