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Geisel Celebrates Class of 2017

The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth celebrated the accomplishments of 72 new graduates of its MD program during Class Day ceremonies on Saturday, June 3.

The customary celebration, held a week before Dartmouth College’s commencement, took place in Spaulding Auditorium at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. 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.

Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP gave the Class Day Address (photo by Flying Squirrel Photography)

The Class Day address was delivered by Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, who spoke about the ethical and societal challenges the graduates would face in their medical careers. “If we be healers, then the time has ended when the tasks that we shoulder stop at the doors of an office, or the threshold of an operating room, or the front gate of a hospital. We must engage in the rescue of a society and a political contest that has forgotten to heal,” he said. “Professional silence in the face of social injustice is wrong.”

Duane Compton, PhD, dean of the Geisel School of Medicine, lauded the Class of 2017 for their many accomplishments, “It’s incredible what you have done and how fast you have done it.  It’s no surprise that a faculty member described your class as ‘catching lightning in a bottle.’  I know that I speak on behalf of all the faculty and staff of Geisel when I say that we are incredibly proud of what you have accomplished and for being such a rich part of our community.  For as much as we have affected your lives by pushing you to learn every facet of the art and science of medicine, you have impacted on our lives and the lives of people throughout this community and in communities across the country and the globe.”

William "Liam" Guerin (Med '17) (photo by Flying Squirrel Photography)

Student speaker William “Liam” Guerin encouraged his fellow graduates to have the courage to be healers. “I could end by wishing us all great success, but – to paraphrase one of my undergraduate professors from Oberlin –  the world does not need more successful people. It desperately needs more healers and restorers and people who live well in their place with the moral courage to make the world more humane. I hope that we can be at peace with our most sincere efforts to heal and comfort patients and to mend a frustrating health care system. I hope that we can recognize, with humility, our brief moment in the evolution of medicine, from Hippocrates chilling under the Plane Tree to its awesome future potential.”

Among award winners in the class of 2017, Rachel Atkinson and Geoffrey Noble received The William Mellen Chamberlain Memorial Prize and Dean’s Medal, which is awarded to the student or students with the best overall record of academic achievement. Stephanie Morton 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, “So stay connected with those you care about most, come back for your 5th reunion, and call on your friends both near or far when you need encouragement, myself included. Your Geisel community is here in the Upper Valley and around the world to support you. You will always be part of this Geisel family.”

Geisel’s other graduating students will receive their diplomas Sunday, June 11 in ceremonies held in conjunction with Dartmouth’s Commencement.


Class Day Photos:

You can watch this year’s Class Day event below: