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Matthew Farinella: A Journey of Service and Leadership at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)-Auburn

Matthew Farinella with wife and child
By Brittany Lilla -

Matthew Farinella, a first-year student at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)-Auburn, exemplifies dedication, service and leadership. Matthew’s path to medical school has been marked by significant achievements and contributions, both in academia and in military service.

Matthew’s journey began in Jacksonville, Florida, where his early years laid the foundation for his commitment to helping others. He later traveled to Mount Berry, Georgia, to pursue a degree in Kinesiology at Berry College, graduating in 2016. This educational background provided him with a deep understanding of the human body, preparing him for the challenges ahead.

In 2017, Matthew joined the U.S. Army, embarking on a career that would see him rise through the ranks. Starting as a combat medic at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, he then transferred to Fort Moore in Columbus, Georgia, where he served as a medic with the 75th Ranger Regiment. He demonstrated exceptional skills and dedication, and his leadership abilities were soon recognized, leading to his commission as a second lieutenant. Today, Matthew continues to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves while pursuing his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree at VCOM-Auburn.

At VCOM-Auburn, Matthew’s leadership extends beyond the classroom. He is the president of the Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (SAMOPS), a distinguished organization that recognizes the unique role osteopathic physicians play in the U.S. Armed Forces. SAMOPS aims to promote awareness of the vital contributions osteopathic physicians make to military medicine and to prepare its members for successful transitions into military careers. 

Matthew Farinella with SAMOPS group

May is a significant month for military health professionals, celebrated as both Military Health Awareness Month and National Military Appreciation Month. These observances honor the dedication and sacrifices of military healthcare providers. Under Matthew’s leadership, SAMOPS at VCOM-Auburn actively participates in raising awareness and supporting these causes. One of their notable partnerships is with the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting wounded veterans. WWP provides a variety of programs and services to veterans who have suffered physical or mental injuries on or after September 11, 2001.

Matthew is passionate about the mission of SAMOPS and the impact it has on both current and future military physicians. “Upon graduating, my mission is to deliver exceptional healthcare wherever I serve, ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for all patients,” he states. His commitment to service is evident not only in his military career but also in his academic pursuits and leadership roles.

In addition to his professional and academic responsibilities, Matthew prioritizes his mental health and physical fitness. He enjoys regular workouts with his SAMOPS group and on his own, understanding the importance of maintaining personal well-being. He also cherishes spending time with his wife, Marion, and their one-year-old son, Paul, balancing family life with his demanding schedule.

VCOM-Auburn is proud to support Military Health Awareness Month, recognizing the critical importance of mental health for all service members and veterans. VCOM-Auburn is dedicated to ensuring that all students are provided with the resources and support they need to succeed.

Matthew Farinella’s story is one of unwavering dedication to service, both in the military and in the field of osteopathic medicine. His leadership at VCOM-Auburn and his ongoing commitment to military healthcare highlight the profound impact that one individual can have on their community and beyond. As Matthew continues his journey, he remains a shining example of the values and mission of VCOM-Auburn and the broader osteopathic community.

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