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Ensemble thread runs throughout Class Day events

The bright, baroque rhythms of a brass quintet set a joyous tone for DMS's Class Day on June 8. And the ensemble effect of musicians working together was echoed in the opening words by Dean John Baldwin, M.D., to the assembled graduates and their families: "We all help and affect each other," he said, "and we need to think about our patient relationships in a broader arena."

Keynote: The keynote speaker, Vermont Governor Howard Dean, M.D., also urged the graduates to think of their upcoming careers in a broad context, noting that their years at DMS had been "terrific preparation for a career in politics." In medicine, he said, people learn how to make decisions quickly based on the evidence presented, whereas too often in politics, "people never make decisions unless they absolutely have to."

Dean then told the class not to let residency dominate the next few years of their lives but to give some time back to their communities. "If you don't want to run for Congress . . . at least be on the local school board or planning commission," he said. Most importantly, Dean told the students, "take the time you need for your family and your loved ones. . . . Invest in them thoroughly throughout your career, or your career will not be successful by every measure."

1. Heather Scull (left) and Joanna Hedstrom, master's candidates in the evaluative clinical sciences, were all smiles as two of this year's 101 DMS degree-recipients at 2. outdoor Class Day festivities on the DMS lawn. Other celebrants included M.D. grads 3. Stephen Judge (left) and Tom Sprinkle, 4. Uchechi Wosu, and 5. Lindsay Pearce, as well as 6. CECS grad (and fourth-year medical student) Paul Sanchez, pictured here with his wife, Angela, also a fourth-year M.D. student, and their daughter, Sophia. The day's speakers included 7. Vermont Governor Howard Dean, one of the nation's two physician-governors; 8. Ph.D. grad Eric Manning; and 9. M.D. grad Christian Meko. Other Class Day highlights included the presentation of awards, including of 10. the Good Physician Award to Rob Fortuna; the traditional hooding ceremony, including of 11. M.D. grad Tanya Chin; and family photo ops for 12. CECS grad Veena Fenn and 13. M.D. grad (and Dean's Medal winner) Aubrey Ingraham.
All images: Flying Squirrel Graphics

The governor also mentioned his keen interest in children's health care. In Vermont, he said, "everybody under 18 has universal health insurance. Now if we can do that in a small state, which ranks 26th in the country in income, surely the most powerful, richest nation on earth can do that for our children."

Dean concluded by saying that doctors have a lot to offer to the political process. "You must not just save your patients, but you can and have an obligation to contribute in some way to saving your community and saving your country."

Christian Meko was chosen by his classmates as the medical student speaker. He had served as a captain in the Army medical corps before coming to DMS and described his experiences caring for veterans at the White River Junction, Vt., VA Medical Center. "They are unassuming men and women whose heroic actions secured our freedom and gave us a way of life we too often take for granted," he said.

The graduate student speaker, Eric Manning, who earned his doctorate in microbiology and immunology, spoke about the relationship between research and medicine. "Academic and biological research continues to be ...the foundation for medical research," he said. "As a biochemist, I juggled pipettes full of noxious chemicals so that some day a medical doctor might have a new product to make a sick patient healthy."

Hoods: The ceremony also included the conferring of hoods on the graduates—46 M.D.'s; one M.S. and 10 Ph.D.'s in the biomedical sciences; and 42 M.S.'s and two Ph.D.'s in the evaluative clinical sciences— and the presentation of the top three student awards. All of the student prizes presented during graduation week are listed in the adjacent box.

The students also gave out three awards of their own—the Basic Science Teaching Award to anatomy professors Michael Binder, M.D., and John Lyons, M.D.; the Clinical Science Teaching Award to cardiologist James Bell, M.D.; and the Thomas Almy Housestaff Teaching Award to neurosurgery resident Kendall Lee, M.D., Ph.D. (In addition, the College's honorary- degree recipients this year included Marilyn Gaston, M.D., the first African-American woman to direct a public health service bureau.)

Chant: As Class Day came to a close, John Rassias, renowned professor of languages at Dartmouth, introduced the Hippocratic Oath by singing in Greek a chant that celebrates life and creation. The chant reinforced "the solemnity of the moment," Rassias said, just as it may have in the time of Hippocrates. Baldwin then led the new M.D.'s and all the physicians in the audience in reciting the ancient oath—which sets forth the ethical foundation of medicine—in an English translation.

The ceremony concluded as the graduates, wearing hoods of green, gold, or dark blue (indicating, respectively, the M.D., M.A., or Ph.D.), recessed to a stirring Handel march and scattered to celebrate with their families and begin their careers.

Matthew C. Wiencke

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