It was the perfect year for Charles Davis, D.O., to act as the keynote speaker for the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine’s (WVSOM) annual Convocation and White Coat Ceremony – seeing as he’s both an alumnus and ophthalmologist.
On Aug. 27, the 1982 WVSOM graduate spoke to first-year students about having a clear vision before they received their white coats, which symbolize each student’s commitment to the osteopathic medical profession and is the first step in their medical school journey.
“Twenty-twenty is music to my ears,” Davis said. “As an eye surgeon I see lots of reasons for blurred vision. So Class of 2020, allow me to challenge you. How is your vision? Are you seeing clearly? What vision do you have for your future? Are things cloudy right now in this exact moment in your life? Fear of the unknown? I can tell you it’s well worth it. What’s your motivation for sitting here today? Is it status? Is it financial security? Is it fulfilling your parents’ expectations? What’s your purpose? What is your passion?”
Davis defined passion as an intense emotion and a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something.
“Working hard for something you don’t care about is stress, but working hard for something that you love – that’s passion. So examine what your passion is,” he encouraged of the students. Davis said that a medical student’s motivation and passion should be to serve, referencing the service the WVSOM community offered to West Virginia victims who were impacted by the June flood.
Davis concluded the speech by sharing that after 30 years in practice he was transitioning from success to significance. He has done so with four mission trips in the last nine years. He shared an anecdote about fulfilling his purpose during his most recent mission trip to Jamaica in April. He and a team embarked on the country with the goal of removing 100 cataracts in three days. Davis was inspired by one man who the health team dubbed, “Thunder.” He said Thunder’s cataracts compromised his self worth and he had lost focus of his passion for running a coffee business – until his cataract surgery.
“You must recognize the clear vision of your purpose and you must avoid the distractions in your life,” Davis shared. “Stay engaged, be connected, remain humble. Be willing to be open to re-evaluations, for when your purpose and your passion collide you will know. Your patients will notice and will be drawn to it. And you will change lives.”
WVSOM President Michael Adelman, D.O., D.P.M., J.D., officially recognized the new student doctors during the ceremony.
“We not only welcome you to our family but to the family of osteopathic physicians,” he said.
The ceremony also included brief greetings from Board of Governors Chair David Rader, Alumni Association President Mark Waddell, D.O., and West Virginia Osteopathic Medical Association President Clark Milton, D.O.
Davis is the owner/physician of Davis Eye Center with offices in Columbus, Akron and Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and The Center for Surgery in Cuyahoga Falls. He is the vice chair on WVSOM’s Board of Governors.