HARROGATE, Tenn. — The class of 2015 of the Physician Assistant Program at Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine will celebrate its commencement on Aug 8, at 10 a.m. at the Tex Turner Arena on the LMU main campus in Harrogate, Tennessee.
Dr. John W. Lacey III, vice president and chief medical officer of the University of Tennessee Medical Center, will deliver the commencement address.
Lacey served as chairman of the Governor’s Task Force on Health and Wellness for Tennessee, which was charged with raising Tennessee’s health rankings. In 2011, Lacey was awarded the Tennessee Medical Association Outstanding Physician Award for his exemplary work toward a healthier Tennessee, and he continues to serve on the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness.
In addition to his work with the state, Lacey is active in public health efforts in the Knoxville community. He served as assistant professor of medicine with U.T. Graduate School of Medicine, he is a member of the U.T. Chancellor’s Associates, currently serves on the Knox County Board of Public Health and is a former Knoxville Academy of Medicine president.
The physician assistant profession is one of the fastest growing health professions in the country and has been repeatedly named by Forbes magazine as the best master’s degree for jobs in the United States.
A physician assistant is educated in the medical model. PAs are nationally certified to work side by side with both osteopathic and allopathic physicians in every medical specialty. PAs are licensed to diagnose illness, prescribe medications and assist in surgery. They conduct physical exams, order and interpret medical tests and provide counseling on preventive health care.
A PA has at least six years of education: A four-year undergraduate degree and the master’s-level physician assistant degree. PA students complete more than 2,400 hours of clinical rotations prior to graduation.