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    Future of health care: Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine students graduate in Arizona

Thirty-eight medical students graduated from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine's campus in Phoenix on Wednesday, May 17. They join the more than 60 other Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine students in Jacksonville, Florida, and Rochester, Minnesota, graduating on those campuses in May. These students persevered through the pandemic, learning health care in a rapidly changing environment. The students will move on to residencies at Mayo Clinic and across the country, helping ease the physician shortage and becoming future health care leaders.

"Today we celebrate the future of health care — those who have dedicated their careers to the practice of medicine, research and education," says Fredric Meyer, M.D., Waugh Executive Dean of Education and dean of the medical school, Mayo Clinic. "As you graduate and go out into the world, you have the responsibility to care for patients and carry forth Mayo Clinic values to advance the betterment of society, instilled throughout your training. My advice is to do good, make the world a little better."

Graduates have worked side by side with world-renowned experts at Mayo Clinic to create new ways to address patients' future needs and lead positive change in medicine. They will lead innovative and transformative efforts in health care, and apply knowledge to develop creative solutions for some of the most complex problems facing patients and health systems today.

Anna Pisac, M.D., was the student commencement speaker

Anna Pisac, M.D., was the student commencement speaker, and as a graduate and soon-to-be physician, she asked students to treat themselves and others with kindness in residency. "Every one of us makes mistakes and questions our abilities and can relate, in some way, to that out-of-place feeling," she says. "Offer yourself kindness when the tribulations of residency make you question whether you're in the right place after all, and extend that same kindness to the trainees who follow you so we can continue to make medicine a more understanding, humanizing place for physicians and patients alike. We have proven that we belong, that we deserve to be here. Let's go do it again."  

Dawn Mussallem, D.O., was the keynote speaker. Three months into medical school, Dr. Mussallem was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. In 2021, she was a heart transplant recipient. At commencement, she shared her journey to become a physician, her health care experiences, finding purpose in caring for others and how changing your mindset can be powerful. "The human experience is going to include struggles, defeats, hardship and adversity, but we must not succumb to this," she says. "In fact, it may be necessary to encounter defeat so we can get to know who we are, what we can overcome and somehow miraculously rise. Let it guide you to discover personal strength, new possibilities and a deep focus on purpose."

Dr. Mussallem is a consultant in the Division of Hematology Oncology at Mayo Clinic and an assistant professor of medicine. Dr. Mussallem is internationally known in the fields of breast medicine and lifestyle medicine.  

Journalists: Broadcast-quality B-roll from the ceremony can be found in the downloads below. Please courtesy: "Mayo Clinic News Network."


About Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine
Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine is a national medical school with four-year medical degree programs in Rochester and Arizona. The school also offers a Florida program, enabling students to complete their first two years of medical studies in Arizona or Minnesota, and their final two years of learning in Florida. For more information, visit Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine.

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to innovation in clinical practice, education and research, and providing compassion, expertise and answers to everyone who needs healing. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network for additional Mayo Clinic news.