It took a 43-year career in medicine to get it, but David Lichtman, MD, chair of Orthopaedics, 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.
An article about Dr. Lichtman's new degree also appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
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