• By Joel Streed

Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine graduates to ease physician shortage in Florida and around the country

May 13, 2022

Jacksonville, FL — Medical students from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, a national medical school, are taking part in the first tri-site commencement this year. The first full cohort of students from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine — Florida Campus are graduating on Sunday, May 15. This innovative program allows students to complete their first two years of didactic study in Arizona or Minnesota and finish the final two years of clinical study in Jacksonville, Florida.

Eleven students will graduate from the school's Florida Campus on May 15. They join the more than 80 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, moving to Florida at the height of nationwide lockdowns and an uncertain future. This weekend, those students will move to residency and help relieve the physician shortage.

"The cornerstone of Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science is our commitment to our students," says Fredric Meyer, M.D., Waugh Executive Dean of Education, Mayo Clinic. "When the Mayo brothers and families donated their estate to create the Mayo Foundation for Education and Research, they stated in their bequeath "in service to humanity." Students, you are about to embark on a noble mission."

Johanny Lopez Dominguez is the student commencement speaker, and as a first-generation college graduate and soon-to-be physician, she credits her background for her motivation and ethic. "I experienced the impact a caring physician has on patients when I was growing up in the Dominican Republic," she says. "My grandfather lived in a rural part of the Dominican Republic and had uncontrolled diabetes. His physician would go out of his way to come provide medical care. I want to be an advocate for all patients and work to address health disparities in and out of the hospital." 

Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, M.D., also known as "Dr. Q," is the keynote speaker. He is chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery and leads the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Florida. He has been recognized with the William J. and Charles H. Mayo Endowed Professorship. Active in medical education and training the workforce of the future, he has mentored more than 300 postgraduate students and neurosurgery residents. He has been named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics, received the Gary Lichtenstein Humanitarian Award. He also has been recognized as one of Mexico's most brilliant minds in the world by Forbes among many other accolades. Apart from his clinical and research activities, he is the co-founder and president of the nonprofit organization Mission: BRAIN and a member of the executive committee of Voices Against Brain Cancer.

These graduates are headed across the country to residency where they will do their part to ease the physician shortage. An Association of American Medical Colleges study projects a shortfall of up to 139,000 physicians by 2033. These graduates will bring their Mayo training and values with them as the third class of physicians of this generation to graduate during the pandemic. It has forced them to learn, practice and innovate in new ways.

Students have worked side by side with world-renowned experts 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.

Journalists: Video b-roll of Florida commencement ceremonies is available in the downloads at the bottom of the post.

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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. Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine is one school within Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. 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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