At the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth’s annual Class Day ceremony on June 4, faculty, staff, students, and families celebrated the accomplishments of 85 new graduates of the school’s MD program.
The customary celebration, held a week before Dartmouth College’s commencement, took place in Spaulding Auditorium at the Hopkins center. In addition to receiving the hoods denoting their degrees, the graduating students also received sage advice from Dartmouth faculty, alumni, their peers, and special guest speakers.
The Class Day address was delivered by Warren S. Browner, MD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, CA. He encouraged students to be mindful and pay attention to their patients.
“Pay more attention to your patient’s eyes than to the ‘i-patient’. You know, the one that lives in the electronic medical records and now receives all too much of our consideration,” said Browner. “Real patients have beating hearts and minds filled with doubts and concerns.”
Duane Compton, PhD, interim dean at Geisel, spoke to the students about the challenges they will facing in a rapidly changing health care environment and encouraged them to use the skills and knowledge they learned here to be agents of change and improve outcomes for their patients.
He said, “It is my challenge to you to work compassionately with your patients, rely on your fund of knowledge to make the best clinical decisions, and never neglect your analytical skills to look for ways to improve the system of healthcare delivery.”
Student speaker Ian Engler warned students against becoming too homogenized in their thinking as they move further into their medical careers as they may lose the enthusiasm and caring that they brought with them into medical school.
“Keep an open mind. Listen to patients, loved ones, and others outside of medicine. Challenge assumptions. Stay humble in what we think we know,” said Engler.
Among award winners in the class of 2016, Aaron Barnes, received the Dean’s Medal, which is awarded to the student with the best overall record of academic achievement. Jessica Rush received the Good Physician Award, which is selected by the graduating class as someone who best exemplifies the personal and intangible qualities of the good physician.
Sarah G. Johansen, MED ’90, assistant professor of medicine and President of the Geisel Alumni Council, welcomed the graduates as new alumni and encouraged them to stay connected to their medical school and each other.
This is the second year that Geisel’s Class Day has been held a week earlier than Dartmouth College’s Commencement in order to accommodate the earlier start dates of many of the residency programs the graduates will be entering as they continue their training at top teaching hospitals around the country.
Geisel’s other graduating students will receive their diplomas Sunday, June 10th in ceremonies held in conjunction with Dartmouth’s Commencement.
You can watch this year's Class Day event below: