August 2, 2007 - HARROGATE, TN – When the online countdown clock of Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) ticked down to zero on the first day of orientation Wednesday morning, the members of the inaugural class were ready.

Seated in Auditorium 101 of the new LMU-DCOM facility, Tennessee’s newest medical students watched the clock on projection screens and shouted out the countdown as the clock ticked from 10 seconds down to zero. When the clock reached zero, the Class of 2011 cheered and applauded as the website displayed the message “Congratulations LMU-DCOM Inaugural Class! Welcome to Medical School!”

Now a new countdown has begun. The LMU-DCOM students will have two years of intensive on-campus coursework in Harrogate in medical sciences, clinical skills and osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM), followed by two years of clinical rotations in hospitals and doctor’s offices throughout Tennessee and Kentucky. Then they will graduate as doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O.s) in June 2011. Their first class – anatomy – commences on Friday.

During the first morning of orientation, students were welcomed by LMU President Dr. Nancy Moody, Vice President and Dean of LMU-DCOM Dr. Ray Stowers, and Chair of the LMU Board of Trustees and LMU-DCOM’s namesake, Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk.

Stowers and DeBusk also presented LMU-DCOM’s first Community Appreciation Award on behalf of the inaugural class to Sam A. Mars, Jr., a member of the LMU Board of Trustees. The award will be given annually by LMU-DCOM students in appreciation to a community member whose outstanding service or involvement has contributed greatly to their success. Mars has been instrumental in the renovation of LMU’s University Inn in Cumberland Gap into the University Apartments, a 126-unit apartment building specifically for LMU-DCOM students. Ninety students currently call the University Apartments home.

Throughout the day, students were introduced to the LMU-DCOM faculty and had their first meeting with their faculty advisors. They received their student ID badges and were sized for their white coats in preparation for the school’s White Coat Ceremony, slated for Saturday, October 20, 2007.

Orientation continued Thursday with presentations by representatives from the Tennessee Osteopathic Medical Association (TOMA) and the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA). Students also posed in front of the LMU-DCOM building for their first class photo.

The LMU-DCOM inaugural class is approximately 60% male, 40% female. Roughly 40% of the class members hail from the tri-state region. The rest come from virtually every state in the nation, from California to New York. The average age is 26. Over 2,000 applicants sought out a spot in the LMU-DCOM inaugural class, meaning there were 13 applications for each seat in the class.

The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. LMU-DCOM is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community, and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of osteopathic physicians to provide healthcare in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU-DCOM, call 1-800-325-0900, ext. 7082, e-mail, or visit us online at

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