The graduate and medical classes of 2018 celebrated graduation at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, Georgia.
Nearly 300 students graduated with doctorate and master’s degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and biomedical sciences on Thursday, May 24, 2018, from Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM). Commencement ceremonies took place at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth with the Doctor of Pharmacy and Graduate Studies ceremony occurring at 11 a.m. and the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine ceremony at 2:30 p.m.
PCOM President Jay Feldstein, DO, addressed the graduates, saying, “As healthcare professionals, it is your profound duty and privilege to honor the humanity of those who suffer. Feel awe and be humbled in your engagements. The prospect of healing rests in your work and in your sense of compassion.”
He added, “Compassion is the embodiment of the wholeness of our osteopathic philosophy – a true recognition of the person as mind, body and spirit.”
Jennifer Sterner-Allison, PharmD, delivered the commencement address at the morning ceremony. A clinical pharmacy manager at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, she serves as president of the Georgia Society of Health-System Pharmacists. She said, “Not a day goes by when I am not challenged or have the opportunity to learn something new… The need to learn new things will not go away.”
Paul Evans, DO, FACOFP, a senior medical education consultant and the founding dean of GA-PCOM, delivered the commencement address at the afternoon ceremony. Titling his talk, “Learning from Failure,” he shared principles that he hopes will become a cornerstone for the graduates’ professional lives.
According to predictions from IBM, he said, the total amount of scientific knowledge is estimated to double every 12 hours by the end of the year 2020. “There will be an incredible need to learn more, adapt, and re-imagine what you already learned.” He added, “What we think is true today may not be true in the future.” The key to mastery, he said, “is trying again after failing using a better approach.”
He encouraged graduates to get out of their comfort zones and risk failing in order to perfect new skills. “You must aggressively seek out opportunities every day to learn that new procedure, take on that complicated and difficult case, and reduce or eliminate your weaknesses on the way to improvement.”
Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette brought greetings from “a very proud community,” noting the Class of 2018 volunteered just this past year in activities from hurricane relief efforts to the Health Career Academy at Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville, Georgia, to sending a team to the Gwinnett Relay for Life. “You have touched the lives of so many and the best is yet to come,” he said.
Prior to graduation, a commencement dinner dance, honors brunches and a military pinning ceremony were held.
The commencement ceremony for the inaugural physician assistant studies class will take place on July 31 at 11 a.m. at the Infinite Energy Forum.
Read more about GA-PCOM commencement activities.
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine which has a storied history as a premier osteopathic medical school. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the wider community. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 678-225-7500.
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