Touring Touro


Barb Huntington


A thin-blooded Southern Californian, I was prepared for November in San Francisco.  My down coat that looks like a converted sleeping bag was zipped up over my heavy wool suit.  With my careful preparation I would survive the frigid ferry ride to Mare Island and Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine (TUCOM).  But wait!  My bulky form exited the hotel to confront a balmy day with dazzling sunshine and blue sky!  My two companions, John Lockwood, from the Association of American Medical Colleges, and Gerry Yutrzenka, from the University of South Dakota, (who were more appropriately dressed), grinned as I lumbered into the cab that would take us to the San Francisco Ferry.


One of the buildings at the medical school—bathed in sunlight!


There is something to be said for going to medical school (and medical conventions!) in San Francisco.  During the convention we dined on everything from my favorite “caterpillar sushi” to honeyed Moroccan lamb.  As we rode toward the bay, leaving the cable car hills, the architectural wonders, and fragrant neighborhoods, I wondered what it would be like to be a student living among these wonders.  During the almost-an-hour ferry ride we saw the bridges, the ships, and a sea otter, breathed the clean salt air and had time to decompress from cosmopolitan excitement to island serenity.



Touro is a five-minute ride from the ferry.  Today we noticed huge fallen trees and branches, decimated by a huge storm that had hit San Francisco the day before I arrived and that was now causing tornados across the country.  Beyond the fallen trees sat old homes from another era that had once been officers’ houses since Touro is situated on what was once a military base.


Dr. Bernard I. Zeliger


We were greeted warmly at the school where we met Dr. Bernard I. Zeliger, Provost and Dean, who has watched Touro blossom since the days it shared facilities with a podiatric school in San Francisco.  Our friend Don Haight, Director of Admissions, was interviewing candidates, who seemed relaxed in their group interview.  Then the interview group was divided in two groups and we joined one of them for a tour.


Yaniv Berger


Yaniv Berger, our enthusiastic guide, showed us the new classrooms, computers, anatomy lab and the beautiful library.  Hearing my name, I turned to find Jennifer Stahl-Mullins, a first year medical student who went through our committee process.  It was great to get a hug and hear how well she is doing!


Jennifer Stahl-Mullins


So what is special about Touro?  Touro is an osteopathic school so it follows the teachings of Andrew Taylor Still that embrace healing through mind, body, and spirit.  It has quickly gained a reputation as an excellent school, and, although following the traditional medical school pattern of coursework in the first two years before clinical experience in the next two, there are opportunities for students to work in a medical setting early.  Later, among many other locations, students may work at a hospital in Las Vegas or the central valley.  The air in the gross anatomy lab is recycled 16 times an hour—a good thing for this lady with a sensitive nose! 


With a view of San Francisco, students have access to the city and to Napa-Sonoma Wine Country, while having a more isolated, country environment for studying. Since the Touro campus is new, students will be able to watch its growth as it adds other graduate and undergraduate programs, and of course builds state-of-the-art buildings with the latest technology. The old military base provides perks in the way of a big playing field as well as golf, tennis, swimming, racquetball, and basketball.


San Diego State students who attend or recently graduated from Touro include Ben Thomas, Pat Flores, and Jennifer Stahl.  Dan Lane has been accepted for the entering class of 2003.  To learn more about Touro, check the website at:


Dr. Don Haight, interviewees, and Yaniv

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