June 4, 2020
Twenty-six medical students were honored during the College of Community Health Sciences Senior Banquet on May 14, held virtually this year due to COVID-19. The students, now physicians, have begun their residency training in programs across 11 states.
“This is not the way we usually celebrate this important event, but that in no way diminishes how significant and special this occasion is,” Dr. Richard Friend, dean of the College, said in welcoming remarks during the Zoom celebration.
Friend said the graduates continue the College’s proud tradition of educating and training future primary-care physicians. “Tonight, we celebrate your graduation and selection into prestigious residency programs,” he said.
As a regional campus of the University of Alabama School of Medicine, the College provides the clinical education for a portion of third- and fourth-year medical students enrolled at the School of Medicine. The new graduates join the more than 990 UA School of Medicine graduates who completed their third and fourth years of medical school at CCHS.
Medical students from the College enter family medicine and primary care residencies at twice the national average of other medical school graduates.
“I want to congratulate you for completing medical school and becoming doctors, and for the countless hours you spent studying and caring for patients,” Friend said. “Completing medical school is a huge milestone to realizing your dreams, and we celebrate it with you.”
Dr. Grier Stewart, assistant dean for undergraduate medical education at the College, said graduation from medical school was both an end and a beginning. “You are graduating at an interesting time and into an interesting world,” he said. “I hope in some small way we have contributed to your success.”
Added Friend: “We need you now more than ever. Your resilience and fortitude that you have shown during this time will serve you well as you begin your residencies.”