On June 4th, Trinity School of Medicine held its 2016 commencement ceremony at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.The class, along with 240 of their friends and family, were welcomed to the occasion by Trinity administrative and academic leadership and a variety of VIPs, with a key note address from Dr. Richard Scott, and took their Oath of Geneva.
The year's keynote speaker was influential surgeon and head of Trinity's clinical clerkship program, Dr. Richard N. Scott, M.D., F.I.C.S.
Dr. Scott spoke to the freshly minted MDs from a lifetime of experience and goodwill (Credentials include degrees and fellowships from Howard, NYU, and Johns Hopkins, memberships in good standing of seventeen separate professional and academic organizations including the International Society for Endovascular Surgery, the Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association, the American Thoracic Society, the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society, The International College of Surgeons, the American and National Medical Associations and a fellow in The American Colleges of Angiology, Chest Physicians, and Physicians and Surgeons.)
His words were both engouraging and enlightening, charming the crowd with his balance of gravitas and humor. Dr. Scott punctuated his address with an anecdote involving the role he and one of his residents played in efforts to save then President Ronald Wilson Reagan after John Hinkley's 1981 assassination attempt. Dr. Scott noted that the "MD" permanently attached to the Trinity graduates' names already carried a weight in society that both commanded respect and obligated them to service.
He noted with humor underscored with the seriousness of responsibility that his resident, only a PGY-2, ordered the United States Secret Service out of pre-op so he could afford President Reagan privacy and dignity as he inserted a catheter. Regardless of the young resident's relatively "low" status in the medical hierarchy, the body guards complied without protest. He was, after all, the president's doctor.
The hooding ceremony, a longstanding tradition in higher education used to symbolize the transition from one generation of doctors and scholars to the next, continued Trinity's practice of inviting family members of graduates already possessing MDs to "hood" their respective graduates, lending a literal weight to the metaphorical torch-passing ceremony.
Dr. Paula Wilson administered the students' Oath of Geneva, binding them to the ethical practice of their profession, and fully concluding their time at Trinity as students, greeting them as alumni and, with no small amount of pride, new colleagues.
After parting words from Chancellor Skelton, Dean Adkison, and President Wilson, attendees joined in a reception onsite to swap stories, discuss future plans, and introduce loved ones to the faculty and classmates that, due in no small part to Trinity's unique culture of collaboration, support, and encouragement, have become so richly interwoven into their lives over the past four years.
To read more about Trinity's 2016 class, click here to read ongoing updates on residency placements stretching across the US and Canada as this class, like those in the past, continues to grow Trinity's reputation and influence in the medical community.
Clockwise starting top left: Dr. Miata Dick is hooded by her physician father, Dean Adkison with Vincentian graduate Dr. Gamal Fitzpatrick, and Dr. Nicole Stephenson with loved ones celebrating the day.