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New MDs Enter Medical Profession in Age of Technology and Globalization


New MDs Enter Medical Profession in Age of Technology and Globalization

Stony Brook School of Medicine graduates to take momentum of their training to residencies in NY State and Nationwide in July


Erika Blaikie, a graphic artist for nearly 20 years before pursuing medicine, was among a number of graduates who had previous careers.  At the doctoral presentation, she is hooded by Dr. Andrew Wackett and Dr. Latha Chandran.

Stony Brook, NY – May 22, 2017 – One hundred and twenty-six Stony Brook University School of Medicine 2017 graduates will soon launch their careers as physicians. The Class received their MD degrees during the School’s 43rd Convocation, presided over by Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine. The new physicians, who gathered at the Convocation Ceremony in a packed Staller Center on May 18, begin their residency training in July.


All of the 2017 Stony Brook University School of Medicine graduates recited the Physicians’ Oath for the first time as MDs.

The graduates will continue the momentum of their Stony Brook training and passion for medicine as new internists, surgeons, pediatricians, radiologists and as other physician specialists set for their residency placements. Approximately half of the Class matched into programs in New York State, and the other half in 20 other states and Washington, DC.

“Soon many of you will be going all over New York State around the country, and you will enter a field that continues to progress with new technological discoveries and incredible ways to treat patients,” said Dr. Kaushansky. “Medicine is truly inspiring, and each of you in your chosen calling will make a tremendous difference in your patients’ lives.”

The convocation speaker, Barry Coller, MD, the David Rockefeller Professor of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief and Vice President for Medical Affairs at The Rockefeller University, provided an inspirational talk for the new MDs. Dr. Coller, a former Stony Brook faculty member, is the inventor of a clot-preventing drug ReoPro. He was a faculty member at Stony Brook when his research lead to the discovery and development of the drug, which is used in patients with cardiovascular disease and has been used in more than five million patients.

Coller 17

Convocation speaker Dr. Barry Coller urged graduates to become medical discoverers and have a sense of global responsibility.

“You are well-prepared for your task, and you will succeed,” urged Dr. Coller. “All of you have unique intellectual gifts that you will use in your calling to alleviate suffering. Become medical discoverers, remain committed to caring for you individual patients, and have a sense of global responsibility in a world that is incredibly connected.”

The Class of 2017 includes a highly educated and multi-talented group of new physicians. They will enter top residency programs at institutions such as Harvard, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Emory University, UCLA, Dartmouth, Brown, NYU, and Stony Brook Medicine. Collectively, they will practice in 20 specialties. Internal Medicine ranked as the leading specialty (32), followed by Pediatrics (15) and Emergency Medicine (14).

For a number of this year’s graduates, medicine is a second career for them. They are part of what is referred to as “non-traditional” medical students, whose paths into medicine often began with educational or professional training in areas not directly related to medicine and as diverse as music, technology, or teaching.

At Stony Brook these graduates included: Derek Nelsen, a 43-year-old father and former computer programmer who will practice anesthesiology at Duke University; Jeremiah Joyce, a former film and television producer, set to begin his pediatrics residency at Children’s Hospital in Boston; and Erika Blaikie, a graphic artist for nearly 20 years with an expertise in medical illustration, who will enter an Emergency Medicine residency at St. Luke’s/Roosevelt in New York.

Jack Fuhrer, MD, Associate Dean for Admissions, who led the Presentation of the Candidates during the doctoral hooding ceremony, said that the diversity of the Class of 2017 and their talents, including the many non-traditional students, is a hallmark of Stony Brook students.

“With their life experience, abilities and genuine concern for others, this Class will have a great impact in medicine. Their journey has only just begun,” said Dr. Fuhrer.



About Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 25,700 students, 2,500 faculty members, and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 40 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region’s economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.


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