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Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System Welcomes New Class of LMU Medical Students

Posted on July 28, 2017

Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System and Covenant Health recently welcomed a new group of medical students as part of the health system’s partnership with DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. It is the second year for the medical student program, which provides clinical experiences at Covenant Health hospitals for aspiring physicians and mid-level providers.

Thirty-seven students took part in an orientation and celebration luncheon on July 17 at the Knoxville Marriott. The event was highlighted by a traditional “white coat ceremony” in which each student received a personalized white coat to wear during their clinical training at Covenant Health hospitals.

“We are fortunate to partner with Lincoln Memorial University and DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine,” said Mike Belbeck, Covenant Health executive vice president of operations. “Covenant Health and LMU have a shared vision of excellence and a shared commitment to the communities we serve.”

“This is a great partnership,” added Jonathan Leo, Ph.D., executive vice dean of academic affairs at DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. “Covenant Health is an incredible organization – everyone is top notch, and that is because of the leadership.”

Three of Covenant Health’s member hospitals – Cumberland Medical Center in Crossville, Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, and Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System in Morristown – serve as core rotation sites for the program. Under the direct supervision of physicians, the medical students interview and examine patients, review clinical information, make hospital rounds, participate in interdisciplinary team meetings, practice appropriate documentation and perform procedures.

Directors of student medical education for the core sites are John Lewis, DO, at Cumberland Medical Center; Milan Sheth, DO, at Methodist Medical Center, and Daniel Drinnen, MD, at Morristown-Hamblen.

Belbeck thanked the three directors, saying that they have “a commitment to preparing the next generation of physicians, and to both supporting and challenging the students as they strive for excellence.”

In addition to the 37 students at the core rotation sites, other LMU/DCOM students have participated during the past year in elective clinical experiences at seven Covenant Health hospitals: Claiborne Medical Center, Fort Loudoun Medical Center, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, LeConte Medical Center, Parkwest Medical Center, Peninsula Hospital, and Roane Medical Center. To date, about 160 students have worked with 150 physicians throughout the health system who serve as preceptors and teachers.

Other Covenant Health presenters at the event included Mark Browne, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer, and Mandy Grubb Halford, MD, vice president and chief medical informatics officer. Dr. Halford discussed roles and responsibilities for students’ participation in the program, and Dr. Browne spoke to the students about Covenant Health’s commitment to quality, safety and service excellence.

“Taking care of patients is hard; taking great care of patients is harder,” he said, noting that Covenant Health seeks physicians who are committed to giving great care to patients. He added that “being present” is an essential attribute for physicians as they delivery patient care. “When you are taking care of a patient, you focus on nothing but that patient.”

The medical students began their clinical rotations on July 24. To learn more about the LMU-DCOM program, contact Vickie Schulze, Covenant Health medical student coordinator, at 931-459-7037 or vschulze@covhlth.com.