On June 10th, Trinity School of Medicine held its 2017 commencement ceremony at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. The class, along with 250 of their friends and family, were enthusiastically welcomed to the occasion by Trinity administrative and academic leadership and a variety of VIPs. The day included a key note address from president of graduate medical education for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Bruce Deighton, PhD and concluded as the new graduates took their Oath of Geneva.
After welcoming the assembled graduates and guests to the event, Governor General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, His Excellency Sir Frederick Ballantyne, MD, expressed his personal joy at what Trinity's students had accomplished thus far, and his expectations of them as physicians, and reminding them to never forget their adopted home and its wonderful people.
Trinity School of Medicine president Steven R. Wilson gave similar congratulatory remarks, praising the students for their ambition as it drove the school to constantly better itself as an institution, and then invited Chancellor W. Douglas Skelton, MD to confer an honorary degree on today's speaker, Dr. Bruce Deighton.
This is Trinity's first honorary doctorate, conferred to Dr. Deighton for his decades of "personal and professional service for the betterment of humanity." Dr. Skelton was keen to note that when he first met Dr. Deighton, he recognized the man's aptitude and passion for medical education, specifically in strengthening pathways of communication between medical practitioners and their patients. Dr. Bruce Deighton has clearly made good on the potential Dr. Skelton recognized earlier in their careers. Today, he is president of graduate medical education for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). In this role, he is responsible for development and oversight of all graduate medical education programs sponsored by HCA across the US, with a national enrollment of over 3,000 residents.
Dr. Deighton's keynote address, in his own words, mirrored the best sermons, with a strong beginning, a strong conclusion, and the two "as close to each other as possible." He delivered four brief stories to the graduates, each highlighting a separate aspect of what he felt they should carry with them from their time at Trinity on through their careers, namely: adaptability to change and the application of their technical know-how; an holistic understanding of their patients and their own lives; the immeasurable impact of extending care to those in need; and the recognition that as their accomplishments grow, so should their standards for themselves, resulting in the inevitability of leaving the world better than they found it. He concluded by specifically and personally welcoming the several Trinity students in the class that had matched into HCA specialties.
If you'd like to watch the ceremony, a full video is available here.
The hooding ceremony, a longstanding tradition in higher education used to symbolize the transition from one generation of doctors and scholars to the next, continued Trinity's practice of inviting family members of graduates already possessing MDs to "hood" their respective graduates, lending a literal weight to the metaphorical torch-passing ceremony.
Dr. Paula Wilson administered the students' Oath of Geneva, binding them to the ethical practice of their profession, and fully concluding their time at Trinity as students, greeting them as alumni and, with no small amount of pride, new colleagues.
After parting words from Dean Adkison, attendees joined in a reception onsite to swap stories, discuss future plans, and introduce loved ones to the faculty and classmates that, due in no small part to Trinity's unique culture of collaboration, support, and encouragement, have become so richly interwoven into their lives over the past four years.
All photos taken by Kevin Burns and graciously provided by graduate (pictured above, center), Dr. Ethan Burns. Stay tuned for the formal event photos and feel free to submit your own to us in the meantime! We'll add them to this post!