TCOM heralds first African American parent-child legacy

Dralves Edwards, DO, was the first African American on the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine campus. And now he and his daughter, Jessica I. Edwards-Shepherd, MS, are TCOM’s first African American parent-child legacy.

She graduates Friday as part of the Class of 2014, then sets out for Christ Hospital in Jersey City, N.J., where she will begin a residency in family medicine.

She plans to practice family medicine because she enjoys treating a variety of needs in patients of all ages.

“It’s a shame families have to ‘fire’ their pediatrician when their child is past age 18 or 21,” she said.

Her dad practiced family medicine for 21 years and now is site medical director of emergency medicine at University General Hospital in Dallas.

He was a pre-med major at North Texas State University (now UNT) in the early 1970s. “The first TCOM class was taking biology courses in the same building. I met DOs and liked the philosophy,” he recalled.

He played football at UNT and had a short stint with the St. Louis Cardinals. He completed coursework at Prairie View A&M for a master of science degree and was admitted to TCOM in 1976.

Was it difficult being the first African American? “After playing football, you kind of can handle anything,” he said. “I wanted to serve. The atmosphere didn’t bother me at all, but everyone needs cultural support, and the next year a Prairie View friend joined me at TCOM.

“I’m still friends with TCOM classmates. The DO profession is special that way.”

His daughter earned her master of science degree from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 2010.

“Diversifying the face of medicine is my personal mission,” Edwards-Shepherd said. “I would like to work where I have role models in bringing diversity.”

Match Day
Match Day excitement grips TCOM medical students

By Jan Jarvis   The anticipation kept Vincent Wang awake all night. “It’s like Christmas,” the fourth-year medical student said. “You know you’re getting a present, but you don’t know what it is.” Wang was among 213 Texas of College of Osteopathic Medicine fourth-year ...Read more

Mar 20, 2018

Sara Bryd
Public health student to bike across Africa for medical, educational mission

By Sally Crocker   Sara Byrd is looking forward to UNT Health Science Center graduation day for two very big reasons. After crossing the stage in cap and gown at this spring’s commencement ceremonies, the School of Public Health MHA graduate will board a plane for Africa. There she w...Read more

Mar 19, 2018

TCOM Students
Student-led charity golf tournament reaches endowment goal

By Alex Branch   In 2012, medical students Sammy Lee Chong and Nicole Hocevar Howerton helped brainstorm ideas for students to work together for a good cause outside the classroom. They started Tee Off F.O.R.E. TCOM, a golf tournament that raised money for student scholarships at UNT H...Read more

Mar 16, 2018

Gemma Sookprasong
TCOM student’s rocky road to Match Day

By Jan Jarvis   Last fall, Gemma Sookprasong flew to Wichita, Kan., for an interview that could lead to a medical residency at a hospital there. She never made it to the interview, but she did end up at that hospital. “I woke up in a trauma bay,” she said. The car accident th...Read more

Mar 14, 2018