Students graduate and prepare to fill physician need

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 7:26 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Graduation season is nearing the end. From high school to college graduations, students turned their tassels and took a step into a new journey.

Friday, medical students moved into their next journey to help the community stay healthy.

115 students graduated from The New York Institute of Technology, College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University.

Those students will begin their residency in family medicine, surgery, pediatrics, and other specialties soon.

This is important not only for their careers but for the community. Especially for northeast Arkansas as many rural areas are in need of more physicians to treat patients.

“I’m doing my residency in family medicine, but for the last four years I have been studying to become a physician,” said Dr. Olivia Loiacano, recent graduate.

Loiacano, one of the 115 graduates, graduated high school right here in Jonesboro at Jonesboro High School. She studied at Arkansas State University and then completed her doctorate at NYIT.

She will be completing her residency at a hospital in Jonesboro as well.

“Being able to do it in my community and do it around the physicians here is pretty awesome,” she said.

She is just one of the 60% of students from NYIT that stay in the area hoping to make a difference.

“It’s really awesome to give back to my community,” she said. “I am really excited to hopefully help encourage younger people who are also in Jonesboro to study here and practice here in the future.”

Loiacano mentioned that she took a gap year after undergrad to make sure medicine was the route she wanted to take.

“I took a gap year after I graduated college and I figured I am not going to be happy if I don’t pursue becoming a physician,” said Loiacano.

She encouraged those graduating high school to do what they are passionate about.