Eighty-seven newly minted doctors of osteopathic medicine and 19 candidates for the master degree in biomedical science received their diplomas Sunday, May 22, during commencement ceremonies at Gwinnett Center in Duluth.
Barbara Ross-Lee, DO, vice president for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs at New York Institute of Technology and the first African-American woman to serve as dean of a United States medical school, was the commencement speaker.
She spoke to the graduates – both physician and biomedical scientists – about their futures, reminding them this was a special day.# “It marks the end of the preparatory phase of your professional lives,”# she said.# “Today is about you, but going forward it is about those you will serve and the contributions you will make to the biomedical science knowledge base.”## She told the 87 physicians, “Yours is a high-calling with awesome responsibilities.# Being a physician is now an undeniable part of who you are – for the rest of your life – and it will define you.”#
The 87 soon-to-be physicians have completed four years of medical school and are headed to at least three years of graduate medical education (GME), often referred to as residency training.# The length of this additional training depends on the physician”s chosen field.
Eleven members of the graduating physician class will complete their residencies in Georgia.# Forty-eight graduates have chosen one of the primary care specialties for their advanced training.
Dr. Ross-Lee is the first osteopathic physician to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship. She has an extensive background in health policy issues, and serves as an advisor on primary care, medical education, minority health, women”s health and rural health care issues on the federal and state levels.
As a part of the commencement ceremony, seven medical school graduates took the oath of office in the medical corps of Army, Navy or Air Force.# The oath was administered by Rear Admiral James N. Black (USN Ret), a 1962 graduate of PCOM and a long-serving member of its board of trustees.
The Sunday commencement ceremony was preceded by a dinner-dance on Thursday, honoring the 2011 graduates.