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Physician Receives Bachelor's Degree After 50 Years

FORT WORTH, Texas, June 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It took a 43-year career in medicine to get it, but David Lichtman, MD, chair of Orthopaedics at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, finally received his bachelor's degree last month. Dr. Lichtman can now add "Bachelor of Science from Tufts" to his resume.

He enrolled in a unique degree program at the university in 1959 - it allowed him to receive both his BS and MD after three years of undergraduate work and completion of medical school. However, he transferred to State University of New York, Brooklyn, before completing his degree - and although he went on to join the U.S. Navy, receive his MD, rise to the ranks of rear admiral, and was appointed director of surgical services at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, he never completed his bachelor's.

After learning of the academic oddity, a friend of his petitioned Tufts to grant the degree. His years of life and professional experience and service were taken into consideration, and Tufts agreed to credit Dr. Lichtman with the 22 hours of coursework he lacked for the BS and grant him the degree.

But even though he is now officially a member of Tufts University, Class of 2009, Dr. Lichtman opted to not attend the school's commencement ceremonies on May 16.

"Instead of getting my bachelor's, I'll be helping confer medical degrees on my own students," he said.

University of North Texas Health Science Center

The University of North Texas Health Science Center is composed of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the School of Public Health, and the School of Health Professions. The center's Institutes for Discovery conduct leading-edge research on select health issues, including vision, aging, cancer, heart disease, physical medicine and public health. This year, the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine was named a top 50 medical school in primary care by U.S. News & World Report for the seventh consecutive year. The institution contributes almost $400 million to Tarrant County and Texas economies annually. For more information, visit

SOURCE University of North Texas Health Science Center/Fort Worth
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