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n7grads-1 ABOVE: Tracy Tran crosses the stage after being hooded in recognition of her master of science in biomedical sciences during the 43rd commencement of the University of Toledo college of medicine and life sciences on Friday.
ABOVE: Tracy Tran crosses the stage after being hooded in recognition of her master of science in biomedical sciences during the 43rd commencement of the University of Toledo college of medicine and life sciences on Friday.
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Published: Saturday, 5/31/2014 - Updated: 6 months ago

UT medical students ready for more

Graduates take time to reflect, prepare to start their careers

BY MAYA AVERBUCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Graduates clad in long, dark robes crossed the stage to receive their diplomas during the 43rd commencement of the University of Toledo college of medicine and life sciences.

In the classic graduation imitation of medieval monks, each stood before a mentor — a professor, thesis adviser, parent, or spouse — who bestowed a colored velvet hood upon him or her: Green for medicine, yellow for science, salmon for public health.

“You are among the world’s most educated, most learned people,” Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, the university president, told the 255 graduates Friday afternoon at the Stranahan Theater.

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LEFT: Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, president of the University of Toledo,  left, talks with Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) during commencement at the Stranahan Theater. LEFT: Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, president of the University of Toledo, left, talks with Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) during commencement at the Stranahan Theater.
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Graduations can often be plagued by sappy inspirational speeches, but this year’s speakers offered their fair share of chuckle-worthy jokes and blunt advice.

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Dr. James L. Madara, the chief executive officer and executive vice president of the American Medical Association, informed the graduates that even if they read 40 papers every weekday, it would take them 11 years to read all the existing medical literature.

Instead, he said, they should consider their social capital because it is their job to connect both to the patients and the medical practitioners around them.

“Success in medicine and success in life directly relates to our ability to relate to each other,” Dr. Madara said, before recounting the start of his own interest in medicine: A childhood accident on a basketball court that landed him in the hospital with a blood clot in the brain.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio), who joked that his presence was “not bad for a guy who barely passed biology,” said that the graduates have the responsibility to help people from as near as Ohio’s rural areas to as far as other nations.

Recalling the founders of the former Medical College of Ohio, Gov. James A. Rhodes and Paul Block, Jr., the former co-publisher of The Blade, Mr. Portman said: “Fifty years ago, there were two visionaries who showed up on a cornfield not too far from here ... and saw a medical institution.” He said that they would be proud of the university’s trauma center, Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic, and its students.

Master of public health graduates including Keva Miller, center, stand to be recognized during commencement for 255 graduates on Friday afternoon at the Stranahan Theater in South Toledo. Master of public health graduates including Keva Miller, center, stand to be recognized during commencement for 255 graduates on Friday afternoon at the Stranahan Theater in South Toledo.
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Dr. Madara and Mr. Portman received honorary doctor of science and doctor of laws degrees, respectively.

After many years of what Dr. Qiming Duan, the graduate student speaker, described as striving for “high standards,” UT has prepared its graduates for varied professional paths.

Lynne Werth, who returned from her honeymoon the day before receiving her MD, said she is headed to the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. “It’s a lot of change at one time,” she said, but added that she is looking forward to practicing family medicine.

Kristen Phillips, who is starting a four-year residency in obstetrics in gynecology at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, is the first doctor in her family.

“I’ve always had this dream of going into women’s health,” she said. “Now [we’re] working to finally help people. There are no more doors.”

Contact Maya Averbuch at: maverbuch@theblade.com or 419-724-6522.



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