Alumni spotlight: Richard W. Rapp, D.O.’12

Richard W. Rapp, D.O.'12, and family
Richard W. Rapp, D.O.’12, and family

Undergraduate background

I received my B.S. in biology from the University of Northern Colorado in 2007.  Prior to that I was a corporate trainer and site manager for several Telecom companies back in Colorado in the early 2000’s.

Favorite part of my job

Simply being here is my favorite part.  I just started my internship at Florida Hospital East Orlando, and I feel this great sense of both fulfillment and terror finally being at this point.  My first order was for a pediatric renal ultrasound, and I will always remember that!

Best memory of DMU

About 40 things jump to mind when I think about this question.  As an OMM fellow I had the opportunity to work with several hundred first and second-year D.O. students, and by far the best memory was of 5-20 students at a time joining me in the OMM lab to talk about osteopathic principles and practice, especially in the use of OMT for the treatment of disease in both inpatient and outpatient settings.  Seeing these students so hungry and longing to believe that they could do more for patients than use scalpels and prescription pads come to realize how much healing they could impart through their hands was unbelievably rewarding!

How I was involved at DMU

I was involved in leadership with the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), the Student Government Association (SGA), and as a member of several clubs.  My biggest involvement was through my OMM fellowship both in teaching OMM, but also in meeting with prospective students several times a week.  Since my graduation in May, both my wife and I continue to be contacted by incoming students and prospective students and their significant others mostly to calm their fears, try to impart some wisdom, and encourage them to make their personal relationships the higher priority as they begin school.

Advice to those graduating or just beginning residencies

Be prepared that one of the most overwhelming parts of your first few weeks is how much help you are offered.  People are so kind in this profession towards interns but so many tips for how to accomplish each little task are overwhelming.  Just take a deep breath and make the most of it.

What has most surprised you about your residency?

I never felt disrespected as a medical student, but as an intern I have been pleasantly surprised how respected I feel.  Everybody from the CEO and chief medical officer to the facilities team to the nursing staff have all treated me so well.  Maybe that drill sergeant attending physician is out there in my future but so far so good!


My favorite hobby is anything with my wife, Katrina, and two small children, Ezekiel (3) and Aspen (1).  I hope to get back into golf now that I have a salary, pick up my guitar more frequently, and maybe pick up a Disney pass now that I’m in Orlando!

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