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When Tara Feehan left Long Island in the summer of 2013 and enrolled at Virginia Tech, she arrived fully expecting to get a degree in biology, become a school teacher, and coach lacrosse.

Yet just a few weeks ago, the former Virginia Tech lacrosse player was driving to Brandon, Fla., with her sister to begin her four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology as a physician at Brandon Regional Hospital outside of Tampa.

Take a conversation with an uncle who is a doctor and mix it with a shadowing opportunity at a hospital near her hometown during the summer following her sophomore year, and all of the sudden, a life’s initial plan requires major editing.

“I realized medicine was calling me my entire life,” she said.

Feehan and another former Virginia Tech student-athlete, Marie Johnston, both graduated from the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) on May 8. The independent medical school resides in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center and operates on an agreement with the university that allows its students to access many of Virginia Tech’s facilities and student services.

VCOM’s commencement ceremony marked the end of formal education for both Feehan and Johnston. They now embark on residencies in which they work with other doctors in their preferred fields of medical interest – but do so with the prefix “Dr.” attached to their names.


About VCOM

Since VCOM’s first class started school in 2003, our mission has moved from the realm of ideas to the reality of thousands of physicians returning to rural and medically underserved communities.

Thanks to strong leadership, as well as outstanding students and faculty who embody VCOM’s purpose, our mission moves steadily forward.