The next generation of doctors
UF College of Medicine class of 2017 urged to ‘maintain values and ideals’
May 23, 2017 — M.D. may only be two letters, but together they create a world of opportunity.
Members of the UF College of Medicine class of 2017 received their medical degrees at a commencement ceremony held May 20 at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
After a bagpipe processional and a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” performed and conducted by UF College of Medicine students, UF College of Medicine Dean Michael L. Good, M.D., addressed students, family and friends. He listed the class’s achievements, noting that 25 percent of this year’s graduating class will soon be heading to residencies affiliated with the top 10 medical schools in the nation. He offered the new doctors some advice for the future.
“Please maintain the ideals and values you learned here,” he said. “Work hard to stay focused on the needs of your patients and of your family and friends.”
This year’s keynote speaker, Sonja Rasmussen, M.D., a graduate from the class of 1990, recalled feeling a “heady mix of excitement and fear” at her own commencement ceremony. The pediatric geneticist, epidemiologist and editor-in-chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, gave the students some bits of wisdom she wished she had known when she graduated.
“Those who are most successful have the ability to adapt and keep learning,” she said. “You’re in for a lot of fun. How wonderful is it to have a job where every day you know you’re making a difference?”
The Class of 2017
Ronald Berry, M.D., a family practitioner for the UF Student Health Care Center, placed a hood over his son Jonathan’s shoulders, officially recognizing a new generation of physicians in the Berry family.
“I’m so proud of Jonathan becoming a physician, and I know he’ll do great things in the future,” he said.
Graduate Jonathan Berry said the ceremony created a sense of reality about his future. This summer, he will begin a residency in internal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
“It’s exciting but bittersweet,” he said. “I’m sad to say goodbye to my classmates. It’s been a pretty glorious last four years.”
In her student address, Kavita Jeram Chapla cited the UF College of Medicine’s faculty and staff for teaching her how to achieve the optimal work-life balance, skills that will become increasingly important as the class of 2017 takes a leap into the professional realm.
“They’ve taken the time to figure out what they value most. I hope, as we move forward, we can do the same,” she said. “If we do, then despite the frustration, loneliness and emotions that will accompany our first-year residencies, we will end each day with a deep satisfaction for what we do and who we are.”
By The Numbers
133 new physicians comprise the class of 2017.
36 will soon enter residency programs in Florida.
51 will begin primary care residencies.