UVM medical commencement marks launch of much-needed doctors

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UVM medical commencement marks launch of much-needed doctors

Fri, 05/20/2022 - 1:46pm -- katie

Senator Bernie Sanders to deliver College of Medicine Commencement address

Photo: A gowned and hooded UVM Larner College of Medicine graduate holds their diploma following the Class of 2021 Commencement ceremony. Photo courtesy of Christina Dawson, M.D.
 
Vermont Business Magazine With the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and a projected shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034, launching the careers of new doctors has never been more important. On Sunday, May 22, at 3 p.m., the Larner College of Medicine will celebrate the start of 118 new physicians’ careers at the medical Class of 2022 Commencement ceremony at the University of Vermont’s Ira Allen Chapel. (Get the link to the ceremony livestream.)
 
Key players in the Larner College of Medicine’s ceremony include Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education Christa Zehle, M.D., Faculty Marshal Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc., and Student Marshal Patrick Clarke. Page and UVM Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Isabelle Desjardins, M.D., will deliver welcome remarks and then guest speaker Senator Bernie Sanders will deliver the Commencement address.
 
Zehle will recognize the medical student Class of 2022 and then graduating senior Francis Mtuke will deliver the Student Address.
 
Born in Zimbabwe, Mtuke credits his mother with courageously journeying nearly 10,000 miles away to take a chance on a new life in the United States, where her hard work led to a career as a nurse. Inspired by his mother, Mtuke has embraced opportunities, graduating from Texas A&M University, attending medical school in Vermont, and is now on the cusp of becoming an anesthesiologist, a field in which he says he will be “one of the mere 2.6 percent of anesthesiologists that are black males.” Mtuke says his story is not unique, and that he and his classmates have reached this point – achieving their M.D. – because they took a chance on the Larner College of Medicine and the college took a chance on each of them.
 
After Mtuke’s speech, members of the medical Class of 2022 will come to the stage and, in alphabetical order, be hooded with their black four-foot-long doctoral degree hood lined in green velvet with a gold chevron – the official UVM colors – and receive their diplomas.
 
Among the medical students participating in the May 22 ceremony are Gia Eapen and Sylvia Lane.
 
In March 2020, as the pandemic was raging, an emergency room nurse from UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay launched a grassroots initiative in San Francisco called Frontline Foods that quickly went national. The organization united hospitals with area restaurants to feed healthcare workers. With their clinical clerkships on hold due to the shut-down, Eapen and Lane were eager to help, and took on responsibility for marketing and social media for the Vermont chapter directed by local nurse Sheramy Tsai, R.N. Now, two years later, Eapen is headed to an obstetrics/gynecology residency at Case Western Reserve MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and Lane will be doing a medicine-pediatrics residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
 
At the Larner College of Medicine Commencement, medical graduates have the option to have a “guest hooder” – a Larner alum or faculty member who places the UVM M.D. hood over their head just before they receive their diplomas. Class of 2022 soon-to-be-doctor Anna Quinlan will have the unique privilege of being hooded by her brother, UVM Larner Class of 2017 alum Noah Quinlan, M.D., a fifth-year orthopedic surgery resident at the University of Utah. Raised in New Jersey and Richmond, Vt., Anna Quinlan was interested in both science and art and considered pursuing careers that combined the two. Learning about her brother’s medical school experience opened her eyes to the creative aspects of the field and led her to pursue medicine. Anna chose to specialize in anesthesiology, which she describes as “highly creative,” and will begin her residency at UVM Medical Center in June.
 
At the close of the Larner College of Medicine Commencement Ceremony, Dean Page will administer “The Oath,” leading the Class of 2022 medical graduates in a reading of the College’s adapted version of the Oath of Lasagna of 1964 (see the full text of The Oath in the program via the link, below).