Members of the Larner College of Medicine Class of 2020 at their White Coat Ceremony in October 20162 (Photo: Andy Duback)016.
In this era of COVID-19, celebrating the world’s newest physicians is more important than ever. On Sunday, May 17, at 3 p.m., members of the Class of 2020 at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont will mark this major milestone by participating in a live online commencement ceremony. The livestream broadcast will begin at 2:45 p.m.
Like many medical schools across the country, UVM was able to confer early medical degrees to 49 members of the Class of 2020 on April 20 to provide them with the opportunity to join the healthcare workforce early if their residency programs needed their service.
“This has been a year of extraordinary circumstances,” says Larner College of Medicine Dean Richard L. Page, M.D. “That means that our commencement ceremony for our graduating class will be anything but ordinary.”
In addition to Dean Page and more than 100 members of the Class of 2020, the live ceremony—delivered via Zoom—will feature Larner faculty, leaders, including UVM President Suresh Garimella, UVM Medical Center President and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Leffler, M.D., and invited guests and speakers, including commencement keynote speaker Joia Mukherjee, M.D., M.P.H., chief medical officer of Partners in Health, and Class of 2020 student speaker Eli Goldberg.
A native of Shelburne, Vt., Goldberg will be doing a residency in family medicine at UVM Medical Center. He did health outreach for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and at Planned Parenthood before medical school. “I think it’s critical for doctors to be socially engaged—to be able to see the bigger social picture behind each individual patient, and to act as advocates where the system needs to change,” he says. “Through my lens as a trans person, it is important to me to use the training and opportunities that I have to lift up other trans folks . . . my experiences . . . have broadened my understanding of how other communities are marginalized in healthcare, pushed me to expand my sense of who I’m here to serve, and challenged me to become a more self-aware and effective ally . . . thinking about alternative ways of providing healthcare that are patient-centered, nonjudgmental, trauma-informed, and can really lift up everyone.”
Other members of the Class of 2020 participating in the May 17 commencement ceremony include:
- Jasmine Robinson, who is from Westchester County, N.Y., and will be completing a residency in obstetrics/gynecology at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell Health Southside Hospital in Bayshore, N.Y. Having experienced homelessness as a child, she established the Here to Help Clinic for Burlington’s homeless population through a Schweitzer Fellowship several years ago. Through this project, she says “I gained the greatest fulfillment in seeing the community come together for a great cause,” which “inspires me to create more community programs addressing social determinants of health.”
- Cole Shapiro of Charlotte, Vt., will be doing a pediatrics residency at Duke University School of Medicine. She says, “I discovered a strength in caregiving while helping a sick loved one, and this led me to study medicine, and eventually, to a clinical interest in serving vulnerable populations and identifying barriers to care.” Recently, Shapiro worked with a UVM pediatrician to develop a clinical curriculum for training in Burlington’s New American pediatric clinic.
Find more information on the Larner College of Medicine Commencement event page