Physician Assistant Graduation Ceremony Sends 30 Graduates into the Field

“When I look out at all of you, that word that comes to mind is ‘grit,’ said Program Director Susan White, MD, as she opened the small, in-person graduation ceremony for the Physician Assistant Program, held Aug. 12 in Hiebert Lounge. “As a class, you’ve shown a tremendous amount of perseverance and strength.”

Susan White, MD, speaks at a podium

The event marked the end a two-and-a-half-year journey through an intensive course of study, including an integrated pathophysiology and pharmacology course alongside second-year medical students. In addition to classroom work, students also completed 14 months of clinical rotations and a thesis project.

Last year, 2020 graduate Jane Chow, MS, PA-C, created a lapel pin for graduates to wear on their white coat upon leaving BUSM as a symbol of the successful completion of their studies. This year’s class was the first to receive their pins in person.

2021 BUSM PA Alumni Pin

Deborah Stearns-Kurosawa, PhD, ad interim Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Medical Sciences, addressed the graduates and expressed her pride for their hard work.

“Your participation and contribution to the profession of healthcare is very much needed,” she said. “Thank you for your resiliency, and thank you for your professionalism.”

Deborah Stearns-Kurosawa, PhD, speaks at a podium

John Weinstein, PhD, MS, Director of Research, read the names for the program’s 30 graduates, who were pinned by Michael Smith, MS, PA-C, Associate Director of Clinical Education; Melissa DiPetrillo, MD, Medical Director; Angela Reffel, MHP, PA-C, Director of Clinical Education; and White. The traditional handshake was replaced with a COVID-safe elbow bump.

Reffel then led students in a recitation of the Physician Assistant Oath, a pledge to uphold the integrity of the profession.

Angela Reffel, MHP, PA-C, leads students in reciting the PA Oath

BUSM Dean and BUMC Provost Karen H. Antman, MD, delivered closing remarks to the group. 

“This has been probably the most challenging time to be graduating into healthcare,” she said. “I hope that you are excited to be going into something that is clearly relevant today.”

View the recorded livestream of the ceremony.

See more photos on Facebook.