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UR graduates doctors early to help with pandemic

An early graduation at the University of Rochester School of Medicine this week means Rochester gets 22 newly minted doctors who may be able to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The UR medical school class of 2020, pictured at their White Coat ceremony four years ago. (Photo supplied by UR.)

The UR medical school class of 2020, pictured at their white coat ceremony four years ago. (Photo supplied by UR.)

The university conducted a brief online ceremony Wednesday to confer the degree of doctor of medicine on approximately 100 graduates. Twenty members of the class of 2020 will continue into residency programs at the University of Rochester in more than a dozen specialties. Two graduates will do their residencies at Rochester Regional Health’s Unity Hospital. Another eight graduates are assigned to other New York hospitals or programs, from SUNY Upstate Medical University to Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. 

The university said it scheduled the graduation several weeks early in step with other medical schools across the state. 

“The unprecedented health crisis has led us to schedule your medical school graduation early to allow you to be with your families, relocate to the site of your residency or to enter clinical practice locally or remotely to assist in addressing the current pandemic,” said Dr. David Taubman, dean of the school of medicine and CEO of the medical center, in a brief online ceremony. 

The graduation included chamber music, brief statements and a recitation of the medical oath all in less than five minutes. There was no reading of names of the graduates. Taubman said a more formal celebration will follow online in May, when the students had been scheduled to graduate. 

UR president Sarah Mangelsdorf told the graduates, “This may not be the commencement  you hoped for, but this is the profession you have prepared for and we are very, very grateful for that fact as we face the tremendous public health challenge before us…The next few weeks and months will require not just your knowledge and your skill, but also your compassion and your courage.” (585) 363-7275


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