It’s Official, They’re Doctors!

Graduation, M.D. Degrees, FAU's Schmidt College of Medicine, Medical School, Commencement

Stuart L. Markowitz, M.D., (left) participates in the “hooding” ceremony with class president Bengt Josephson Grua, M.D., (center), his baby Leif, and his father James Grua, M.D.

By gisele galoustian | 4/26/2019

It’s official. The 55 members of the class of 2019 are among the nation’s newest physicians. Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine held its fifth commencement ceremony in the Carole and Barry Kaye Auditorium, celebrating a long-anticipated day as it conferred the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degrees to the graduating class. Family, friends, faculty and dignitaries filled the auditorium for the commencement ceremony.

Last month, all 55 members of the class of 2019 achieved a 100 percent match for residency programs, which are required for physicians to become license-eligible (board certified).

“Like running a marathon, your training in medical school has been a time-intensive commitment of mental and physical endurance,” said Phillip M. Boiselle, M.D., dean of FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine. “As physicians, you will face many finish lines in your careers. When your legs get tired and the journey seems impossibly long, remember that your patients along with your family, friends, and mentors will be your sustenance. As dean, it is incredibly gratifying to see each of you cross the finish line of medical school today and comforting to know that you are well prepared for many more finish lines in your lives as medical doctors. Congratulations class of 2019!”

U.S. Congresswoman Donna Shalala (D-FL-27) provided the keynote address during the ceremony. Shalala represents Florida’s 27th District, which includes most of Miami-Dade County. She recently returned to Washington where she served as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration for eight years. She is one of the most honored academics of her generation, and has been elected to seven national academies including the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Education.

“You are some of the most powerful women and men in the world for one simple reason. You have the power to help people every day – think of the lives that you will enrich,” said Shalala. “You have made an exceptional choice of profession and your work is just beginning. I admire your commitment, I respect your desire to serve and to heal and I have great confidence in your resolve to help build a better world. Congratulations, good luck and God speed.”

The symbolic rite of passage from one generation of physicians to the next generation during the “hooding” ceremony was truly a “family affair” this year and the largest in the college’s history. Eighteen members of the class of 2019 were hooded by parents, grandparents, siblings and spouses.

Larry Brickman, M.D., an associate professor of surgery, director of clinical education in surgery and a retired major in the U.S. Army Reserve, administered the officer’s oath during the ceremony to Benjamin R. Childs, M.D., captain, who will serve in the United States Army.

Stuart L. Markowitz, M.D., senior associate dean of student affairs and admissions, Sarah Wood, M.D., senior associate dean for medical education, and Jennifer Caceres, M.D., assistant dean for student affairs, all in FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine, presented four awards and later announced and hooded the M.D. candidates during the graduation ceremony.

“Class of 2019, you are exceptional and we couldn’t be more proud of your hard work, commitment and perseverance to become physicians,” said Markowitz. “You leave behind an impressive imprint of your contributions and accomplishments as medical students at Florida Atlantic University and we wish you continued success in all of your endeavors.”

In line with the medical school’s mission, one-third or 21 members of the graduating class is entering primary care specialties, which include internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, and obstetrics/ gynecology. Nearly one-third of the class also matched in highly specialized fields that are among the most competitive in the match process, including urology, ophthalmology, dermatology, radiation oncology, and orthopedic specialties, among others.

Among the various Florida institutions where FAU’s class of 2019 placed are Jackson Memorial Hospital; Orlando Health; the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine/Holy Cross; the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine; the University of Florida College of Medicine-Shands Hospital; the University of Central Florida College of Medicine/GME Consortium; Florida Hospital; Broward Health Medical Center; and FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine.

The class of 2019 also placed in several top institutions nationally, including Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire; Northwestern McGaw/Lurie Children’s in Chicago; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville; Baylor College of Medicine in Houston; the University of Chicago Medical Center in Chicago; and the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor.

Following the graduation ceremony, the class of 2019 and guests enjoyed a special reception in the Live Oak Pavilion generously underwritten by Michael T.B. Dennis, M.D., a member of FAU’s Board of Trustees and chair of the advisory board for FAU’s College of Medicine.