May 16, 2014 - The members of the Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) Class of 2014 celebrated their graduation on Saturday, May 10, 2014. Dr Norman Vinn, 2013-2014 president of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), delivered the commencement address.

During the ceremony LMU-DCOM honored Dr. Joseph F. Smiddy, a well-known physician in Kingsport, Tenn., and member of the LMU Board of Trustees, with the Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award is presented to an individual who holds service to humanity close to his or her heart and who has had a significant impact on the health and wellness of those within both the Appalachian region and beyond.

Smiddy is pulmonologist and partner in Pulmonary Associates of Kingsport. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, an institution that his father, Dr. Joseph C. Smiddy, served from its founding in 1954, eventually retiring as chancellor of the institution. Smiddy completed his medical education at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and completed his residency and fellowship at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Following his medical training, Smiddy served in the United States Navy for two years.

Smiddy has been active in medical missions during his years of practice. He has traveled all over the world to provide his services free of charge to those in need of his care. Smiddy has been particularly active with Remote Area Medical, a Knoxville-based organization that provides free medical, dental, optical and veterinary services here in Appalachia and around the globe. Smiddy brings a mobile pulmonary exam unit to RAM expeditions, providing chest x-rays and other exams on site.

“Since LMU-DCOM’s founding, Dr. Smiddy has been a great friend to our institution,” said Dr. Ray E. Stowers, vice president of health sciences and dean of LMU-DCOM. “He keeps an eye out for young people who have the potential to become great physicians and encourages them to look at LMU-DCOM for their medical education. He routinely takes students on rotations, both at his Kingsport office and on his medical missions to Belize. He is a wonderful mentor and friend, and we are thankful for his service to LMU-DCOM and to the underserved both in our region and around the world.”

The LMU-DCOM Honorary Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine was presented posthumously to Dr. Neal A. Cross. Cross was the founding chair of the LMU-DCOM anatomy department and served as professor and chair until he passed away following a motorcycle accident in August 2013.

The honorary doctorate is presented to an individual who has not completed the traditional requirements of osteopathic medical school but who has nonetheless made substantial contributions to the profession of osteopathic medicine. Cross received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Oregon. Before Cross joined the founding faculty of LMU-DCOM, he served as associate professor and chair of anatomy at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. While in Maine, Cross also served as director of the state’s anatomical donation program and founded the University of New England anatomical donation program. Cross also founded LMU-DCOM’s anatomical donation program.

“In Fall 2012, Dr. Cross got to move into his dream anatomy lab in the new Math and Science building at LMU,” Stowers said. “He was integral in designing that space to be the best lab we could possibly give to future medical students. All LMU-DCOM students will continue to feel Dr. Cross’s influence on their anatomy studies, and this is one of the greatest legacies that he could have left to us.”

Approximately 73% of the members of the graduating class at will enter their first year of residency training in a primary care track residency, 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 2014 will be in 101 different residency programs in 29 states.

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 health care in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU-DCOM, call 1-800-325-0900, ext. 7108, email, or visit us online at

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Caption 1: Dr. Joseph F. Smiddy (L) poses with Dr. Ray E. Stowers, vice president of health sciences and dean of LMU-DCOM, following the LMU-DCOM Distinguished Service Award presentation.

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