After four or more years of intense study and specialized training, 120 medical students in the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine class of 2021 received their M.D. degrees during the school’s graduation ceremony on May 2.
The ceremony was held at the Wright State University Nutter Center. It was open to a few faculty members and a limited number of guests in order to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols.
Wright State President Sue Edwards and Valerie Weber, dean of the Boonshoft School of Medicine, presided over the event. The ceremony was live-streamed on the university’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
In addition to the conferring of degrees, the event included a “hooding ceremony” in which graduates received traditional regalia denoting their status and profession. They also took a professional oath to mark the start of their medical careers and signed a registry to commemorate their first use of the initials M.D. following their names.
The commencement address was delivered by Erica Taylor, M.D., assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Boonshoft School of Medicine.
Taylor is also community medicine elective director with the integrated pediatric residency program, which offers training to BSOM pediatric residents at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Medical Center and Dayton Children’s Hospital. In addition, Taylor is a pediatric hospitalist with Dayton Children’s Hospital.
A 2005 graduate of the School of Medicine, Taylor completed her residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics in 2010 at Wright State. Taylor was the first African American to serve as chief resident of the School of Medicine’s integrated pediatric residency program.
In July, the Boonshoft School of Medicine graduates will begin prestigious residencies and receive advanced training in the medical specialties of their choice. The new physicians will enter outstanding residency training programs in Dayton, throughout Ohio and nationwide, including Case Western Reserve, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, Vanderbilt, Morehouse, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Loma Linda, Louisiana State University, University of North Carolina, University of Michigan, University of Washington, University of Minnesota, University of Pittsburgh and the University of Texas Southwest. Two graduates, who are active-duty military will complete their residencies with the Army and the Air Force.
Fifteen members of the class of 2021 will remain at the Boonshoft School of Medicine to complete residency training. Nearly 42% of the graduates will remain in Ohio during residency, and 34% will remain in the Dayton region. More than a third will enter a primary care field, which includes the specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and the combined internal medicine-pediatrics.
Each year the graduating class presents a Community Appreciation Award to recognize an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to the School of Medicine. The class of 2021 honored the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association.
Established in 1936, the association is a member-service organization for more than 29 hospitals and health care organizations in the greater Dayton region. Since its inception, the Boonshoft School of Medicine has had a strong connection with the association, allowing students to train at state-of-the-art medical care facilities during their time at member hospitals.
Weber presented the Dean’s Award to graduating medical student Noor Saeed, for demonstrating a commitment to academic excellence, embodying empathy and compassion toward others, exemplifying personal integrity and professionalism and earning the respect and trust of classmates and faculty.
Other awards presented for this academic year included:
The Teaching Excellence Award was presented to Paul Koles, M.D., who was selected by the class of 2021 as the faculty member displaying outstanding professional skill and pride in discharging instructional duties.
The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award was presented by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation to graduate Noor Saeed and to faculty member Luke McCoy, M.D., for consistently demonstrating compassion and empathy in the delivery of care to patients.
The American Medical Women’s Association Glasgow-Rubin Citation for Academic Achievement was given to Katelynn Alcorn, Kaitlyn Cudahy, Tricia Hoersten, Alexandra Kursinskis, Alexandria Mouch, Noor Saeed and Taylor Yeates, who graduated in the top 10% of the class.
The Glenn C. Hamilton, M.D., Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award was given to Mark Crager, recognizing interest and accomplishment in emergency medicine.
The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award was given to Brittany Denny, the graduate who demonstrated outstanding proficiency in emergency medicine.
The Walbroehl Award for Family Medicine was presented to Jacqueline Jepsen.
The Larry Lawhorne Award for Excellence in Geriatric Medicine, sponsored by the Ohio Department of Aging, was given to Alexandra Nasr, for excellence in the study of geriatrics.
The Department of Internal Medicine Outstanding Senior Student Award was presented to Patrick Barney.
The Homer Cassel, M.D., Award, was presented by the Dayton Society of Internal Medicine, in honor of the late Dr. Homer D. Cassel, to John Barnes, for outstanding scholarship and commitment to the specialty of internal medicine.
The Department of Pediatrics Award was given to Noor Saeed, who is committed to a career in pediatrics and has shown outstanding performance in pediatrics during the clinical years.
The Department of Psychiatry Outstanding Senior Student Award was presented to Mark Wright.
The Nicholas J. Thompson Award was given to Shaigan Bhatti, who is committed to a career in obstetrics and gynecology and has shown outstanding performance in obstetrics and gynecology during the clinical years.
The Dan W. Elliott, M.D., Award was presented to Lucas Harrison, who is committed to a career in surgery and has shown outstanding performance in surgery during the clinical years.
The Global Health Service Award was given to Katie Lomeo for her efforts volunteering in medically underserved areas internationally.
The Merck Manual Awards (Merck Company) were presented to John Barnes, Mark Crager and Tricia Hoersten, who exemplified scholastic achievement in medical studies.
The 2021 Excellence in Public Health Award was given to Jessica Sokol.
The Global Health Scholars Program Award went to Kenton Barry, Kaitlin Beemiller, Shaigan Bhatti, Ryan Clark, Kaitlyn Danner, Salony Dighamber, Ulysses Gardener, Kala Griffith, Jacqueline Jepsen, Virginia Keim, Katie Lomeo, Courtney McCall, Julie McCormack, Kajanna McKenzie, Autumnn Merrill, Kelly Muterspaw, Joshua Omade, Cassandra Gray, Emily Sims, Courtney Smith and Kaitlan Vossen.
The John Worthman, M.D., Award was presented to Emily Sims for entering into the Wright State University Family Medicine Residency.