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Vital Signs:
Voices are raised in celebration of graduating students

"The one voice missing is that of the people whom we will serve some day soon," said M.D. graduate Gary Maslow during his Class Day speech. So he supplied the missing voice by reading aloud a letter from grieving parents whose daughter had died in DHMC's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. They thanked Maslow and others for "kind words," "cheerfulness," and "time spent at just being there in support to all of us."

Those voices—Maslow's and the parents'—were among the many heard on Class Day, held on June 12. Dean Stephen Spielberg, M.D., Ph.D., welcomed the graduates and their families and friends to the event. Keynote speaker Judah Folkman, M.D., who has made significant discoveries in angiogenesis, reminded students that patients would be their most important teachers. Maslow talked of the white coats that symbolized what he and his classmates had learned. And graduate student speaker Margaret Ann Crane-Godreau spoke of how well Dartmouth had prepared students to meet the challenges ahead. (Excerpts from the three main speeches are in the adjacent box.)

Later, the voices of DMS faculty members announced the names of this year's degree candidates: 49 M.D.'s; 27 Ph.D.'s plus two M.S.'s in the biomedical sciences; and 20 M.S.'s, 32 M.P.H.'s, and one Ph.D. in the evaluative clinical sciences.

Then came the presentation of the student awards. Symeon Missios earned the Dean's Medal as the M.D. graduate with the best overall record of achievement, and Sergio Quezada was awarded the John W. Strohbehn Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research. All the student prizes presented during graduation week are listed in the adjacent box.

Teachers: Students handed out some awards, too. The Basic Science Teaching Award went to anatomy professor Matthew Heintzelman, Ph.D.; the Clinical Teaching Award to general internist Roshini Pinto-Powell, M.D.; and the Thomas P. Almy Housestaff Teaching Award to chief surgery resident Christopher Alessi, M.D. In addition, the College's honorary-degree recipients included Janet Rowley, M.D., known for her work on leukemia and lymphoma.

As Class Day came to an end, the deep, rich voice of Dartmouth language professor John Rassias sang the Hippocratic Oath in Greek. And in closing, Dean Spielberg led a chorus of voices as the M.D. candidates recited the oath in English.

Still, the voices of those parents who wrote Maslow echoed silently with a message for all the graduates: "When we think of you and your future that you'll have in the medical field, we know that many lives will be touched by your life because of the caring way you have in connecting with people. Continue on. You're doing a great job!"

Laura Stephenson Carter

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