Graduation week festivities reached a crescendo in Neville Arena on Saturday, May 13, 2023, as 147 members of the VCOM-Auburn Class of 2023 were awarded their Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degrees. An exceptionally enthusiastic crowd cheered students on as they crossed the stage to be ceremoniously hooded by campus Dean Heath Parker, DO.
In addition to the standard Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degrees, VCOM awarded eight students DO with Research Distinction degrees. Students attained these distinctive degrees as a result of additional, reviewed, collaborative research efforts. All members of the class that participated in this year’s match process were placed into residencies. In fact, two married students, Bray Aron, DO, and Joshua Aron, DO, both placed into dermatology residencies in the same city -- a rare feat!
Graduation week activities included a Military Promotion Ceremony on Friday, May 12, an event conducted to recognize graduating students entering the U.S. Armed Forces. Brig. Gen. Edward Casey, USAF, was the speaker at the Military Promotion Ceremony. Casey, who currently serves as chief of staff for the Alabama Air National Guard in Montgomery, gave an excellent presentation about leadership, responsibility and organizational teamwork. That same evening, a pre-graduation reception was held at the Auburn University Hotel and Dixon Conference Center for graduates and their families.
The keynote speaker for this year’s graduation ceremony was renowned Orthopaedic surgeon James R. Andrews, MD. Andrews is one of the founding members of Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Alabama. He also serves as medical director and Orthopaedic surgeon for Auburn University intercollegiate athletics. Andrews gave sage advice to the graduating class about their upcoming medical careers, specifically urging graduates to take on the role of a humble servant. Following the graduation ceremony, a reception was held for graduates and their families on the lawn at the VCOM-Auburn campus.
“It was a bittersweet moment coming back to campus where we spent countless hours to celebrate our graduation,” said Fahad Uddin, DO, who also served as Vice President of the Class of 2023. “Being able to see our classmates again and meet their families on this joyous occasion is something I’ll cherish forever,” added Uddin.
“Dr. Andrews offered inspiring words of wisdom to our graduating class of 2023, and we have now successfully graduated our fifth class of students here at VCOM-Auburn,” said VCOM-Auburn campus Dean Heath Parker, DO. “The class of 2023 measured success in so many ways, not the least of which was achieving excellence in medical education while representing a critical part of the healthcare team during COVID,” Parker added. “We could not be prouder and anticipate many more great things from our new physician colleagues,” said Parker.
Since its first graduating Class of 2019, VCOM-Auburn has conferred 740 Doctor of Osteopathic medicine degrees. The mission of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) is to prepare globally minded, community-focused physicians to meet the needs of rural and medically underserved populations and promote research to improve human health.
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