CUPECOY, Sint Maarten, May 18, 2013 – The American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) welcomed family and friends on Sat., May 18, for ceremonies to recognize the university’s 163 new graduates.
The ceremony marked the culmination of tremendous efforts by the medical students to acquire the knowledge and skill required to earn a Doctorate of Medicine degree. The event is also an occasion to acknowledge the contributions of family, friends, and faculty whose encouragement and mentorship help AUC’s students through each step in the long journey to become physicians.
Distinguished guests included the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, who offered words of praise and encouragement to the graduates. The keynote address was delivered by AUC alumnus, Dr. Gabriel Gizaw, MD (’07), who serves as an aviation medical examiner with the United States Navy.
Dr. Heidi Chumley, who joined AUC in March as executive dean and chief academic officer, also addressed the graduates. “The students who are coming behind you are counting on you – to demonstrate caring and competence and professionalism – and help spread the word that AUC is a fantastic school and its graduates are not only fantastic physicians but fantastic people as well,” she said. “I have full confidence in you. Be the resident that everyone wants on their team. Be the resident that every patients looks forward to seeing. Be the resident that works hand in hand with other members of the healthcare system. Be the resident who makes their program a better place to train. Be a proud AUC graduate.”
The next step for many in the graduating class will be to join residency programs in hospitals across the United States. AUC graduates who entered this year’s National Registry Match Program landed positions in 19 medical specialties.
Ronald Testa, PhD, dean of medical sciences at AUC, noted that following last year’s graduation ceremony, the university broke ground on a major campus expansion. “Attendees at this year’s festivities were able to see how those plans have taken shape in the form of an impressive new academic building,” he said. Dr. Testa said that building, slated to open later this summer, “is a testament to the university’s commitment to a long and mutually beneficial partnership with the community of Sint Maarten.”
View more photos from the Graduation Ceremony.