The University of Illinois College of Medicine celebrated its 141st commencement on Friday, May 5, at Credit Union 1 Arena.
The ceremony honored 338 graduating students from its various degree programs, with 277 receiving their MD degree, constituting one of the largest graduating medical school classes in the United States. The Class of 2023 includes 162 who have completed the MD degree in Chicago, 57 in Peoria, and 58 in Rockford.
A livestream recording is available for those unable to attend or who wish to re-watch the ceremony.
These new physicians will continue their professional training in one of 28 medical specialties across 32 states. In addition, 110 of those who graduated will be entering their residency programs in Illinois. One in five physicians currently practicing in Illinois received their MD degree from the College of Medicine, and more than 40 percent completed some portion of their training in UI COM programs.
The College also awarded 41 PhD degrees, and 20 master’s degrees, spanning anatomy and cell biology, physiology and biophysics, patient safety leadership, and clinical translational sciences.
Senior Associate Dean for Educational Affairs Raymond H. Curry, MD, FACP, once again served as grand marshal of the ceremony, with greetings from Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs Robert Barish, MD, MBA, and UIC Chancellor Javier Reyes, PhD.
“This is a special day and a proud achievement,” College of Medicine Executive Dean Mark I. Rosenblatt, MD, PhD, MBA, MHA, told the graduating students. “Today is the culmination of years of tests, long hours of studying, and countless sleepless nights. To the 2023 graduating class, I conclude by saying: You represent the finest examples of the College’s mission to enhance the health of those in our care. It is my sincere hope that you will forever apply what you have experienced as students at the College of Medicine: passion in your pursuits, compassion for, and dedicated service to, your patients, and excellence in every aspect of your lives.”
Louis Wade Sullivan, MD, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and founding Dean of the School of Medicine at Morehouse College, served as the College of Medicine ceremony commencement speaker.
“All of us in our nation look to you to help improve our imperfect world,” Dr. Sullivan said, “as health professionals with your unique training and your scientific skills, as enlightened, educated members of our society, and as individuals committed to helping your fellow man, your community, your country, and your world.”
Dr. Rosenblatt also honored the recipients of the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award (Donald A. Chambers, PhD, and Jorge Cavero, MD), the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Healthcare Leadership (Henry Taylor), the Dean’s Distinguished Faculty Award (Subhash Pandey, PhD) and the Faculty of the Year Award (Peter S. Bennett, PhD, and Liza Suarez, PhD). Interim Associate Dean for Medical Education at the Chicago Campus Amanda Osta, MD, recognized the 2023 Golden Apple Award recipients (Anne Polick, MD, Claudia Lora, MD, Sean Blitzstein, MD, and Christopher Fernandes, MD) and the William J. Grove Outstanding Student Award (Joseph R. Geraghty, MD, PhD).
Graduating students also heard from alumni William Kamm, MD, a 1958 College of Medicine graduate, and his son, Steven Kamm, MD, a 1987 College of Medicine graduate.
Dan Loizzo, MD, president of the Class of 2023 provided remarks on behalf of the class.
After Dr. Rosenblatt led graduating students in the Physician’s Pledge, Dr. Curry closed out the ceremony.