75 graduates earn medical degrees from Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
What can you do to make a difference?
That was the question posed by Annette C. Reboli, MD, dean of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU), to 75 newly-minted physicians during CMSRU’s 2019 commencement celebration, held Thursday, May 16 in Pfleeger Concert Hall at Rowan University.
“Just as Cooper Medical School of Rowan University harkens to our mission in all that we do…we ask that you retain the core values espoused in our mission as part of your ‘moral compass,’” said Reboli. “Continue to embrace humanism, diversity and inclusivity, and excellence in patient care. Continue to value scholarly activity, professionalism, collaboration and mutual respect. Remain committed to service to your community, civic responsibility, patient advocacy, and life-long learning.”
The themes of service, professionalism and leadership were also a focus of remarks by the day’s guest speaker and CMSRU Medal of Excellence recipient, Claire Pomeroy, MD, president and CEO of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, which is dedicated to accelerating support for medical research.
Pomeroy reminded the graduates that their new title -- “doctor” -- brings with it great responsibility.
“People will turn to you at their most vulnerable moments,” she said. “They will share with you, like no other, the most intimate details of their bodies, their darkest fears, and their dearest hope for the future. The will literally trust you with their lives.”
Pomeroy encouraged the new physicians to use their knowledge to benefit others; to put the needs of patients above their own; and to embrace the values of altruism and professionalism. She also challenged the graduates to become leaders in addressing health care delivery systems to ensure safety, affordability, accessibility, and equitability for all patients.
Rowan University cabinet members and trustees, CMSRU deans, board members, chairs, faculty members, and leadership from Cooper University Health Care processed with graduates into the concert hall for the noon ceremony.
Most students received their doctoral hoods from the directors of their advisory colleges, while eleven students were hooded by family members or special mentors who are physicians. They were led in recitation of the Hippocratic Oath by William Kocher, MD, associate dean for admissions at CMSRU.
Three graduates received four special Dean’s Awards for their outstanding achievement in areas that resonate with important aspects of the CMSRU mission: Lindsay Ryan, Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence and Dean’s Award for Humanism in Medicine; Priyanka Chugh, Dean’s Award for Service to the Community; and Danijel Pericic, Dean’s Award for Leadership.
Student Government Association President Danijel Pericic provided a rousing and sentimental address to his fellow doctors, reflecting on the bonds he’s forged with his classmates with personal memories of each person.
“CMSRU does an incredible job of forming a sense of community, and I mean it when I say that we are a family,” he noted.
“Through these four years together, we have grown as physicians and as human beings, we have forged eternal relationships, and we have left an everlasting mark on this school and on the community of Camden,” said Pericic. “But the street goes both ways. While we were busy leaving our mark at CMSRU, Camden and CMSRU were leaving their own mark on us.”
In a few weeks, these new medical doctors move on to the next phase of their medical education as first year medical or surgical residents at residency programs across the country.