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KYCOM graduates first Osteopathic Medical Scholars Program students

Sarah Helphinstine and Luke Wright

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (May 30, 2018) Sarah Helphinstine and Luke Wright are the first two students to complete Osteopathic Medical Scholars Program from KYCOM’s Class of 2018.

Aspiring osteopathic physicians can complete their entire education at the University of Pikeville through the institution’s Osteopathic Medical Scholars Program (OMSP).

The eight-year program, which launched in 2010, allows qualified students to obtain a bachelor of art or bachelor of science degree, and later earn the degree of doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) from the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM).

Helphinstine, of Vanceburg, Ky., graduated cum laude from UPIKE with a bachelor of science degree in biology in May 2014. While completing her undergraduate studies, she worked as a resident assistant (RA) during UPIKE’s two-week, residential Professional Education Preparation Program (PEPP) for high school students interested in medicine. Upon entering KYCOM, she served as a PEPP instructor.

“I am very grateful for my experience with OMSP,” she said. “Upon arrival to UPIKE, away from home, I was comforted by already being part of a group of classmates with the same interests and goals. OMSP provided me with extra opportunities to let myself be known to the KYCOM faculty and become more comfortable with the campus.”

This summer, Helphinstine will begin her residency training at the University of Kentucky-College of Medicine’s East Kentucky Family Medicine Residency program in Hazard, Ky.

Wright, of Georgetown, Ky., played baseball for UPIKE and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in biology in 2014. He benefitted from the educational and personal connections made possible through OMSP during his eight years on campus.

“I had a great experience in OMSP,” Wright said. “The biggest boon of OMSP is the people we were put into contact with. The other OMSP students from my class were amazing and kept me focused on the end goal. Not only that, but the other students in OMSP became some of my best friends. Also by being in OMSP, it put us into direct contact with administrators and professors at the medical school.”  

The first physician in his family, Wright will begin a general surgery residency this summer in Chicago. He and his wife plan to return to Kentucky upon completion of his residency program.

For more information about OMSP at UPIKE, visit http://www.upike.edu/KYCOM/prospective/OMSP.