Vickers bookcase cropped LROn Saturday, May 18, we celebrated the graduation of 177 new physicians at the School of Medicine’s Commencement Ceremony. I am proud to report that a third of them are staying in Alabama for their residencies, and a full 42 percent of the class will pursue residencies in a primary care field. Six members of the class also received Ph.D.s as members of our Medical Scientist Training Program, and I am confident their future discoveries will push the boundaries of biomedical science toward new and better treatments.

A very special part of this memorable day is the Military Promotion Ceremony, which takes place before Commencement. At the ceremony, our graduates entering military training programs have their new military rank pinned on their uniforms by family and friends, who are often active duty or retired military personnel themselves. It’s a moving tribute to these talented young people’s dedication to both medicine and their country, and we are immensely grateful for their service.

We were pleased to welcome Atul Grover M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for the Association of American Medical Colleges, who gave the commencement address. Dr. Grover spoke of the “enormous responsibility and privilege” of being a physician and touched on the subject of “do no harm”—derived from a line from the Hippocratic Oath. He took that message a step further, encouraging the graduates, “You came to this profession with a deep desire to do good. Every patient you see deserves your full effort to do good… Be courageous. Have the courage to make a difference in your own way, whatever that means.”

After reciting the Oath of Hippocrates (which physicians in the audience were invited to stand and recite along with the students and faculty), the graduates exited the arena to continue the celebration with their family and friends. You can view a photo album of images from Commencement by clicking here.

Our graduates’ medical school careers may have ended, but their lifetime of learning as physicians is just beginning. Luckily, we offer UAB MedCast to help our alumni stay abreast of the latest clinical and research innovations at UAB Medicine while earning CME credit. This ongoing series of medical education and information podcasts is available to listen to on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. A new episode of UAB MedCast goes live each Monday; in the latest episode, Dr. Jared White discusses Minimally Invasive Liver Resection. I hope you’ll take advantage of this excellent educational resource that draws on the wealth of expertise UAB Medicine has to offer. 

Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., FACS
Senior Vice President for Medicine and Dean
James C. Lee Endowed Chair