Campbell Medicine celebrates sixth spring commencement

Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine faculty, staff and guests gathered in Barker-Lane Stadium with 164 graduates for the school’s sixth spring commencement exercises.  Including today’s 145 Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine recipients, North Carolina’s only osteopathic medical school has now graduated more than 900 physicians.

Nineteen Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degrees were also conferred in today’s ceremony, one of whom will enter medical school at Campbell in fall 2022.  These graduates continue a legacy demonstrated by 15 Campbell alumni who became physicians and three Campbell Medicine alumni who had the honor of hooding family members in today’s ceremony.

Dr. Brian A. Kessler, dean of the school of osteopathic medicine, commended the graduates on their perseverance in medical education through a pandemic and challenged them to continue to be leaders in medicine.

“To our osteopathic graduates and our graduates who completed the Master’s program, you have gone above and beyond what is expected.  We are thankful for you trusting us to provide a portion of your education. I would encourage all of you to continue to give your fullest measure of devotion to your professional pursuits and offer superior care to those around you with the absolute best of your abilities.”

Master of Science graduate Scott Buchanan will enter medical school in the fall

“Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of Osteopathic Medicine, is credited with saying: ‘Let us not be governed today by what we did yesterday, nor tomorrow by what we do today, for day by day we must show progress.’ Take a moment to reflect upon the words of Dr. Still… “for day by day; we must show progress.”

“I ask all of you who walked on this stage today to look to the future and see how you can positively affect those around you. I believe that all of you have chosen to enter a leadership profession through dedication and devotion. You should be guided by a strong purpose knowing you are well trained and socially minded. I ask you to care for others as servant leaders with humility and model the behaviors you respect in others. You created this path for yourself through the hard work and perseverance you have put in at each milestone. You chose a life of service, and by embracing endearing qualities, you will accomplish all of the goals you set out to achieve.”

Dr. William A. Petri, a physician-scientist at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the Wade Hampton Frost Professor of Epidemiology, delivered the commencement address.  In reference to the University’s mascot, the Fighting Camel, he congratulated the graduates for getting over a hump in more ways than one and said they are better, brighter and more balanced than he and his fellow graduates in 1982 due to four characteristics.

“High standards– this stadium is full of high achievers. It is good to reflect for a moment on what an accomplishment it is to even be admitted to medical school, much less 4 years later to graduate.”

Dr. William A. Petri

“Second, you faced unique challenges.  The stress of learning to intubate a patient, start an IV, place an NG tube, interact with patients and family with good news and bad…with COVID-19 – the initial frustration of not being allowed to care for patients, learning to read facial expressions and communicate with patients while wearing a mask, staying away from grandparents when potentially exposed, and for many of you not having returned to this campus since classes shut down with spring break of 2020.”

“Third, sacrifice – you have all sacrificed time to relax and enjoy family and friends as you have studied for board exams, you likely have rarely if ever taken a sick day, and there have been missed birthdays, weddings and family events.”

“What the Class of 2022 expressed foremost [to me], however, is their gratitude for the support of the faculty and equally incredible classmates these last 4 years, as they dealt with the isolation and from COVID-19 as well as the transformation from college graduates to physicians and surgeons. Most importantly, their gratefulness to their spouses, partners, friends, parents and family for their support and the sacrifices that the families and friends have and are making for the members of the graduating class.”

“Each of us in medicine is here today because of the love of our friends and family. As you leave Campbell University to begin the most demanding and fulfilling of professions, I have one request: Connect with one another, invest in your friends and families through shared times, conversations and experiences together.  Congratulations Class of 2022!”