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

Medical students graduated from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine on Saturday, May 13. The graduates were part of an innovative program that allows students to complete their first two years of didactic study in Phoenix or Rochester, Minnesota, and finish the final two years of clinical study in Jacksonville, Florida.   

Nine students graduated from the school's Florida campus on May 13. They join the more than 90 other Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine students in Arizona and Minnesota graduating on those campuses later this month. 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.

James Hwang was the student commencement speaker, and as a graduate and soon-to-be physician, he asked students to take time to appreciate their accomplishments. "I hope every day you can recognize how hard you have worked and how far you have come," he says. "I hope you take things one day at a time, especially when things get overwhelming. And I hope you can take a moment to be grateful every day."  

Journalist: Broadcast-quality video can be found in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy: "Mayo Clinic News Network."

James Hwang was the student commencement speaker

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.  


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.

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