Stethoscopes connect generations of UNTHSC physicians

By Alex Branch

Prazack

Patrick Prazak was a high school baseball player who hoped to one day play professionally until his elbow started locking up after games.

He underwent surgery, but soon after his shoulder started aching.

As a freshman player at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, he realized medical treatments, rehabilitation time and school work was too heavy a load. He gave up baseball and instead became determined to attend UNT Health Science Center, become a sports medicine physician and help injured athletes like himself.

The brand new Littman Cardiology IV stethoscope he received as a first-year student at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine was a big moment for Prazak. It was engraved with the name Cliff J. Whigham Jr., DO, a 1976 TCOM alumnus, who sponsored it.

“No one forgets their first stethoscope,” Prazak said. “It means a lot to know that TCOM alumni care about the students who follow in their footsteps and want to invest in us.”

The stethoscope was one of 230 awarded to new students through a UNTHSC program that allows alumni and community members to sponsor a student doctor’s stethoscope for $250. Dr. Whigham sponsored six stethoscopes this year.

The stethoscopes’ tubing is inscribed with the student’s name and the bell can be inscribed with the sponsor’s name or a few words of inspiration.

Incoming students write letters of appreciation to their sponsors. In his letter, Prazak told Dr. Whigham about his injuries that required medical care and ended his baseball career.

“Through those experiences, though, I learned to love medicine,” Prazak wrote. “I want to help people in situations like I was in both physically and emotionally. Your donation will give me a wonderful start as I continue to pursue this dream.”

Recent News

Wellest Team
  • On Campus
|Dec 6, 2022

Wellest Inc. founder Dave Sekowski partners with HSC faculty through Techstars program

For Dave Sekowski, founder and CEO of Wellest Inc., the road to wellness has not been easy. Growing up with limited access to healthy food and education about health and nutrition, he struggled with childhood obesity. “I had to take it upon myself to figure it out,” Sekowski said. “I joined...
IHI Banner
  • Patient Care
|Dec 6, 2022

TCOM leadership presents patient safety course to 2022 IHI forum

The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine’s innovative patient safety course and how to incorporate it into an academic curriculum was on display at the 2022 Institute for Healthcare Improvement Forum in Orlando, Florida.  Frank Filipetto, DO, CPPS, FACOFP, dean of TCOM, and Lillee Gelinas DNP...
Stephanie Ibekwe
  • Our People
|Dec 5, 2022

A voice for women in medicine

When Dr. Stephanie Ibekwe’s mother, Sarah, came home from her nursing job, she would tell her daughter stories about her patients and the conversations she had with them. “Nursing is pretty stressful, but my mom had an amazing way of handling things,” she said. “My mom really loved to bui...
Noah Peeri Headshot
  • Our People
|Dec 5, 2022

SPH alum Dr. Noah Peeri produces JAMA Oncology publication just months after graduation

Noah Peeri, Ph.D., MPH, a recent graduate of The University of North Texas Health Science Center’s School of Public Health, has achieved a major milestone by publishing an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology just months after completing his graduate degree.   H...