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Goodbye and Good Luck, Class of 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

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 There were smiles all around as the students waited for the start of the ceremony that would offically declare them doctors.
 

After a week full of rain, the sun finally broke through, but it could not outshine the 151 newly minted MDs from the Class of 2011, who received their doctoral hoods on May 20, 2011 in a convocation ceremony at the Baltimore Hilton. “Since our founding in 1807, this great medical school has produced some of the finest physicians, scientists and educators of our time,” said said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine. “You are joining the ranks of some 17,000 alumni, alumni who have profoundly transformed medicine and science and brought honor to the profession and to this great institution.”

Those are very big shoes to fill, but class president Christopher Lemon had some advice on how he and his classmates might go about doing so. “First, make education a cornerstone of your practice,” he said. “To the faculty present today, we thank you for all the wisdom and insight you bestowed upon us. We can think of no better way to show you our appreciation than to pay that knowledge forward to the next generation. Number two, do not change your entire identity to 'doctor.' Appreciate that you existed before the medical degree you add to your name today, and value all the roles you play in life or will play – son, daughter, sibling, spouse, parent. And lastly, if nothing else, be deliberate. Work hard, trust yourself, take calculated risks, and actively build your confidence. If you do that, your future patients will be lucky to have you, as we have been lucky to have each other in this class.”

This new class of doctors will need more than just luck to see them through the many changes that are coming, noted keynote speaker Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Tomorrow, when the parties are over, it’s going to get very real, very fast,” she said. “Buckle up, because you are entering a world that is rapidly changing. The challenges may seem unrelenting at times, the demands may seem unrelenting, and the pressures unforgiving. But if you’re as lucky as I’ve been, you will love every moment of it.

“Just consider this,” she added. “The care and services you will deliver will be safer, more efficient, and of higher quality than any patients have ever received before. Technology, of course, is a big reason why – new technologies are being developed, even right here at this university, that are reinventing how we diagnose and treat patients. “

Sometimes, though, you have to go beyond the fancy new medicine. “You’re going to get caught up in the technology, and in tweaking electrolytes and changing buttons on the ventilator, things like that,” warned Joseph Martinez, MD, assistant professor of Emergency Medicine and assistant dean of Student Affairs, who was the student-elected faculty speaker. “But never forget that behind all those buttons and electrolytes there’s a patient. Take care of your patients. Even if that means just a comforting word or spending a little extra time with their family, do something that’s going to change their day aside from just the medicine.”

Pre-commencement celebrations were also held on May 19, 2011 for students pursuing a degree other than an M.D. These ceremonies included the Department of Medical and Research Technology (DMRT), the Graduate Program in Life Sciences, the Masters in Genetic Counseling program, the Masters in Public Health program, and the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. “We are all very proud of your extraordinary achievements and the standard of excellence you have sustained,” said Dean Reece. “It is evident through your actions that you are driven by a determination to make a difference in the lives of others as you pursue your personal goals.  Completing this phase of your education has been a daunting, yet rewarding, task.  I offer each of you my wholehearted congratulations for a job well done.”

Contact

Caelie Haines
Manager, Public Affairs
(410) 706-7508
chaines@som.umaryland.edu

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 Class president Chris Lemon gave an inspirational speech.
 

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 Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) grads.
 

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 Graduates of the Masters in Genetic Counseling program.
 


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 Doctoral hoods were placed on the MD students by faculty members.
 

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 Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy (DScPT) grads.
 

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 The graduates of the DMRT program.
 

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 Graduates from the Masters programs in the Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine with Chair Jay Magaziner, PhD.