The first class of medical students at Campbell University will be celebrated at commencement Saturday.
The Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine will graduate its inaugural class of 150 doctors Saturday at the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center at the Buies Creek campus.
The new doctors will begin residencies in 32 states this summer. About one-third will remain in the Southeast, many practicing in underserved areas, Campbell officials said.
Campbell’s medical school began in 2013. It was the first new medical school in North Carolina in 35 years, and the first one classified as osteopathic.
Osteopathic doctors make up a small segment of U.S. doctors. They have the same privileges as doctors of medicine to diagnose patients, prescribe medication and practice in specialties such as surgery, cardiology and emergency medicine. But they generally have a philosophy that embraces holistic care and hands-on treatment, with an emphasis on the musculoskeletal system. A majority of osteopathic doctors go into primary care.
Saturday’s commencement address will be delivered by the school’s namesake, former Campbell University President and current Chancellor Jerry Wallace. Wallace was instrumental in starting the medical school.
In addition to the medical school, Campbell has a growing emphasis on health care with physician assistant, physical therapy, nursing and pharmacy programs.