The Xavier University School of Medicine, Aruba (XUSOM), celebrated its 10th commencement ceremony on May 20th at St. John’s University in the D’Angelo Center Ballroom. In attendance were Chancellor Dr. J. G. Bhat, Chairman Edwin Casey, President Ravishankar Bhooplapur, Trustees Dr. P. K. Prahalad, Dr. Obi Nwasokwa, Mr. Frank Croes, and Dr. Ravindra Kota, the clinical chairs of Xavier University School of Medicine, the Dean of Clinical Sciences, Dr. Burton Herz, Interim Chief Academic Officer Dr. Arun Kumar Dubey, Chief Academic Officer Emeritus Dr. Brian Little, and Dr. Gabriel Andrade, served as the the Master of Ceremonies.
In his exciting address, President Bhooplapur outlined the many accomplishments for his school this year. Most Notably, XUSOM students reaching a 95% USMLE pass rate for the first time, and this year’s graduates matching in prestigious residency programs. He also acknowledged advancements for the university itself including acquiring Canadian Provincial Loans and United States Loans for graduate students and receiving accreditation (provisional) from the ACCM and CAAM-HP. He closed his speech by ensuring a bright future ahead for Xavier and the graduating class of 2017.
The Keynote speaker Dr. Barry Smith, President and CEO of the Rogosin Institute in New York, graciously addressed the graduates in a thought provoking speech. He posed three questions: where have you come from, where are you at now and where are you going? His heartwarming address discussed the graduates’ importance in the medical community, and not only how it would change their lives but how they themselves would change the field. In keeping with academic tradition, special recognition was accorded to Valedictorian Bobak Sharifi, M.D. and Salutatorian Varun Goswami, M.D. for their outstanding academic performance as medical students. The ceremony also included an Alumni Address given by Dr. Rachel Karmally, who graduated from XUSOM in 2012. She passionately urged graduates to remember why they entered medicine and gave them her own set of wisdom to get from this milestone to where they want to be in the next five years.