Student D.O. of the Year

Samuel Briggs

Huge thank you to the Committee comprised of Angela Cavanna, DO, FAOASM, Vasudeva Kamath, PhD, Stephen Jones, PhD, Daniel Pekker, John Zakhary, Johanna Caufaglione (Committee Lead), Myra Butrviengpunt, and Benjamin Rourke for their help in choosing Samuel for this acknowledgement.

2022/2023 - Samuel Briggs

"On behalf of the SDOY Committee, it is our honor to present to you the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) Middletown Campus’ student doctor of the year award winner, Samuel Briggs. Sam was the TouroCOM Middletown Campus Student Government Association (SGA) President during the transition from pandemic protocols to in person learning. In collaboration with other SGA members, he focused on enhancing the academic and professional success of students during an ever-changing educational environment while also renewing the school’s connections to the Middletown community. As part of this mission, during his year with SGA, he actively contributed to over twenty intraprofessional committees and events, many of which he hosted. Sam’s leadership within the community and student body extends beyond his responsibilities as SGA President. Within both the TouroCOM and greater Middletown communities, he has dedicated many hours to helping others. To help meet the growing demands for vaccination within the community, Sam organized a collaboration with the TouroCOM College of Pharmacy and hosted multiple on-campus events to provide COVID-19 and influenza vaccination as well as rapid testing to students and staff. He also worked with the Orange County Medical Reserve Corps to assist with local vaccination pods throughout the year and promoted voter registration and early voting awareness both with OCMRC in the community and on-campus through collaboration with the local Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) chapter.

The focus of the majority of Sam’s on-campus efforts centered on improving the professional and personal success of students. He helped develop a tutoring program between student doctors and incoming physician assistant students for the school’s inaugural class. He organized mentoring and study programs for DO students and continues to host informational meetings for how to succeed in the academic curriculum, how to study for boards, and how to choose a rotation site. He has created, organized, and provided a massive collection of academic and professional resources throughout the two and a half years he has been at Touro. The path to a career within the medical field can be a difficult one, and Sam did his best to help both DO and PA students to feel supported and connected throughout their journey. He obtained discounted pricing for student board materials through negotiations with suppliers, helped connect incoming students with upperclassmen to purchase affordable medical equipment, and worked with administration to create orientation materials for incoming students. His altruism with academic and non-academic resources is always followed by encouragement for students to share their own materials and ideas. These efforts have created a strong environment of collaboration and interpersonal support at Touro. This acknowledgment of the greater student community as not only professional learners but individual persons is one example of how Sam embodies osteopathic philosophy.

While spearheading many of these initiatives, Sam still made time to attend and present at many professional conferences throughout his first two years of medical school. He has served as an investigator on multiple research projects, and presented nationally. He has represented Touro at Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina as a Medical Student Summer Scholar and has maintained his professional relationship with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where he previously had an extensive career as a research manager. He continues to be actively involved in research projects at Garnet Health Medical Center, where he is currently completing his third year rotations. Collectively, these actions reflect not only his leadership and commitment to community service, but his professionalism and dedication to the field of medicine. Beyond all of his SGA and non-SGA initiatives, Sam has been dedicated to community service having contributed nearly one hundred hours of service at a local free clinic and as support staff for both victims of trauma and their loved ones.

As evidenced by his actions both academically and in the community throughout medical school, the SDOY Committee feels that Sam is a student who exemplifies leadership and all elements of the osteopathic philosophy. We are proud to recognize Sam at TouroCOM Middletown and to submit his application for the national award."

Excerpt from Letter of Recommendation

SDOY Selection Committee


The Student DO of the Year Award (SDOY) is an award presented annually by the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP), a council of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), to students who go above and beyond the average osteopathic medical student. Each School or College of Osteopathic Medicine (SOM/COM) will select a school SDOY via the process summarized below, and these school winners will go on to compete for the National SDOY Award. The National SDOY will be announced at the AACOM Annual Meeting in April and will be the recipient of a monetary award (amount will be formally announced at a later date).

The SDOY Award Recipient must be a full-time student at a SOM/COM and cannot be a previous school or national Student DO of the Year (SDOY) recipient. This individual should represent the following ideals and values:

● Leadership

● Commitment to Community Service

● Dedication to the Profession

● Professionalism

● Embodiment of the Osteopathic Philosophy

Nomination Process

Anyone can nominate someone/multiple people for the SDOY award. Although not necessary, you are welcome to add a statement of support for your candidate that will be considered during the selection process. Submit your nominations for SDOY via the following link ( or the form above.

School Selection Process

The school selection committee consists of the SOM/COM Student Government President (or School SDOY Chair), one representative from each SOM/COM Class council (i.e. Class President), a student randomly appointed by the SOM/COM Student Government, one Clinical Science Professor, one Basic Science Professor, and the SOM/COM Dean (or proxies selected by these individuals should they be unwilling or unable to serve). If you are a school with an alternate teaching site there will be equal representation from each campus on your selection committee. **When filling out your application, please LIST items unless a description is requested! PLEASE include a BRIEF explanation of acronyms or programs for purposes of clarification.** Your application packet and essay will be submitted to your School’s SDOY Chair, who will remove all identifying information from the essay and then distribute it to your local selection committee. The essay portion will be scored “blinded” and the application portion will be “un-blinded”. Grading rubrics have been included in this packet. The committee members will submit their score sheets to the School SDOY Chair, who will tally up the totals for each portion. The essay portion counts for 30% of the total score. Then the application will be distributed counting for 60% of the total score. The Selection Committee will then meet and discuss each of the candidates taking into account the nomination form and impression each of the candidates, acknowledging their efforts from a more personal standpoint (this can not influence your score more than 10%). If there is a tie, the Dean will cast the deciding vote. The essay, application, and ranking scores will be summed to determine the school's SDOY.

National Selection Process

Each winner's application, along with a letter of recommendation from the school SDOY committee and a photograph of the winner, will be submitted online to the COSGP National Secretary, who serves as the National SDOY Chair. She will then remove all identifying information and submit the packet to the National SDOY Selection Committee. The National Committee consists of: the AACOM Associate Vice President for Medical Education, one randomly selected SOM/COM faculty member who is an osteopathic physician, one randomly selected member of the Steering Committee of the Society of Osteopathic Medical Educators, last year's National SDOY Winner, one randomly selected member of the COSGP Student Services Committee, the SOMA President, and one randomly selected member of the Bureau of Emerging Leaders. At this level, all material is “blinded” and the worth of each section has changed. The application packet will count for 50% of the score, the essay will count for 30% of the score, and the nomination statement and letter of recommendation from the school SDOY committee and nomination (when applicable) will collectively count for 20% of the score. All score sheets will be submitted to the National SDOY Committee Chair, who will then tally the scores. The individual with the highest total score will be named the National SDOY. In the event of a tie, the National SDOY Committee Chair will serve as the tiebreaker. For more information or with any questions, please contact your COM/SOM’s SDOY Chair or Kristen D’Orazio, COSGP National Secretary and National SDOY Committee Chair, at