LECOM Graduates Hundreds From Medical Programs

Medicine

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION MONDAY JUN 3, 2019

Amie Gerodimos walked into the Bradenton Area Convention Center on Sunday as a student. She left as a doctor.

After four years studying at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, the 26-year-old St. Petersburg native stood as one of 188 osteopathic physicians now holding a degree from the Bradenton campus. “I had a good sense of community going here,” Gerodimos tells SRQ

LECOM opened its Manatee County school in 2004 and has now graduated more than 3,300 medical professionals. On Sunday, the school also graduated its first class of pharmacy students, where 131 graduated, and dentistry students, where 100 received their degrees. Another 62 students earned a master’s in Health Services Administration, and 68 earned a master’s in Medical Sciences.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine and School of Health Services Administration graduated doctors in the morning Sunday, while the Schools of Pharmacy and Dental Medicine held a joint ceremony in the afternoon. School officials say two out of three will end up practicing in primary care. That’s the fourth highest percentage among medical schools in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report. LECOM officials say that’s part of the school’s mission, making sure to produce medical professionals that directly serve their communities.

The school touted Gerodimos as an example student, one who worked as a children’s advocate in Florida’s Guardian ad Litem program in addition to her studies.

Gerodimos now heads to Michigan for a residency at St. Mary Mercy Livonia Hospital in Michigan. After graduating from St. Petersburg Collegiate High, earning her undergrad at University of South Florida and finishing her Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine at LECOM, this will be the first time this path toward practicing medicine takes her so far from home.

She plans to spend four years at her residency and to seek a two-year fellowship in child psychology. But she ultimately plans to return to the Tampa Bay area. “I hope so,” she says. “That’s my goal. My whole family is here. I was a surprise to match to a program in Michigan, but I’m grateful. But this is my home.”

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