Graduates from the College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) and the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (MSBS) program were greeted with thunderous applause as they processed into the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on May 18th. Addressing the graduates in his keynote speech, Scott Ellner, DO, Group President for Physician Alignment at Centura Health, shared his inspiration for becoming a surgeon and his hopes for the future of health care. “You are the physicians of the future who will change [the healthcare delivery model]. You have been trained to be innovative and, at [RVU], you have been trained to think differently.”
Francina Towne, PhD, Director of the MSBS program, presented the program’s graduates with their degrees. “[This class] is a force of nature. They have explored the science and have asked probing questions that displayed such a depth of knowledge, a desire to learn, and an innate curiosity.”
Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, President and CEO, named the recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence: Jill Pitcher, DO, FACOFP, Associate Professor of Family Medicine, was honored for her enhancement of the rigorous curriculum at RVUCOM by ensuring more student interactions with standardized patients, as well as her ongoing work with the Global Medicine Track.
Following the Dean’s Charge by Thomas N. Told, DO, FACOFP, dist., Chief Academic Officer of RVU and Dean of RVUCOM, the RVUCOM graduates were hooded, signifying that they have earned their doctorate degree. Following the hooding, they recited the Osteopathic Oath, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the osteopathic medical profession and reflected on the values that will continue to guide them.
In the final portion of the ceremony, Major General Ronald J. Place, MD, commissioned nineteen graduates from the Military Medicine Track, officially recognizing their new ranking as military officers.