A time to lead

UF College of Medicine students took their first steps as Gator doctors during the commencement ceremony May 10. Photo by Jesse S. Jones

UF College of Medicine students took their first steps as Gator doctors during the commencement ceremony May 10. Photo by Jesse S. Jones

The 133 members of the class of 2014 signed the Hippocratic Oath before walking across the stage to receive their medical diplomas during the UF College of Medicine commencement ceremony May 10. For the first time, the newly named doctors were able to inscribe the letters “M.D.” after their signatures.

“To our graduates, I say welcome to the world of medicine. While I might have strong personal bias, I think it’s fair to say that you are about to embark upon the most fulfilling career imaginable,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., UF senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF Health.

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Robert Hatch, M.D., this year’s Hippocratic Award recipient, congratulates 133 new Gator doctors to the world of medicine. Photo by Jesse S. Jones

The 2014 Hippocratic Award recipient, Robert Hatch, M.D., a community health and family medicine professor, offered words of advice and encouragement.

“When you become the best person you can be, that’s when you become the best doctor you can be,” Hatch said. “Congratulations on your achievements. We’re going to miss you more than you know.”

Philip Gilbo, M.D. ’14, the academic chair of the class, said the students came together as classmates but leave as brothers and sisters.

“This education we’ve received is a gift — not one we’re entitled to, but one we earn each day we practice the art of medicine,” Gilbo said.

Before the graduating students received their degrees, Michael L. Good, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine, recognized Angelo Anaclerio, M.D., a member of the college’s class of 1962. Anaclerio received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for his career of outstanding patient care and his commitment to the medical school.

Anaclerio, an ophthalmologist, created an endowment in the department of ophthalmology in 2006 to assist future generations of eye specialists. Later, in 2012, Anaclerio and his wife, Alberta, donated $1 million to establish the Dr. Angelo and Alberta Anaclerio Learning and Assessment Center in the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building, slated to open in 2015.

Friends and family came together to celebrate this year's UF College of Medicine graduates. Photo by Jesse S. Jones

Friends and family came together to celebrate this year’s UF College of Medicine graduates. Photo by Jesse S. Jones

“Dr. Angelo Anaclerio represents the kind of physician that I hope you will all aspire to be — a compassionate practitioner who was wise and strategic in his business development, profound in his reciprocity to others, but even more focused on what mattered most — the patient who needed his care,” Good told the graduating medical students.

Three students were recognized for their accomplishments while in medical school. James Medley, M.D. ’14, received the John B. Gorrie Award, which is given to the graduating medical student showing the best “all-around promise” for becoming a physician of the highest degree. Emily Spencer, M.D. ’14, was awarded the Student Excellence in Medical Education Award for her contributions to the education of other students. Lastly, Timothy O’Connor, M.D. ’14, received the C. Craig Tisher, M.D., Faculty Award for Research for his outstanding contributions in research.

Sunil Joshi, M.D. ’98, president of the UF College of Medicine Alumni Association, encouraged the graduates to be leaders in their respective fields.

“We, the graduates, welcome you into The Gator Nation forever,” Joshi said. “This is not the end; this is just the beginning.”

Relive the moment: