On May 20, 2018, students in the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont Class of 2018 received their medical degrees at Dean Frederick Morin's final Commencement ceremony. Nearly 1000 attendees gathered for the event in UVM’s Ira Allen Chapel, where the day’s earlier gray skies and rain cleared to reveal bright sunshine at the close of the ceremony.
Presiding at the Commencement were Faculty Marshal Bruce Leavitt, M.D., professor of surgery, Class Marshal Stephanie Alexis Brooks, M.D.’18, Dean Morin and UVM President Tom Sullivan. In addition to Morin and Sullivan, speakers included Claude Deschamps, M.D., president and CEO of the UVM Health Network Medical Group, Robert Macauley, M.D., former UVM professor and director of clinical ethics at UVM Medical Center and current Cambia Health Foundation Endowed Chair in Pediatric Palliative Care at the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine, and Class of 2018 member Gayathri Prabhakar, M.D..
“This is the eleventh commencement ceremony I have presided over at the College of Medicine, and will also be my last as I prepare to leave the deanship later this summer,” said Morin. "So, though I am not leaving UVM, I will always feel a bit like a member of the Class of 2018."
Macauley, author of A Handbook of Ethics in Palliative Care (Oxford University Press, 2017), stepped away from the podium to deliver a more intimate keynote address to the Class of 2018, sharing a story from the night before his first day of residency, when he'd been eager to get home and get some sleep before starting his first day as a physician, and mistakenly drove the wrong way down one of Baltimore's streets. As luck would have it, he was pulled over by a police officer after he turned himself around.
"I'm really scared - I gotta get home . . . I'm a doctor - I think I'm a doctor, tomorrow I'm going to be a doctor," Macauley told the officer, continuing to "blather on." Then, said Macauley, the officer put up his hand and told him "I'm going to let you go, but before I do, I want you to remember this: take it slow, pay attention to the signs, and try not to hurt anyone." Macauley told the medical graduates that "for the last 23 years, I've sort of been trying to live out what that officer told me that night, and I hope you will, too, because they're wise lessons," and "Thank you for inviting me to part of the end of your journey, just like I had the privilege of being part of the beginning.
In her student address, Prabhakar, an accomplished singer who will be doing a residency in pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital, punctuated her recounting of the Class of 2018's experiences over the past four years with songs like Michael Buble's "Feeling Good," Drake's "God's Plan," Justin Bieber's "Sorry," and - most notably - Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," a crowd-pleaser with audience members, who responded enthusiastically.
Nearly a quarter of the Class of 2018 are native Vermonters and 13 will be staying at the UVM Medical Center for residency. Most graduates will begin residency orientation in mid- to late June. Among the most popular specialty matches were family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and surgery. Link to the Class of 2018 Match List.