Graduation ceremony in Maho: American University delivers 125 new doctors

POSTED: 05/28/12 2:34 PM

MAHO, St. Maarten – A total of 125 students of the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) took the physician’s oath from the Geneva Convention and were welcomed into the medical fraternity as doctors on Saturday. This paves the way for the new doctors to begin their residency at prestigious hospitals in the United States and United Kingdom. They represent the classes of 2011 and 2012 of AUC. Some will further their studies or practice in medical administration, gynecology, general surgery, radiology, clinical medicine or even behavioral sciences.
The graduation ceremony was graced with the presence of Dr. Pedro Jose Greer, a world renowned gastroenterologist, who functions as a physician, professor and author out of South Florida. Greer is the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs of Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and Founding Chair of the Department of Humanities, Health and Society at Florida International University. In 2009, he was awarded the United States’ highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In his keynote address Dr. Greer told the graduates that they play a special role in society, one that must be executed with humility. “Medicine is about the soul and humanity… You will be in a position to change an entire society…If we look for what is common in each other; there is nothing that won’t be accomplished. Daily, science is being delayed because of egos. Humility is the key.”
Throughout his address littered with anecdotes, Dr. Greer assured to take their oath seriously. “We are not here to judge but to heal. Hold your patients secrets with sacred confidence and even when touching other human beings, touch them with the utmost respect. Put your soul into what you are doing.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by President of AUC, Dr. Andrew Jeon who urged the graduates to be compassionate leaders in their various fields. “Strive to become a team player, provide care in an emphatic way,” he said.
The school’s Chief Academic Officer, Bruce Kaplan said that there is a reason why doctors are given powers to heal the sick, save a life, prevent illness and provide cures for disease. They would have spent decades studying, he opined, and combined with knowledge, skills and experience, deserve the distinction of being called physicians.
The entire event began with pomp as the Generation New Status Drum Corps led the faculty, graduates and administration of the school in a processional. Gospel singer Angie Pantophlet led those gathered in a soulful rendition of the St. Maarten Song. She was followed by Dr. Kimberly Howe, who belted out The Star Spangled Banner, the American anthem, with reverence. They both received floral bouquets for their performances.
Governor drs. Eugène Holiday congratulated the new physicians while thanking them for their service to St. Maarten. Most of the graduates during their tenure on the island voluntarily contributed their time and skills to many local foundations and social development causes.
The American University of the Caribbean was founded in 1978 and was originally chartered by the Government of Montserrat. In 1995 Montserrat’s Soufrière Hills Volcano, which had been dormant throughout recorded history, came to life in an eruption that left much of the island buried and the southern half of the island uninhabitable. AUC then relocated to St. Maarten. Since then it has produced over 4,000 graduates who are licensed and practicing medicine throughout the world.
The school is accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Colleges of Medicine (ACCM) and is currently located at Jordan Drive, Cupecoy.

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