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122 Medical Students Graduate Early; 52% Agree to Immediate Deployment to Fight COVID-19

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Renaissance School Medicine at Stony Brook University graduates recite the Hippocratic oath during the convocation ceremony which was held on Facebook Live on Wednesday, April 8.

Stony Brook, NY, April 8, 2020 — Today 122 students in the Renaissance School of Medicine (RSOM) at Stony Brook University received their diploma two months early, some of whom have raised their hands to be deployed to the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. They shared their achievement via a “Facebook Live” ceremony so families, friends and loved ones, physically separated to accommodate social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, were able to see the students receive their MDs as well as take the Hippocratic Oath. 

An executive order by Governor Andrew Cuomo allowed for early graduation among senior medical students who met all academic requirements. The leadership team at RSOM immediately implemented the requirements needed to ensure the students could step into the physician workforce.  

Of the 122 graduates, 49 of these students will join the ranks at Stony Brook University Hospital as Assisting Physicians on Monday, April 13; 14 will join the ranks at Winthrop University Hospital, where they completed their 3rd and 4th year clerkships and/or matched there for their residency. The new doctors will be under the supervision of attending physicians, in order to help address the growing number and complexity of patients being admitted to the hospital, precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. All graduates have taken a COVID-19 preparedness course that was required for two weeks of academic credit, and the 49 students who will be working are hired for six-to-eight weeks within the Hospital system to work within the hospitalist teams. 

“We celebrate the accomplishments of 122 outstanding Renaissance School of Medicine students; women and men who will be advancing their careers as inquisitive, compassionate and caring physicians,” said Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, Dean, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. “Their humanity and devotion to the principles of medicine have been truly inspiring.”

Dr. Kaushansky co-presided over the virtual graduation ceremony with Dr. Latha Chandran, Vice Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs. (Go to to see the replay). The presentation of candidates was conducted and students were awarded their degrees during the virtual ceremony. 

“More than 50 percent of our graduates will immediately be working to help handle the COVID crisis affecting all of us. A special thanks to all of you who opted to work right after graduation,” said Dr. Chandran.

Recent Graduates Quotes: 

  • New graduate Dr. Anthony Schramm, thanked his family as well as his “fellow classmates who are some of the brightest young minds in medicine who are eager to join the front lines in the COVID response. You inspire me and I’m extremely honored to be part of this group.”
  •  New graduate Dr. Hailey McInerney said in a recent interview, “I’m excited to do anything I can to help. This is the job. This is what we all went into medicine to do.”
  • New graduate Dr. Kristen Nancy Schaeffer said, “This class has had such strength and solidarity over the past weeks and years and I couldn’t have done without you all.”
  • New graduate Dr. Nicholas Schwartz thanked his family, friends and mentor ending by saying, “I’ve learned more in the past eight years at Stony Brook than I ever could have imagined. Seawolf for life.”

About Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University:

Established in 1971, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University includes 25 academic departments. The three missions of the School are to advance the understanding of the origins of human health and disease; train the next generation of committed, curious and highly capable physicians; and deliver world-class compassionate healthcare. As a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and a Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredited medical school, Stony Brook is one of the foremost institutes of higher medical education in the country. Each year the School trains nearly 500 medical students and more than 600 medical residents and fellows. Faculty research includes National Institutes of Health-sponsored programs in neurological diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disorders, biomedical imaging, regenerative medicine, infectious diseases, and many other topics. Physicians on the School of Medicine faculty deliver world-class medical care through more than 31,000 inpatient, 108,000 emergency room, and 940,000 outpatient visits annually at Stony Brook University Hospital and affiliated clinical programs, making its clinical services one of the largest and highest quality medical schools on Long Island, New York. To learn more, visit



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