LMU-DCOM graduation ceremony set for Saturday

Published 11:47 am Thursday, May 10, 2018

HARROGATE, Tenn. — The class of 2018 of Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) will celebrate its commencement on May 12, at 10 a.m. at Tex Turner Arena on the LMU main campus in Harrogate, Tennessee. Joseph F. Smiddy, MD, LMU Board of Trustees member, will serve as commencement speaker.

Smiddy is well-known in the Kingsport, Tennessee, area, for his decades of service as a pulmonologist. Yet Smiddy’s commitment to serving the underserved goes far beyond his local community. Now retired from pulmonology practice, Smiddy spends his time as the medical director for the St. Mary’s Health Wagon based in Clinchco, Virginia, and as the medical advisor and tractor trailer driver for the Appalachian Miles for Smiles dental charity.

Smiddy began his education at Lincoln Memorial University before completing both his undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Virginia. He pursued his internal medicine residency and his pulmonary disease fellowship at the University of Kansas Medical Center and is board certified in internal medicine.

Smiddy is well-acquainted with the Lincoln Memorial University community, having served on the LMU Board of Trustees since 2004. He followed in the footsteps of his father, the late Joseph C. “Papa Joe” Smiddy, in dedicating time to service on the Board. Smiddy received a Doctor of Humane Letters from LMU in 2008, and the LMU-DCOM Distinguished Service Award in 2014. Smiddy has been an advocate for LMU-DCOM since its inception, recruiting prospective students, serving as a preceptor on clinical rotations and supervising students on medical mission trips. Smiddy is a frequent volunteer on Remote Area Medical (RAM) expeditions in the region, having donated his health care expertise to at least 60 different RAM clinics. He also has completed 50 medical mission trips to Belize, Peru and India. When not practicing medicine, Smiddy performs in the Reedy Creek Bluegrass Band and has done so for the past 35 years.

LMU-DCOM opened its doors in 2007. With a full complement of classes and a current student body of more than 600 students, LMU-DCOM has the largest medical student enrollment in the state of Tennessee. The school was the brainchild of Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk, chairman of the LMU Board of Trustees, who had long envisioned a medical school at his alma mater. By opening an osteopathic medical school, the University continued its long tradition of service to those in need.

In March 2018, LMU-DCOM was listed #1 by U.S. News and World Report for medical schools that produce the highest percentage of primary care residents. The majority of osteopathic physicians have historically entered into a primary care field upon graduation. Approximately 82% of the members of the graduating class at will enter their first year of residency training in a primary care track, including family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, emergency medicine, osteopathic manipulative medicine and transitional year/traditional rotating internship. The members of the Class of 2018 will be practicing in 17 different specialties in 181 different residency programs in 37 states.