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Student Societies

At Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, students are supported academically and emotionally through the Societies program, which is the core component of the Wellness program. Students are randomly assigned to one of the ten societies upon matriculation: Anderson, Burns, Klein, Lippman, Silvagni, Silverman, Still, Terry, Turner, and Zafonte.

The Societies make up small communities each consisting of approximately 25 students from each class. They also consist of one Faculty Leader, two Academic Advisors, several Faculty members, and several dedicated students who serve as Peer Mentors. Students stay in the same society for the four years of medical school, which creates a more personal experience on multiple levels.

Anderson Society

William G. Anderson, DO

Dr. Anderson, who was the first African American president of the American Osteopathic Association in 1994-95, has spent his professional life enhancing, promoting, and leading osteopathic medical education and the osteopathic professions in a number of ways.  From his days as a surgeon and leader of the Civil Rights Movement in Georgia when he worked beside Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Anderson has focused not only on improving the health of his individual patients but on improving the health of the society in which his patients live.

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Burns Society

Louisa Burns, D.O.

One of the first women to rise to a position of prominence in osteopathic medicine was Dr. Burns, who graduated from Pacific College of Osteopathy in 1903 and became the foremost researcher in osteopathic medicine. She joined the faculty of Pacific College in 1906, where she taught physiology and acted as a clinician for the next eight years.  As her career progressed, Dr. Burns continued to hold leadership positions with osteopathic organizations such as the A.T. Still Research Institute and the Louisa Burns Osteopathic Research Laboratory.

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Klein Society

Robert Klein, D.O.

Dr. Klein, who passed away in 2004, graduated from NSU-KPCOM with highest honors in 1991 and spent over a decade serving as a highly esteemed and much-beloved faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Klein, whose acute intellect led him to finishing first in the nation on levels I, II, and III of the COMLEX board exams, has a truly impressive command of medical knowledge.  However, he is best remembered for being a kind, gentle, brilliant, respected, and dedicated friend, son, colleague, and physician.

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Lippman Society

Fred Lippman, Ed.D.

Dr. Lippman has made tremendous contributions to the osteopathic medical profession as well as the overall health care landscape. During his long and distinguished career, Dr. Lippman served as a 20-year member (1978-1998) of the Florida House of Representatives and became known as the “father” of Florida’s Area Health Education Center (AHEAC) Program.  Thanks to his efforts, NSU-KPCOM’s AHEC Program was established in 1985, becoming the state’s inaugural AHEC.

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Silvagni Society

Anthony J. Silvagni, D.O. Pharm.D.

Dr. Silvagni has implemented numerous innovative ideas to trigger the growth and accomplishments that have occurred since he became dean of NSU-COM in 1998.  As a result of his commitment to providing students with the most comprehensive educational experience possible, Dr. Silvagni has helped implement an array of enhancements that includes increased emphasis on local and international missions, establishment of an OSCE curriculum that uses standardized patients in medical student/resident training, and dramatic increase in faculty/student-driven research.

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Silverman Society

Bradley I. Silverman, D.O.

Dr. Silverman, who passed away in 1999, was a beloved member of NSU-COM’s charter graduating class in 1985.  During his career, he became passionately involved in the breast cancer field and went on to becoming chief of surgery and then chief of staff elect at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center.  In 1998, Dr. Silverman made a significant contribution to the medical field by pioneering a new procedure called sentinel node dissection that helped make breast cancer surgical procedures significantly less invasive.

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Still Society

A. T. Still, M.D. , D.O.

In 1874, Dr. Still established a new system of medicine called osteopathy, which centered on methods of diagnosis and treatment that relied on the belief that the human being should be treated as a unit.  Through experimentation and clinical observation, Dr. Still developed the art of osteopathic treatment, applied directly to the musculoskeletal system.  In 1892, he developed the first formal classes in the teaching of osteopathic medicine in Kirksville, Missouri, and established the American School of Osteopathy-the first osteopathic medical school in the nation.

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Terry Society

Morton Terry, D.O.

When Dr. Terry passed away on January 11, 2004, he left behind an extraordinary professional legacy that will continue to live on through the six colleges and numerous programs that comprise NSU’s Health Professions Division.  Throughout his legendary life, Dr. Terry masterminded a number of bricks-and-mortar successes, including Osteopathic General Hospital, Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine (SECOM), Southeastern University of the Health Sciences- and the historic merging of Southeastern University with Nova Southeastern University in 1994.

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Turner Society

James Turner, D.O.

Dr. Turner, who graduated from SECOM-the precursor to NSU-KPCOM in 1988, has spent the past two decades establishing an illustrious career dedicated to service at the community, stated, and national level.  Dr. Turner served as director of emergency medicine at the Charleston Area Medical Center and as an emergency physician at New Century Emergency Physicians of West Virginia, Inc.  Other points of distinction for Dr. Turner encompass numerous publications, lectures, and accolades that include the NSU-COM Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award in 1999.

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Zafonte Society

Ross Zafonte, D.O.

Although it has been over two decades since Dr. Zafonte graduated from the inaugural SECOM class in 1985, he has never lost touch with the institution that provided him with this entrée into the osteopathic profession.  In fact, he became the first alumnus to participate in NSU-KPCOM’s academical societies by making a sizeable contribution to a worthy cause.  Dr. Zafonte serves as a chairperson of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts and the chief of physical medicine & rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Dr. Zafonte also as principal investigator on a number of federal grants.

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