MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine D.O. Class of 2024 Graduates April 25


New physicians hear from alumna and first osteopathic physician to preside over American Association for Cancer Research.

The Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2024 will cross the stage for their hooding ceremony at commencement, Thursday, April 25, at the Breslin Center, as the college celebrates 272 physicians who will enter the next steps of their journey.

This year’s graduating class was impacted and challenged by COVID. With the same strength and compassion the students used to face the trials brought with the pandemic, the Class of 2024 osteopathic physicians will move on to residency and to serve others.

The new physicians will head into residencies in 21 different specialties, as well as research positions. Seventy-six percent of the class will complete their residency in Michigan.

“Our graduates have worked through extenuating circumstances to become compassionate and caring physicians,” said Joyce deJong, D.O., dean of the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. “We wish our graduates all the best. We and are grateful to them for all they have done during their time as medical students and all they will do in the future as D.O.s.”

The college invited one of its own to speak to the 2024 graduates. Patricia LoRusso, D.O., alumna of the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Class of 1981, will address the Class of 2024 as this year’s commencement keynote speaker, offering insight from the lessons she has learned throughout her career. An academic medical oncologist, Dr. LoRusso is an Amy and Joseph Perella Professor of Medicine; Chief, Experimental Therapeutics; Associate Cancer Center Director, Experimental Therapeutics.

Her message to the class of physicians will include thoughts from her graduation 34 years ago and her feelings today, “when I graduated, my dream was stronger than ever, much like many of you sitting here before me today. What I wanted was to make a difference. I wanted to be a medical oncologist – to work on developing new cancer treatments – I wanted to cure cancer. At least two dozen cancer drugs later, drugs for which I helped develop and shepherd through FDA approval, I believe my passion now is stronger than ever.”

What Dr. LoRusso has come to realize through her work is that cancer isn’t one disease, but many diseases under the umbrella of cancer. She continues to be passionate for the work fueled by her “daily life experiences in watching people with cancer suffer and knowing, that if I can make even a small impact, perhaps their lives and those of their loved ones will be better. No matter how small, I have had the ability to make a difference.”

This year, on April 8, Dr. LoRusso became president of the American Association for Cancer Research – the first clinician and the first osteopathic physician-scientist to serve in this position. She credits this to the many who have helped her in her career and reminds others that mentorship is important at all stages of their career. “At my age and my current career stage, I still rely on mentorship for advice,” she shares.

Dr. LoRusso has been a practicing academic medical oncologist and researcher, spending the first 25 years of her career at Wayne State University and the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit. She joined Yale in 2014.

Join us in person at 5:00 p.m. at the Breslin Center or via livestream at