More than 100 students recently graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Georgia.
The college broadcast its graduation ceremony virtually through social media on May 21 because of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic. A total of 128 students earned their Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degrees during the online proceedings, with more than 400 people tuning in to watch the ceremony.
“Now is a particularly difficult time in health care and in the world,” PCOM South Georgia Dean and Chief Academic Officer H. William Craver III told the graduates. “It is only appropriate to acknowledge the gravity the COVID-19 pandemic represents and the frontlines you will join.”
The graduates will now head into their residencies as the world continues to grapple with the pandemic, with school officials noting the importance of new physicians coming in to the field right now.
“In the end, it will be your forward-thinking leadership that will restore our nation to health," PCOM President and CEO Jay S. Feldstein. "Your dedicated labor will carry us through our time of crisis. And your dream to heal will ensure that our healthcare system, post-pandemic, delivers on the unmet health and wellness needs of our society as a whole.
“I have never been more proud of a class of students. There has never been a more important time to be a physician.”
But while the graduates had to celebrate their commencement in a nontraditional format, class chairman Ronak Patel said the manner in which the class of 2020 graduated will not matter in the long run.
“Our class will not be remembered as the class that lost commencement because of COVID-19," he said. "Instead we will be remembered as the class that remained laser-focused on meeting the challenges of an uncertain environment and succeeding in spite of the obstacles that lay ahead.”
The ceremony can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ3WuA3VgjQ.