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Congratulations to Stanford Medicine’s newest graduates

There was a lot of excitement on campus this past weekend, when a graduating class of 65 medical students, 53 PhD students, and 52 master’s of science students received their diplomas.

My colleague Tracie White was on the scene and reported:

The audience was filled with proud mothers and fathers, fidgety children in fancy clothes, aunts and uncles and cousins and friends. With balloons and flowers, they cheered in support of the new class of graduates...

“Congratulations!” Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the medical school, said. “You made it!”

Prior to the ceremony, graduating students, dressed in caps and gowns, congregated inside the Li Ka Shing Center, preparing to walk on stage. They took photos and hugged one another, bidding goodbye as they prepared to begin the next stages of their lives. 'It feels a bit surreal,' said Michelle Nguyen, MD, who already started the first few days of her residency in internal medicine at University of Pittsburgh and flew back for graduation. 'I don’t feel like a real doctor yet. I’m still letting it sink in.'

Commencement speaker Augustus “Gus” White, MD, PhD, who in 1961 became the first African American graduate of Stanford's medical school, also reminded the grads about the importance of their work and the critical need to advocate for equality in health care:

'I believe that health care should be an inalienable human right,' White said... 'We must work hard so that we come as close as possible to that ideal.'

Minor introduced White, an orthopaedic surgeon who served for 13 years as chief of surgery at Harvard School of Medicine, as a 'pioneering visionary' committed to the rights of underrepresented minorities in medicine.

'We as a nation can and must do better than our present state of politicized and dysfunctional health care,' White said.

Previously: Stanford Medicine's Class of 2017 to graduate on Saturday, At Match Day, 70 doctors-to-be embark upon "a tremendously exciting period"Stanford Medicine’s commencement, in pictures and "This is something you long look forward to": 2016 graduates celebrate achievements
Photo by Steve Fisch

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