BRADENTON — It has a nice ring to it.
Dr. Lino Linares.
The 33-year-old Sarasota resident officially earned the title Sunday. He was one of 159 medical students to graduate from LECOM.
“I’m really excited about graduating and looking forward to starting my journey,” said Linares following a commencement ceremony at the Manatee Convention Center.
So far, it’s been a long trek, he said.
Linares, who said he plans to practice psychiatry, spent four years in undergraduate school at Florida State University before spending the last four years at LECOM.
During his first two years at LECOM, he said he spent most of his time in class or studying. The last two were spent doing rotations at a dozen hospitals — many of them in other states, including South Carolina and Alabama.
Donned with his new title, Linares will soon pack up his belongings and trek north, where he will spend his residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
His best friend, Luca Turci, who traveled from Jacksonville to Manatee County to see him graduate Sunday, said he’s been giving his buddy a hard time about the new title.
“Yeah I’ve been teasing him quite a bit,” said Turci, who has known Linares since high school.
But for Linares, the new title hasn’t changed his mentality.
“He’s being very humble about it actually,” Turci said laughing.
During Sunday’s ceremony, Carlo J. DiMarco, a board certified osteopathic ophthalmologist in Erie, Pa., and president of the American Osteopathic Association, encouraged Linares and his fellow graduates to work hard and be they best they could be for their patients.
DiMarco, Sunday’s keynote speaker, was a team ophthalmologist for the Philadelphia 76ers from 1995-2006,
Of Sunday’s group, eight graduates received commissions in the Army, Navy and Air Force to continue their medical education as military physicians.
Those graduates, when presented with their doctorate of osteopathic medicine degree, also received a LECOM Military Challenge Coin. The coin is said to signify the commitment military graduates will make to their country and to the service men and women they will have as patients.
Local LECOM graduates included Sabrina Campbell, Bradenton Christian High School; Jennifer Laman, Southeast High; Anthony Selman, Bayshore High; and Eugenia Samoilova Wagoner, Manatee High.
Following a congratulations from the school’s associate dean of academic affairs, Robert J. George, the graduates, one by one, ascended the stage for their academic hooding.
Some of the graduates, including 25-year-old Bianca Ashley Tribuzio, were hooded by family members who are doctors.
Tribuzio, who got her degree in physical medicine and rehabilitation, was all smiles as her father, Dr. Edward Tribuzio, placed a green hood over her head.
“We’re so proud of her,” said her mother, Dominique Tribuzio, in the audience.
After students were hooded, Michael Visnosky, LECOM chairman of the board of trustees, asked the class to rise and face the audience.
“You have earned the gift of knowledge and you are prepared for your future,” Visnosky said smiling.
Immediately, the crowd began cheering and pounding their feet on the bleachers inside the main hall of the convention center.
“There is no one here today who achieved this alone,” Visnosky said as the applause died down.
That’s when the doctors saluted their family with applause.
“I probably couldn’t have done it without my family and friends,” Linares said. “They helped me tremendously, and I’m forever grateful.”