Rocky Vista University (RVU) celebrated the graduation of 144 medical students along with 14 students from its inaugural class of the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (MSBS) program.
The ceremony, which was held in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the heart of Denver, Colorado, began with the Posting of the Colors followed by the National Anthem, which was performed by the Parker Chorale.
RVU President and CEO Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, welcomed the audience and congratulated the graduates on the completion of their rigorous journey. Mark A. Baker, DO, President-elect for the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), provided the keynote address, welcoming the graduates to the osteopathic profession: “Four years ago, you started as an osteopathic medical student—and today, you are my colleague. You are entering a profession that is growing by leaps and bounds. Today, one in every four medical students is enrolled in a school of osteopathic medicine. There are more than 102,000 practicing DOs in the United States—this is the largest number in history!”
Thomas N. Told, DO, FACOFP, dist., Dean and Chief Academic Officer of RVUCOM, offered the Dean’s Charge: “Patients don’t put their faith in specialty societies, technology, or procedures—they put their faith in you as their physician.” The students were hooded; as physicians, a “hood” is placed over their heads, which marks their designation as a holder of a doctorate degree. For many students, a loved one or mentor accompanied them onstage in order to hood them.
RVU continues its trend of 100% of its medical students being placed in residency programs. Approximately one-quarter of the Class of 2017 will go on to practice internal medicine, one-quarter will practice family medicine, while the remainder will go into various specialties (such as obstetrics and gynecology or emergency medicine). Nineteen of the graduates will remain in Colorado for their residencies.
Twenty-five graduates were commissioned during the ceremony. The commissioning ceremony—the event which recognizes the ranking of the officers—was conducted by Brigadier General Jerome P. Limoge, Jr., Assistant Adjutant General of the Colorado National Guard. RVU has been recognized as the civilian medical school with the most students on military scholarship; and it has received the Military Friendly Schools Top Ten Gold Award.
“Graduation from medical school is always a time of special celebration and this year was no exception,” said Dr. Told. “We are proud of our graduating Class of 2017 and we know their contribution to the healthcare of our nation will be significant.”
Francina Towne, PhD, Director of the MSBS program, presented degrees to the MSBS graduates. “When the members of the inaugural MSBS class were handed their diplomas, it was not the end of their journey but the first step in their careers, setting them on a path to become healthcare professionals,” said Dr. Towne. “The majority of the students are going on to medical school, but they all have a bright future as members of the medical and scientific communities.”