Alumni Spotlight- David H. Gross, DPM, Class of 1971
If you attended the Southeast National Conference in Orlando, Florida, this December and stopped by the Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine booth in the exhibit hall, you found a friendly face, under a KSUCPM baseball hat, eager to speak to you about our College. This is the face of David H. Gross, a 1971 graduate of the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, who now proudly donates his time, talent and resources to KSUCPM, be it through his scholarship fund, in-kind donations, or representing the College at its various CME events. We recently caught up with Dr. Gross to ask him about his education at CPM, his career and what makes him so passionate about the college today.
Reflecting on his time as a podiatry student at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in the early '70s, Dr. Gross reminisces on the ease of student life. “I had a great time in school! It’s not the same to be a student as it is to be in practice,” Dr. Gross recalls. It is understandable that life as a podiatry student was much more carefree with the low cost of tuition at that time. “Tuition now is no comparison to what it was when I was in school. Money today isn’t the same as money a long time ago,” Dr. Gross concludes. But Dr. Gross made it work, “To pay for my schooling, I worked at Mt. Sinai Hospital in various laboratory departments, while my wife worked as a school teacher at Cleveland Heights High School.” It is the steady climb of tuition, coupled with his deep respect for the school that would eventually lead him to establish a scholarship in his own name.
With the merge of the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine and Kent State University in 2012 came big changes for the school. Dr. Gross sees these changes as nothing but beneficial. “Because of the merge with a state university, the school is clearly progressing towards a great future,” Dr. Gross declares, “Merging with a state university offers a sense of prestige.” Dr. Gross shows his prestige by wearing Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine T-shirts, hats and sweatshirts while traveling for the college, or when heading to the gym for a workout, a favorite hobby.
Dr. Gross has continuously supported CPM with frequent donations such as in-kind supplies, a complete collection of medical books and equipment to the college library and through his continuous service to the College. “It is because of my education from the Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine that I am able to have a successful practice, life, and retire,” Dr. Gross maintains, “I wanted specifically to give back with a focus to students with a financial need.” In 2016, Dr. Gross started the Dr. David H. Gross and Myra E. Gross Scholarship Fund, which he intends to endow.
Today, Dr. Gross serves as a physician for the St. Petersburg Free-Clinic, which offers services free of charge to those who lack the resources. His passion for podiatry and helping others stems from his family: a brother and father, both podiatrists, who subjected Gross to the profession throughout his entire life, and drove him to become one himself. Dr. Gross currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida, with his wife, Myra, and is a proud father and grandfather.