May 19, 2016

Fourth-year medical students celebrate commencement with family, friends

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Commencement 2016 Before the awarding of the academic hoods and reading of names at the 2016 UAB School of Medicine Commencement Ceremony, class president Cory D. Smith delivered a humorous and touching speech, encouraging his fellow graduates to use the skills and knowledge they’ve learned in their four years of medical school to reach new accomplishments as they begin their residency training and careers as physicians.

“Courage is not lacking fear,” Smith said. “Courage is the ability to have fear and to move forward anyway. The road we’ve traveled to this point has taught us that each failure is only a wall we must scale to reach the next plateau of success. Learn to live with that fear; learn to respect it and let it push you forward.”

The School of Medicine held its commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 15 at Bartow Arena. Of the 173 graduates in the Class of 2016, 33 percent will remain in Alabama for training, and more than 75 percent will remain in the South, saidSelwyn M. Vickers, M.D., F.A.C.S., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine in his welcoming the graduates and their families to the 2016 ceremony.

Vickers introduced commencement speaker George Lundberg, M.D., who shared some of the wisdom he acquired through a decades-long career in pathology and 27 years combined experience as editor of some of the most influential publications and websites, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, Medscape and e-Medicine from WebMD.

Craig J. Hoesley, M.D., senior associate dean for Medical Education, presented the school-wide awards during Sunday’s ceremony.  John Thomas Killian Jr. received the Hugh J. Dempsey Award, given to the students with the highest overall academic achievement over the four-year course of medical school. William Robert Justice Jr., Cory Allen Luckie and Ryan Oliver Sheets were awarded the Outstanding Patient Communication Award, sponsored by Proassurance Indemnity.

Davis Nathaniel Bradford from the Class of 2016, and Lisa L. Willett, M.D., professor of Medicine and director of the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program, were presented with the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards. Sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, these honors are given each year to a graduating student and faculty member in recognition of their value of humanism in the delivery of care to patients and their families.

Amber Michelle Beg received the Medical Alumni Association Community Leadership Award, presented by MAA President Pink Folmar, M.D.

A Military Promotion Ceremony was held earlier Sunday morning to honor and celebrate graduates who will enter military training programs.  Major Brandy Hyatt of the United States Air Force presided over the ceremony and administered the oath of office. Family and friends pinned the military rank on the graduates’ uniforms.

Joining the U.S. Air Force from UAB are William Kliphpatrick Love, Elijah J. Allen Stiefel and James Alexander McFarland.  Justin Len Deavers and Natalie Elizabeth Mitchell will join the U.S. Army, and Julianne Elizabeth Burke, Darcy Mckeon Dubuc and Eric Robert Craig will join the U.S. Navy.

See photos and videos on the School of Medicine’s Facebook page. For a full list of award winners from Sunday's ceremony, click here.