To the cheers and adoration of family and friends, 166 newly-minted doctors took their Hippocratic oath at the end of NYU School of Medicine’s commencement ceremony Wednesday evening in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
In the hours before commencement, the graduates were feeling a mixture of excitement and relief at being finished with medical school, according to class president Dr. Alejandro Torres.
“I bet this [is] probably the happiest a lot of [us] will be in a long time,” Torres said.
The excitement of the graduates was matched by that of their families. As the ceremonies began and graduates filling into their seats, friends and relatives shouted and waved at their graduates. Many held banners congratulating the new doctors. Every seat in the almost 1,000-seat orchestra was filled. Proud loved ones stood up waving phones and cameras trying to get pictures from the back rows.
Associate Dean for Alumni Relations and Academic Events Dr. Anthony Grieco opened the ceremony before ceding to podium to the class president for his remarks. Torres thanked all the friends and family who supported him and his fellow graduates during medical school.
“Rest assured, we are here because of you,” Torres said.
Torres continued asking his classmates to stay in touch as they disperse across the country for their residencies.
Following Torres were remarks from Dean Grieco, who implored the graduates to fulfill their moral duty as doctors to improve the lives of others regardless of status. Afterwards, the chairs of Langone Board of Trustees and NYU Board of Trustees Kenneth Langone and William Berkeley and NYU President Andrew Hamilton all congratulated the doctors on finishing medical school. Hamilton congratulated the students on having survived one of the most demanding academic programs in existence.
Following Hamilton, School of Medicine dean Dr. Robert Grossman gave his remarks. He reflected on the importance of everyday courage, particularly in the new doctors’ professional lives.
“Don’t be afraid to criticize attendings who fail to wash their hands before seeing a patient,” Grossman said.
Grossman continued by asking graduates to always be faithful to their patients. He ended his time on stage by introducing Langone Trustee and keynote speaker Larry Silverstein. Silverstein congratulated the graduates and expressed his certainty that the Class of 2017 will do great things in the medical field.
“You have chosen a path in life where failure can be literally a matter of life and death,” Silverstein said. “Don’t let that hold you back — let that be your inspiration instead.”
After Silverstein’s keynote, Drs. Victoria Harnik and John Hwang, recipients of Distinguished Teacher awards, lead the graduates onto the stage to receive their diplomas. Among those graduating, 31 received dual degrees and nine received Ph.Ds with their medical degrees. Grossman ended ceremony by administering the Hippocratic oath to the new physicians.
Email Shiva Darshan at [email protected]