May 24, 2023

Heersink School of Medicine hosts its 2023 Commencement ceremony

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IMG 0281On May 20, 2023, Heersink School of Medicine hosted its 2023 Commencement ceremony at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama to celebrate its 186 graduating medical students. Faculty, staff, family, and friends gathered to show support for the accomplishments of these students.

Shortly after 1 p.m., graduates filed into the arena grouped by Learning Community, led by the gonfalon of their respective communities. Heersink School of Medicine Learning Communities are small groups of students, based on clinical campus assignments, with a faculty mentor to assist with student wellness, professional development, ethics, and interprofessional teamwork. Students stay within the same Learning Community throughout the four years of medical school.

Anupam Agarwal, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medicine and Dean for the UAB Heersink School of Medicine, opened the ceremony with words of welcome. He announced that 32 percent of this year’s graduating class will remain in the state of Alabama for their residencies. The rest will complete their residencies at facilities around the nation.

IMG 0306Charles Dwight Evers, III, 2023 Class President, also took the stage to address his fellow graduates. “While we’ve certainly earned the right to walk across this stage today, we could never have done it without our support systems,” Evers said. “Please remember to thank those who have helped us today.” Evers will complete his residency at UAB Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama, specializing in Internal Medicine.

Keynote speaker, Scott Harris, M.D., M.P.H, reminded students of the pivotal time in which they are beginning their careers. He spoke of the lessons learned in public health that will impact the future for these graduates. “Welcome to the family, welcome to our family, the family of medicine,” Harris said, concluding his address. “We are all so proud of you. I want to congratulate you again and wish you every success in your careers.”

Graduates who received departmental awards were recognized by Craig Hoesley, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education. These recipients were announced at award celebrations on each campus earlier in the week. Dr. Hoesley then announced the recipients of the school awards. The Hugh J. Dempsey Memorial Award, awarded to the student with the highest overall cumulative academic achievement, was presented to Sebastian Schormann. The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and given to one student and faculty member who demonstrate the value of humanism in the delivery of care to patients and their families, was presented to student Lexie Rasco and faculty member Dr. Christopher Roney.

IMG 0394The Medical Alumni Association Leadership & Community Service Award was announced and presented by P. Michael Caruso, M.D., President of University of Alabama Medical Alumni Association. This award, given to a student who demonstrates leadership in addressing educational, societal, and healthcare needs, was presented to Sebastian Schormann.

Each graduate was called to the stage by Learning Community to receive their academic hoods. The ceremony was concluded with the reading of the Hippocratic Oath and the ceremonial moving of the tassel from right to left.

View the recording of the Commencement live stream and see the program online at Learn more about making a gift to the UAB Heersink School of Medicine.