The Sixties are known as a period of great political, social and cultural change in the United States and much of the world. That was true of osteopathic medicine, too, as members of the profession fought for equal recognition of their allopathic peers. Among them was Anthony Korvas, D.O.’69.
“We broke a lot of barriers. We faced a lot of antagonism, mainly because of perceived economic competition,” he says. “We were sort of the pioneers in opening up gateways to what was then M.D. property.”
Dr. Korvas and his classmates, who will celebrate their 50-year DMU reunion in May, were well equipped to represent their profession. “In our postgraduate training, we were so far ahead of the M.D.s,” he says. “We had had a lot more exposure to clinical practice with our rotations.”
Professional prejudice against D.O.s, although it was starting to wane, did not prevent Dr. Korvas from enjoying a diverse career. He was promoted to captain in the U.S. Army and served as a battalion surgeon, flight surgeon and emergency room surgeon at Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, NC. He retired from the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a full colonel. “That was unheard of for a D.O.,” he says.
He has had myriad other roles in medicine, including director of the emergency department of Doctors Hospital in Plantation, FL, where he chaired several seminars and committees; medical director of the Sunrise, FL, Health Center and Sunrise Fire Rescue Department; and faculty positions at Nova-Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine in Davie, FL, and Presbyterian-St. Luke’s osteopathic family medicine residency program in Denver. He was a charter member and then fellow and board trustee of the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians as well as president of the Colorado Society of Osteopathic Medicine, among other professional roles.
“I’ve really enjoyed my career,” he says. “It provided me with an unbelievable amount of opportunity. I did a lot of things I never thought I could do.”
Dr. Korvas and his wife, Cathy, have done a lot for DMU, too. As a student in the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery (COMS), now DMU, in 1966 he raised the most funds among his classmates in sales of the osteopathic Christmas seal, then an annual competition among osteopathic colleges to generate support for student scholarships and research. Rather than pocket his cash prize, he donated it back to COMS. In recent years, the couple made a gift through their estate to create the Anthony C. Korvas, D.O.’69, and Cathy Korvas Scholarship to benefit DMU osteopathic students.
“I got a great education at the school. We want to enable the school to give future students what was given to me,” he says.
Dr. Korvas also wants his classmates to join him for their reunion. “I’m looking forward to seeing people I haven’t seen in years,” he says. “Come to the reunion to see old pals, reminisce about what it was like in medical school and talk about our time as D.O.s.”
Talk about YOUR time at DMU during your reunion: To see the schedule of events, find out who’s coming, register your attendance and more, visit the reunion website.