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2014 Medical Commencement

May 27, 2016

  Medical Commencement 2016

A beautiful, sunny Monday afternoon framed the 2016 Doctor of Medicine diploma ceremony on May 9, as graduates—128 in all—and their families made their way across campus from the School of Medicine lunchtime reception to Glenn Auditorium. Also graduating on May 9 were 65 Doctor of Physical Therapy recipients, 23 Medical Imaging recipients, and 9 Genetic Counseling recipients.

The MD Class of 2016, led by faculty marshal William McDonald and student marshal John Paul Gorham, with Whit Sewell as honorary class member, walked with our distinguished Corpus Cordis Aureum alumni from the Class of 1966 or earlier. We are deeply thankful to our "golden corps of the heart" for their lifelong commitment to the SOM.

On this day, we affirm that these new graduates have acquired the professional attributes of an Emory doctor and declare that they have earned the title of physician—an awesome responsibility, but one that brings great joy and satisfaction.

The transformation from student to student-doctor to doctor is one to celebrate, indeed, but I also urge all of our Emory physicians to make learning a lifelong quest.

Otis Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer and EVP of the American Cancer Society and a professor of hematology and medical oncology at Emory, gave the commencement address, praising the class as one that "came here with a social conscience. . .committed to service and social justice."

"The greatest honor one human can bestow on another is to ask, 'Can you help me?' " he said, adding that medicine is a trade that is learned by doing. "You will be trained by nurses, techs, social workers. . .and patients. Honor them all."

Brawley urged the MD graduates to work toward better outcomes, reduced disparities, and increased value in health care—and to mentor. "All of us have gotten here because of mentorship," he said. "It's important that you all give back."

Associate Professor of Medicine Stacy Higgins, program director of the primary care residency, received the Evangeline T. Papageorge Distinguished Faculty Award.

Class speaker John Paul "J.P." Gorham gave his peers a nostalgic send-off inspired by the Pixar movie Inside Out, reviewing all the emotions he and the other graduates were likely experiencing, among them: anticipation (moving to new cities), joy (we are doctors officially!), and gratitude (to families and faculty). The past several years, he said, were "carefully designed to help make us the best doctors we could become."

After reciting the Oath of Hippocrates, and with an eye always toward "the benefit of the patient," Emory's 128 newest doctors set out to do just that.

Nine graduates received MD/PhDs, 17 received MD/MPHs, five received MD/MS in Clinical Research degrees, and one an MD/MBA.

Congratulations to all,



View more graduation photos here.

And in other news . . . SOM café opening

Kaldi Coffee is opening a café in the School of Medicine building this summer. The café will offer coffee, pre-made salads and sandwiches, fresh pastries, and other snacks, and will be on the first floor near the fountain entrance.

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